Ohio Gadfly Daily News 6-24-14

  1. So, yesterday we took a look at open enrollment in one part of Ohio from the perspective of the districts and seemed to conclude that it was “just business” – net “winner” districts are happy, net “losers” are not and it’s all about dollars. Well, today we catch up with another open enrollment story – one that focuses squarely on why students and parents participate in open enrollment and where the call of “it’s just business” did not fly. To refresh your memory: a “net winner” district in Northeast Ohio started feeling guilty about taking so much money from its neighbors and decided to trim the number of open enrollment seats it would fill in 2014-15 (I’m sure the green eye shades were out to work over those numbers), but as that number was well below the number of kids currently in the district from elsewhere, it seemed inevitable that they would have to kick some kids out. Despite assurances to the contrary, the district did just that, non-renewing nearly three dozen students who had been open enrolled and attending in the district for years. An extremely predictable stink arose and last week the school board was forced to retreat, reinstating all the kicked-out students who wanted to return, although honestly those parents and kids have got to wonder if they are really welcome there or if they are “just business”. (Willoughby News Herald)
  2. There’s not much play on this story outside of Columbus yet, but editors at the Big D are waxing enthusiastic over Franklin County’s latest Straight A innovation fund grant winners. (Columbus Dispatch)
  3. The Education Tax Policy Institute in Columbus has released a new report that says the tax burden in Ohio has shifted significantly since the early 1990s from businesses onto farmers and homeowners, all to the detriment of school districts and local governments. Much hay is being made over this report by the usual suspects. Here are a few examples. First up, the PD, where the emphasis is on the effect of tax burden changes on the ability of districts to pass levies. (Cleveland Plain Dealer) And in Butler County, the story is less about schools but instead gets down to brass tacks – less miles of road fixed up because of cuts to Ohio’s local government fund. (Middletown Journal-News). Finally, in the Blade, we get a pretty good history lesson on tax policies at the state level which have had a negative effect on cities and school districts, seemingly indicting every governor of every party since 1976. (Toledo Blade)
  4. Despite the slowing of the state funding spigot as noted above, Toledo Public Schools Superintendent Romules Durant has much to say about successes in his district this past year. (Toledo Blade)
  5. A Mandarin-language program in little old Newark has won plaudits from the Chinese government. (Newark Advocate)
Jeff Murray
Jeff Murray is the Ohio Operations Manager of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute,