College applications deadlines are approaching, and Ohio students are figuring out how to fund that education. Compared with several years ago, financial aid is down, and student debt is up.
The total budget for need-based aid in the state of Ohio peaked in 2008 at $183 million, while the 2013 budget is just $86 million. Budget cuts in 2009 are responsible for a lot of that change. And while federal Pell Grant funding has increased dramatically, that growth has been outpaced by increases in tuition and living costs.
The executive director of Ohio’s largest teachers union, the Ohio Education Association, will retire at the end of this year after more than 40 years working with teachers unions in Ohio and other states.
Larry Wicks has served as the Ohio union’s executive director since 2008. He led the successful 2011 campaign to repeal Senate Bill 5, which would have limited public sector collective bargaining. Continue Reading →
He says the Common Core emphasis on nonfiction in particular is changing expectations of children’s writers.
“Fiction is the bread and butter of most of us and now they want us to write nonfiction, which I don’t know how I’m going to do that,” says Buckley “What I fear is that we’re so dedicated to making testing the priority that books and the love of books, there’s just no time for it.“
Today a grand jury indicted four Steubenville current and former school employees and volunteers on charges related to the rape of a teenage girl last year. The charges relate to impeding the investigation into the rape, failing to report child abuse and other accusations.
Steubenville Superintendent Michael McVey faces five counts, including tampering with evidence and obstructing justice.
The other people indicted include Matthew Belardine, a former volunteer assistant football coach; Seth Fluharty, an assistant wrestling coach and special education teacher; and Lynnett Gorman, the principal of West Elementary.
Not included in today’s announcement was Steubenville Head Football Coach Reno Saccoccia. Many had expected to hear something about the famed longtime coach because his name came up during trial testimony in March.
Testimony and text messages during the trial of two the athletes indicated that Saccoccia, referred to by “Big Red” football fans as “Coach Reno” was aware of the rape allegations shortly after they surfaced and before they were reported to police. The text messages read in court from Mays, who was 16 at the time, and a quarterback for the team indicated the coach was aware of the allegations. The text read: “I got Reno. He took care of it and shit ain’t gonna happen, even if they did take it to court. Like he was joking about it so I’m not worried.”
Four people were indicted today on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money in connection with a scheme to defraud a Cleveland Heights charter school out of more than $400,000. The charter school, Greater Heights Academy, closed abruptly in 2008 amid questions about unpaid bills.
The school had previously been overseen, or “sponsored,” by the Ashe Culture Center. The state Board of Education revoked Ashe’s authority to sponsor charter schools in 2011.
Indictments on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money were handed down against Joel B. Friedman, 65, of Mayfield Heights; Jeffrey A. Pope, 46, of Bowie, Md.; Marianne Stefanik, 64, of Parma, and Virgil B. Holley, 51, of Cleveland Heights.
Friedman served as chairman of Greater Heights Academy, a charter school located in Cleveland Heights. Stefanik worked as Friedman’s secretary at the school. Pope operated a consulting business in Maryland known as R&D International. Holley worked for Friedman at the charter school in various capacities, including starting Holley Enterprises to provide security at the school.
A 4-3 ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court won’t restore the job of former Mount Vernon science teacher John Freshwater, who was fired in 2011 after a student complained the teacher used a device called a Tesla coil to make a mark on his arm in the shape of a cross.
But the ruling may be a disappointment to some because of what it didn’t say.
Researcher Howard Fleeter is taking on a big and controversial issue – school spending.
Fleeter, a consultant for the Education Tax Policy Institute who specializes in school funding, recently developed a new formula he says would give the state a more accurate look at how each district spends their funds.
Earlier this year, James McCord resigned as superintendent of Virtual Community School of Ohio, an online charter school sponsored by the Reynoldsburg school district that is facing financial and management troubles — such as suspected nepotism . The school also faces federal censure after failing to properly educate students with disabilities.
McCord went on to open eight new charter schools this school year, all managed by a for-profit company he founded. Those schools closed last month–after collecting more than $1 million in state funds.
By the time the Olympus schools closed, one had only four confirmed students; another had five; another, six. In all, the eight schools had a total of 128 students show up.
In a way, McCord’s venture was no different from many start-up companies that don’t make it, except for one thing: Ohio taxpayers helped fund this business failure. The state paid Olympus schools about $1.2 million, most of it for students it couldn’t confirm received schooling, the state Department of Education said.
A bill introduced earlier this month by state Sen. Randy Gardner, a Republican from Bowling Green, would change the new teacher evaluation system. It would allow teachers to be evaluated less frequently and have less of their evaluation based on their students’ academic growth.
Former Miami University President James Garland led successful efforts to recruit more out-of-state students to Miami University by marketing the public college as a market “a kind of elite public university.” Those efforts included using merit aid and borrowing heavy to upgrade the school’s recreational facilities and dorms.
But he tells Pro Publica that while those efforts paid off for Miami University financially, they had a downside. Garland says he wishes he had been more aware of how things like installing climbing walls in gyms and serving sushi in dining halls can hurt a school’s academic rigor and standards.
I just think there’s a movement these days among universities that are able to do this, to turn themselves into country clubs. But inevitably that comes at expense of academic rigor and the quality of the academic program.
In my tenure we certainly contributed to this trend. And there’s a price you pay for that. For every dollar you put into building a student sports facility –- workout rooms and exercise rooms and squash courts and things of that sort — every dollar you put into that is a dollar you’re not spending on improving classrooms or paying your professors a high enough wage that you can recruit from higher up in job pool…
The problematic thing is that it loads the universities up with debt and with everyone doing it, the competitive advantage of doing it is quickly lost. If everyone is trying to recruit from the same pool of students, then there are no winners. Everyone just spends a lot of money and gets the same number of students.