Julie Carr Smyth

Superintendents from Appalachian Ohio say the governor's state budget doesn't share enough of Ohio's economic good fortune with their schools and children. Members of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools told state lawmakers and reporters Tuesday they are disappointed that the administration's new school-funding formula leaves many of their districts worse off than before. The superintendent of Federal Hocking schools in Athens County said it would be different if Ohio were "still headed down the road to economic ruin." But he said Gov.

A powerful legislative panel has rebuffed a Democratic state representative's effort to put a temporary halt to some state development spending amid a dispute involving Gov. John Kasich's private job-creation entity, JobsOhio. Ohio Democratic Party Chairman and state Rep. Chris Redfern questioned the spending requests for the Ohio Department of Development or Ohio Development Services Agency ahead of Controlling Board approval of the items on Monday.

A fellow Republican state official has come out against Gov. John Kasich's proposed tax increase on drillers. Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel tells a meeting of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association he believes the governor's proposal to increase the severance tax stands to scare away Ohio oil and gas investment at a critical time. Mandel's remarks Thursday mark the second time in under a month he has bucked the governor on a major policy issue. In February, Mandel sent a letter to state legislators urging them to reject Kasich's proposal to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law.

School administrators around the country are getting into trouble for improperly pulling or adding students to their rosters. When it involves fixing data, it's called "scrubbing." And it's rife with temptations: rosier district report cards, added funding and sometimes employee bonuses when performance improves. In Texas, a former superintendent was imprisoned for conspiring to remove low-performing students from classrooms, boosting test averages. Principals in Oklahoma City and St. Louis, Mo., are no longer in their jobs following accusations of attendance manipulation.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's plan to tax lawyers, lobbyists and accountants is fraught with potential potholes. That includes hurdles to implementation, hidden business impacts, and almost guaranteed political opposition from targets of the tax. On the day his budget was unveiled, Kasich conceded that lobbyists - experts on legislative negotiating - would probably try to get the tax on their industry pulled out of Ohio's budget bill.

Gov. John Kasich proposed a sweeping budget Monday that reduces state income and small business taxes through increases in other areas, boosts school funding and expands Medicaid services with help from the federal government. The Republican governor said the $63.1 billion, two-year spending blueprint represents "the right mix" of supporting economic development and helping the needy. "That's the hallmark of this administration," he said. "It's not enough that some people can do well.

Ohio's governor is proposing a school-funding overhaul he says will help poor districts compete more evenly while introducing changes to promote innovation and performance. The plan unveiled by Republican John Kasich Thursday is focused on giving all students the resources to succeed. Kasich's funding plan would boost districts that are lagging in property values and household incomes. Kasich education advisers say no schools will see reduced funding next year under the current formula, and overall funding will rise.

Ohio's high court has agreed to settle a key legal question regarding the new private economic development entity created by Republican Gov. John Kasich: Do opponents have grounds to sue? So far, lower courts have rejected a legal challenge to JobsOhio brought by a liberal policy group and two Democratic state lawmakers. They've stopped short of ruling on the constitutionality of the nonprofit jobs-creation board, instead saying the parties can't show harm and so don't have standing to sue.

The chief advocate of a blocked Ohio bill that would impose the tightest abortion restriction in the nation vowed Wednesday to use a legislative maneuver to try to force a vote before year's end despite the Senate president's opposition. Janet Folger Porter, president of the conservative action group Faith2Action, said she'll work to collect 17 Republican signatures on a discharge petition, which can be used to force the so-called "heartbeat bill" out of a committee and onto the floor.

The Ohio Supreme Court let stand a newly drawn state legislative map Tuesday in a defeat for Democrats. In a 4-3 ruling, the divided high court upheld the map approved last year on grounds that Ohio's Constitution does not require political neutrality in the process. Democrats, who brought the challenge on behalf of a group of voters, had argued the five-member Ohio Apportionment Board intentionally sought political advantage with the maps as prohibited in the constitution, in a maneuver known as gerrymandering.

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