Education

Liberty Local Schools / Facebook

Of the 600-plus public school districts in Ohio, more than three-quarters have open enrollment policies. That means they accept and educate students who live outside of their district boundaries.

Fake news. Record-low voting turnout. Frequent and false claims from elected officials. Vitriol in many corners of political debate.

These are symptoms we hear of all the time that our democracy is not so healthy.

And those factors might be why many states are turning to the traditional — and obvious — place where people learn how government is supposed to work: schools. More than half of the states in their last legislative sessions — 27 to be exact — have considered bills or other proposals to expand the teaching of civics.

Trump administration lawyers are defending their new rules on how campuses should handle cases of sexual assault. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued the new guidance last fall after scrapping Obama-era rules that she said were forcing schools to violate the due process rights of the accused. Survivors' advocates filed a federal lawsuit shortly after, arguing DeVos' replacement guidelines discriminate against accusers and discourage them from reporting assaults.

Rachael McRae, a fifth-grade teacher in central Illinois, was sitting on the couch the other day with her 4-month-old when she saw the email.

"He was having a fussy day," she says, "so I was bouncing him in one arm, and started going through my emails on my phone, just to feel like I was getting something done." In her spam folder, she found an email from an organization called My Pay, My Say, urging her to drop her union membership.

Debbie Holmes / WOSU

Farmer Mark Van Fleet started growing vegetables at Harriet Gardens on Columbus’ South Side two years ago. He came to this once-vacant lot with about a decade of experience in gardening.

Crowdfunding Classrooms

Jul 18, 2018
Flickr

Teachers in Ohio often spend their own money to outfit classrooms. As costs rise and budgets shrink, many teachers have turned to online fundraising, or crowdfunding, attracting outside support for education.

The popular DonorsChoose.org crowdfunding website, for example, has raised funds for more than a million projects since 2000 and currently hosts more than 2,000 initiatives for Ohio alone. 

A new report from the Ohio Auditor's office, however, recommends school districts adopt policies that regulate the online fundraising.

Ohioans who want to learn new job skills will soon have the chance to do that through the state’s public libraries.

A classroom at Cleveland's John Hay High School.
Ashton Marra / Ideastream

Ohio Board of Education members will wait until the fall to consider a resolution that proposes some drastic changes to the state report cards for schools and school districts. A delay on the resolution doesn’t mean the end of discussions about potential modifications.

James Family Foundation / Facebook

LeBron James is taking his NBA career out west next season, officially signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night. But in northeast Ohio, James’ philanthropic endeavors will continue.

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