The highest ranking Democratic member of the House Education Committee, Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), today responded to a New York Times article which reported that “more students drop out of the Electronic Classroom (of Tomorrow) or fail to finish high school within four years than at any other school in the country."
“Today’s report confirms what so many of us in Ohio already know: failing charter schools continue to defraud taxpayers while our children fall further behind. Story after story from journalists in Ohio and throughout the country detail deep problems within Ohio’s charter school industry, yet the state refuses to take serious action,” Fedor said. “How many generations of kids must we fail before politicians find the political courage to crack down on profiteers that peddle broken promises to our taxpayers, parents, teachers and children?”
The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is Ohio’s largest online charter school and was founded by William Lager, a software executive with subsidiary education companies that took in nearly $23 million in tax dollars for providing ECOT services in 2014. ECOT received about $115 million in tax dollars that year.
State Rep. and Ohio Democratic Women’s Caucus President Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), State Rep. and Vice Chair Greta Johnson (D-Akron) and members of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus today gathered with women from across the state to discuss and lobby for policy solutions to challenges Ohio women and families face.
State Rep. Kevin Boyce (D-Columbus) last week provided sponsor testimony on House Bill 538, legislation to require cultural competency training for all deputy registrars and their employees in the state. The new training program, which will include education on the proper evaluation of documentation for obtaining a driver’s license, will help prevent legal immigrants from being improperly denied when applying for a driver’s license or state ID.
State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) today announced the release of $100,000 in state funds to the University of Toledo (UT) for their Technology Validation and Start-up Fund project. The project provides grants to transition technology developed by UT into the marketplace.
The Ohio Legislative Black Caucus (OLBC) today called on Governor John Kasich to veto House Bill 180, saying the legislation to ban local hiring goals will disproportionately harm African American workers and minority communities while jeopardizing infrastructure projects in Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and Cleveland.
State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) joined U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9th District) and federal officials at the White House this week to discuss the importance of filling the Supreme Court vacancy created by the passing of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The Lorain lawmaker highlighted House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 34, state-level legislation he recently introduced urging the U.S. Senate to consider President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Appeals Court Judge Merrick Garland.
State Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) introduced legislation last week to create the STEM Degree Loan Program, a state-level loan repayment plan aimed at keeping graduates working in Ohio after earning degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
State Rep. Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) and State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) this week introduced a resolution urging all state employees and officials to refrain from engaging in nonessential official state travel to North Carolina. The resolution comes in response to the passage of the controversial bathroom access law in North Carolina that critics, and now the U.S. Department of Justice, say allows discrimination against LGBT individuals.
COLUMBUS— State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) today announced the Count the Votes Act, a bill to end the practice of throwing out ballots for trivial and technical reasons. In the last presidential election, over 47,000 ballots were thrown out. Rejection rates in elections since then have gotten worse.
Ohio House Democratic legislators today voted against the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 152, saying legislation to ban local hiring standards and restrict project labor agreements (PLAs) for public works projectswill handcuff decision-making authority of local communities and send Ohio jobs out of state.
“Project labor agreements are a proven tool to ensure fair wages and quality work help complete projects on time and under budget. In addition, PLAs can include local hiring benchmarks that help strengthen the local economy by providing opportunities to workers from the community,” said House Minority Leader Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Undercutting existing laws will negatively affect major construction projects in the future by sewing confusion and destabilizing project bids, budgets and timelines.”
In 2002, the Ohio Supreme Court struck down state laws prohibiting a public entity from requiring project labor agreements for local projects. Republicans are doubling-down on the attempt to restrict PLAs with an amendment added at the last minute to SB 152 Tuesday morning that will prohibit project labor agreements from being required on any public works projects receiving state funds.
The lawmakers also objected to provisions of SB 152 that prohibit communities from setting local hiring standards on public construction projects. Some Ohio communities use local hiring standards on publicly financed projects as a way to strengthen local workforce participation and, in turn, strengthen local economies. Urban areas typically have higher unemployment rates than the national average, making the decision to hire local even more impactful for improving the job market in urban areas.
“This is a devastating blow to local communities which have