Education

a photo of a school bus
PEXELS

With just over a month left until school starts, some districts are still trying to find bus drivers.

William Andexler is the coordinator of transportation at Akron Public Schools. He said, in his own district and elsewhere, they’ve recruited drivers from anywhere they could.

“I’ve had people in the [Akron Public Schools] Board office get their Commercial Driver's Licenses to drive students. So all the districts are really creative on how we get the students home,” he said.

a photo of a school hallway
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

As the state considers changing the school takeover model for struggling districts, a group is calling on lawmakers to make sure students and school leaders of color are represented. The group says local experts need to be part of the conversation.

Academic Distress Commissions are designed to take over failing school districts from the local school boards by handing control to an appointed CEO.

A photo of Torsten Hegmann at a podium
ELLA ABBOTT / WKSU

Following a national search, Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute found its new director right on campus.

The university introduced Torsten Hegmann today at an event that included several department heads. Hegmann has been at Kent since 2011 and an assistant director of the institute for the past year.

Kent State President, Todd Diacon, said he expects Hegmann to be a collaborative leader.

A photo of George Wood and Ted Strickland
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A school district in southeast Ohio flipped the switch on its new solar energy installation, officially bringing in 70% of its energy from the renewable source. School officials hope more local districts follow their lead.

  

Federal Hocking Local Schools turned on its solar power array, generating about 700 kilowatts through nearly 2,000 solar panels on the roof of the connected middle and high school buildings. The district said the move can be a good educational opportunity for students.

The Ohio State University plans to increase tuition for incoming freshmen students, according to a plan going before university trustees on Wednesday.

A photo of Representative Bob Cupp
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

School administrators are looking through the latest estimates from a new school-funding formula proposal. While many lawmakers and some larger education groups have come out to support the plan, there are individual school districts that are still not on board. 

photo of Diacon in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design
/ KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

When Kent State University president Beverly Warren announced she’d be stepping down this year after five years in office, the school conducted a national search. But it turned out, they didn't go far. The University’s Board of Trustees ultimately chose Provost and Executive Vice President Todd Diacon to succeed Warren. July 1 is his first day on the job. We sat down with Diacon to talk about his priorities and how they align with those of the outgoing president.

Picture of Kent State President Beverly J. Warren.
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University president Beverly Warren’s last day on the job is this Sunday. Warren is stepping down after five years leading the university.  We sat down with her to talk about her tenure as the university’s 12th president. 

A photo of the Kent State brain sculpture
MICHAEL DERR / FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

According to recent studies, depression continues to increase year-to-year in the college population. Kent State is working to expand counseling services for students.

The university wants to add a $20 fee next year to support increasing the number of mental health counselors on campus.

Senior Vice President Mark Palatajko said the goal is to create a ratio of about 1,300 students to each counselor. Currently, the university has one counselor for every 3,300 students.

The Ohio State Board of Education is expanding its social-emotional learning standards to include all students.

Department of Education implemented standards for children in kindergarten through third grade starting in 2012, to build skills in five areas, including self-awareness and decision making. The new standards now include all students, through 12th grade.

a photo of the Kent campus
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

After more than a year of negotiations, a new contract is now in place for members of the Kent State faculty union.

The University Board of Trustees unanimously approved the contract at a meeting Wednesday. The faculty union had ratified it earlier in June.

University President-elect Todd Diacon, who takes over Monday, welcomed the decision.

“And we know that the source of our strength as an institution is the quality of our faculty. And for that reason, we’re especially thankful that we have our new contract.”

a photo of Eric Resnick
THE OHIO CHANNEL

A group of Canton city school leaders joined others from around the state in Columbus Wednesday to speak out against school district takeovers by academic distress commissions.

In its version of the state budget, the Senate restored the commissions despite the House decision to eliminate them.

Canton school board member Eric Resnick urged the governor to reject the takeovers which he says have failed to improve results for students and taken control from locally elected leaders.   

photo of students at school
ASHTON MARRA / WCPN

The Senate's budget includes a set of high school graduation requirements that could settle that issue, which the state has been struggling with for years. The proposal in the budget comes from a coalition of business groups, school districts and a charter schools organization.

Graduation Requirement Changes Included In Senate Budget

Jun 21, 2019

The Ohio Senate unanimously approved a two-year, $69 billion budget Thursday that includes new high school graduation requirements.

Beginning with the class of 2023, Ohio high school students would need to pass tests for Algebra I and English II instead of the previous seven tests required to graduate.

Students also would have to earn two diploma seals in areas like job readiness or community service.

Historic Oberlin College Building
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The attorney who represented an Oberlin merchant in a successful lawsuit against Oberlin College expects the school to fight a $44 million dollar jury award. 

Lee Plakas sued the college on behalf of the Gibson family, which owns Gibson’s Bakery

Ohio's two historically black colleges are neighbors, both about an hour southwest of Columbus. But they are considering getting even closer by merging some operations.

Wilberforce University President Elfred Anthony Pinkard is calling this a "Collaborative Learning Arrangement" and "shared services relationship" with Central State University.

photo of East CLC
EAST CLC

The GAR Foundation is helping teachers in Akron expose students to career opportunities through the new college and career academies.

GAR is providing a half-million dollar grant to support teacher development, student leadership and communications.

stock photo of graduates
SYDA / SHUTTERSTOCK

Some high schools throughout Ohio have decided not to name valedictorians at graduation. But one state lawmaker is proposing a bill that would require schools to name at least one valedictorian or salutatorian. 

State Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) is proposing a bill that would allow districts to determine the criteria, but require at least one valedictorian. He said it would create competition.

a photo of Tri-C
Cuyahoga Community College / Instagram

Tri-C is opening a new center Tuesday in response to the growing need from the trucking industry. The Transportation Innovation Center will serve as the school’s new home for training the next generation of truckers. The facilities include interactive classrooms and a driving simulator. William Gary is executive vice president of the college’s Workforce Community and Economic Development division. He said the center meets the demands of the supply chain.

photo of National Inventors Hall of Fame School
GOOGLE EARTH

Volunteers from Goodyear will begin work Monday constructing an escape room that requires Akron Public School students to use STEM skills to find a way out.

A photo of an empty desk and chairs in a classroom
DAN KONIK

Dozens of people lined up to voice their opposition to state takeovers of local school districts. The so-called Academic Distress Commission has been under fire for years, and the Senate is considering legislation that could repeal and replace it.

Teachers, administrators and parents stood before the Senate Education Committee to support abolishing academic distress commissions and replacing them with community learning centers.

The first state takeover was in 2015 in Youngstown.

A photo of the Lyceum news conference
ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM

A conservative Christian organization and a Catholic school have dropped their lawsuit against an Ohio city for its law protecting against LGBTQ discrimination.

The Alliance Defending Freedom was representing the Lyceum School against South Euclid’s non-discrimination ordinance, which the school said might threaten its teachings on marriage and gender. The school had claimed there were First Amendment issues involved, but the city’s Keith Benjamin says this is a civil rights issue.

A photo of Senator Bill Coley
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A state senator is touting a new program that helps connect young people with employers. And it also pays for college. Lawmakers say this can play a critical role in college affordability and workforce development.

Miami University’s Hamilton Campus is partnering with local employers. Together they will take in 50 students who can pursue any major they want while working part-time for one of the companies.

In turn the companies will pay a wage, pay tuition, and provide supportive housing.

William Dean Howells was born in Martinsville, Ohio, in 1837 and went on to become a significant literary figure, earning the nickname the "Dean of American Letters." A novelist, critic, playwright and editor of The Atlantic Monthly, Howells forged friendships with the likes of Mark Twain, Henry James and Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

photo of Matthew Wilson
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Matt Wilson officially marks his last day on the job as a member of the University of Akron (UA) faculty on May 31.  Wilson, the former president of the university, is leaving to take the job of president at Missouri Western State University.  We sat down with Wilson to talk about his unexpected turn as UA's president following the short and troubled tenure of Scott Scarborough. 

Pages