1. Spectrum News 1 visited our conference room a while back to ask Chad some questions about the possible expansion of vouchers in Ohio. The resulting piece is pretty good, although several of his finer points on school funding ended up on the cutting room floor. More odd stalker-y video of private schools (and a charter school for some reason) help fill out the run time. The print version is even less nuanced. (Spectrum News 1, 7/8/19)
  2. Back in the real world, nearly half of the applicants for interdistrict open enrollment slots for the 2019-20 school year were rejected by the elected board of Vermilion Local Schools, mainly due to maxed out classrooms in certain popular grades. While this is a good problem to have for the Vermilionaires (for surely that is what they are called), and while it was likely greeted by high fives at the various districts suddenly and miraculously NOT losing another bunch of kids to Vermilion, it of course sucks for the families who wanted in and didn’t make it. Let’s hope that the districts whose families are leaving—or who want to leave but can’t—will seize this as an opportunity to find out what those families actually want and try to provide it. (The Morning Journal, 7/8/18)
  3. As we have pointed out regularly here, there are so many avenues of ongoing attack against the state’s academic distress paradigm for turning around persistently sucky school districts that it is difficult to keep track of them all. Luckily, we have intrepid and invested journalists to help out. Case in point, even though legislation could change the entire academic distress paradigm any moment now, the Chronicle tells us that lawyers are still raking in their fees prepping for battle in the state Supreme Court. This week, oral arguments in that case were set for October. Lots of irony in the quotes here, but I especially love this little coda at the end: The case will be heard not in Columbus, but in Williams County in the farthest northwest corner of the state. This is due to the supremes’ Off-Site Court Program which is designed to bring state government out to the people and to “offer educational opportunities for high school students and residents” in the visited areas. Ironic, right? (Elyria Chronicle, 7/10/19)
  4. Speaking of intrepid and invested journalists, the online news outlet ProPublica announced this week that it is planning on taking over for the departing Vindicator in Youngstown. They will be funding a single journalist on site for a year. Why? They explain themselves in this piece, but the upshot is that Youngstown is important to them. Prospective Woodwards and Bernsteins must apply for the gig and the ProPublicans (for surely that is what they are called) will choose their favorite. The current state efforts at turning around the Youngstown City Schools is just one of the topics ProPublica suggests as worthy of coverage. Hmmm… Wonder if I should apply? (ProPublica, 7/8/19)

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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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