1. As befits a school with a long-standing and storied journalism school (hi Kaleigh!), Ohio University—Athens seems to have a wide variety of outlets for publishing news content. Here is one—new to me—that is entirely student run, independent from the university itself, and focused on politics from College Green to Statehouse Square. In it this week, our own Chad Aldis was quoted on the history of charter schools in Ohio. Political, sure. But new? (The New Political, Athens, 3/20/19) 
  2. Speaking far flung college towns, vouchers have come to Bowling Green, Ohio. Some folks (parents) seem pretty pleased with the new option. Some folks (supe) do not. Aspersions are cast upon report cards, testing, and even the safe harbor that likely kept BG from being in this position two or three years ago. There’s no pleasing some folks I guess. (Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune, 3/20/19)
  3. Longtime Gadfly Bites subscribers (have we hit seven now? Double digits here I come!) will recall that the “state takeover” process academic distress paradigm that many across the state are up in arms about currently has a predecessor which has been around for many years. It is called “fiscal emergency” and, while perhaps perceived more benignly than the academic version, its contours should look mighty familiar. Niles City Schools in Northeast Ohio is the latest in a long line of districts to fall under the state’s “fiscal emergency” protocol due to persistent debt projections and, significantly, a set of books that has been deemed “unauditable” by the new state auditor. The folks in Niles seem a bit recalcitrant at the moment, but they are also wondering what’s taking so long for the members of the fiscal emergency panel—designed to allow the state to help the district cut (or not spend) their way out of debt—to be named by the Ohio Department of Education. I am, as they are, wondering what could be causing the delay? Probably just busy with other things. (Youngstown Vindicator, 3/22/19)
  4. Where in the World is Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer? Visiting a charter school in the Constellation Schools charter school system to celebrate the charter school’s students after a set of unprecedented athletic victories for the charter school. Nice. I added all those references to “charter school” (you noticed, right?) in my write up because the reporter specifically forgot to mention it anywhere in the piece. (The Morning Journal, 3/21/19) Where in the World is Lorain School Board President Tony Demacchia? I imagine him looking in a mirror, practicing his diction exercises and getting ready for his close up as he joins the witness list to roast the law that sharpened Ohio’s academic distress paradigm in court. (Elyria Chronicle, 3/22/19)
  5. Finally today: lucky seven! Teachers at Summit Academy Painesville this week became the seventh set of charter school teachers to unionize in Ohio. (The News-Herald, 3/21/19)

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Jeff Murray is a lifelong resident of central Ohio. He previously worked at School Choice Ohio and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. He has two degrees from the Ohio State University. He lives in the Clintonville neighborhood with his wife and twin daughters. He is proud every day to support the Fordham mission to help make excellent education options more numerous and more readily available for families and…

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