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Legislation would ensure public money is used for students, classrooms and teachers
September 15, 2014
Lawmakers Seek Regulations on Charter Schools' Use of Tax Dollars for Lobbying, Self-promotion

State Reps. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) and Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) held a press conference today outlining proposed legislation to protect Ohio students and taxpayer dollars. The lawmakers’ bill would prohibit for-profit public charter schools from using state funds for lobbying purposes or public relations activities.

Currently, for-profit charter schools, which received over $1 billion from the state last year, can use this state funding to pay for lobbying events, consulting costs and public relations campaigns. The bill proposed by the Democratic legislators today would prevent public charter schools from using state funding for these purposes.

“As stewards of taxpayer dollars, it is our responsibility as legislators to ensure that state funding is spent in a responsible manner,” said Rep. Foley. “The funding is sent to public schools for the purpose of educating Ohio students, not for lobbying luncheons or television commercials. While charter schools are certainly welcome to lobby legislators or organize supporters with outside funds, they should not subsidize these activities with tax dollars meant for students and teachers.”

The Democratic lawmakers also highlighted the low performance of for-profit charter schools in Ohio, pointing to recent school report card data that shows 62 percent of charter schools’ report card grades are a “D” or “F” according to an analysis by the policy think-tank Innovation Ohio. The state has closed several public charter schools in recent months due to underperformance and mismanagement.

“These public charter schools should me focusing more on providing a high-quality education to their students and less on generating revenue,” said Rep. Hagan. “If these for-profit charter schools were truly effective at teaching our kids, they wouldn’t need to spend money on advert

 
 

COLUMBUS– State Reps. Robert F. Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D-Parma), legislative members of the state’s Correctional Institution Inspection Committee, today released the following joint statement on Thursday night’s escape of three prisoners from the Allen County Correctional Facility:

 “The escape of three prisoners last night raises serious safety and procedural concerns regarding the administration of Ohio’s correctional facilities. Unfortunately, Thursday’s incident is just the most recent example in a troubling trend of prison mismanagement that ranges from overcrowding to pest-infested food, understaffing, general inmate unrest and jailbreaks. It is becoming clear that our state’s corrections department is failing to live up to safety and security standards expected by the general public.”

 
 
Ask DeWine for same access to legal representation as GOP members
September 10, 2014

House Democratic Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard (D-Columbus) sent a letter today to Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine requesting representation from the AG’s office or approved outside counsel for Democratic members seeking to intervene in the NAACP v. Husted early voting case. 

 
 
Notes past triumphs, calls for renewed efforts to protect political fairness
August 28, 2014
 
Lawmakers stress the right to vote, equal pay still a goal
August 26, 2014

Today, Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair and State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery) reflected on and celebrated national Women’s Equality Day.

 
 
Highlights need for further progress on path to gender equality
August 18, 2014
 
House Bill 609 would help protect consumers from dubious loan practices, lawmaker says
August 12, 2014

State Representative Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) on Monday introduced House Bill 609, legislation prohibiting predatory auto-title lending in Ohio.