Education

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state says the now-closed Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) still owes tens of millions of dollars for students it didn’t have but was paid to educate. Last year, an audit of what was the state’s largest online charter school was turned over to the Franklin County Prosecutor and the federal government for possible criminal charges. 

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) requested a federal investigation into what happened at ECOT. So that’s stopped his work for now.

STAN HYWET HALL & GARDENS

Akron Public Schools’ Superintendent David James gave his annual State of the Schools address Thursday. He highlighted the district’s academic successes this year and plans for the future, including a partnership for what he’s calling “field trips on steroids.”

Housing Authority Partners to Offer Free Internet Access

Feb 27, 2019
a photo of computer on a table
BART EVERSON / FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

Akron students who live in subsidized housing will be able to access the internet when they're at home under a new initiative.  

The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority has partnered with Sprint to offer WiFi to residents. 

Sprint will provide 235 hotspots for AMHA, according to community relations manager Joan Davidson. She said they will specifically target public school children of all ages who have access to Chromebooks.

photo of Concrete Canoe Team
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Engineering students at the University of Akron spent the weekend making a canoe – out of concrete.

Two-dozen civil engineering majors got up early Saturday morning to pack specially formulated concrete into a 19-foot mold for the canoe, which took 2,000 hours to create.  It’s part of the school’s decades-long participation in the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Concrete Canoe competition.

KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Teachers continue to picket outside a Parma charter school run by Akron based Summit Academy Management. Summit Academy is the only unionized school in the Ohio charter system, and the first where teachers have gone on strike.

Negotiations broke down Saturday.

Intervention Specialist Mike Meyers says the teachers want the school to operate the way it claims it does. 

Study Finds Ohio Charter School Performance Is Not Improving

Feb 20, 2019
photo of charter school advocates
ANDY CHOW / OHIO PUBLIC RADIO

A new study has found Ohio charter school students aren’t measuring up to their traditional school peers.

The report from the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University shows Ohio charter school students had weaker academic progress in math than traditional students. They showed similar results in reading.

The study finds the growth is even weaker for online charter students.          

Lordstown Schools -- message rock
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Lordstown school officials plan to hold quarterly financial meetings with the community as they anticipate a loss of funds when the GM plant shuts down in March. The situation could bring changes for students and staff.

Lordstown Local Schools Superintendent Terry Armstrong said the district could lose hundreds of thousands of dollars if General Motors' property tax is lowered due to the shutdown.

After 20 days, the faculty union strike at Wright State University has ended.

With the help of a federal mediator, union and administration negotiators reached a tentative agreement late Sunday night.

Details of the deal have not yet been released, but union leaders said early Monday the agreement allows them to negotiate future healthcare plans – a major sticking point in prior contract discussions.

Democratic state lawmakers and state education officials are weighing in on the faculty union strike at Wright State University, 18 days after professors walked off the job.

At a press conference at the Ohio Statehouse Friday morning, union leaders asked Governor Mike DeWine to intervene in the contract dispute. Earlier this week, DeWine said he was monitoring the situation, but had no plans to step in.

Thirty rural Ohio school districts will partner with a Harvard research center to improve student outcomes. The districts will work with Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research, or CEPR, to reduce chronic absenteeism and promote college readiness and enrollment. 

photo of Curtis Vex robot
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

A team of high school students from Akron will be competing this year to be crowned robotics world champions.

Malone University Pioneers helmet
MALONE UNIVERSITY WEBSITE

Canton’s Malone University is dropping football. In announcing the move, school president David King said it will help the private liberal arts institution eliminate an operating deficit. 

King’s chief of staff is Tim Bryan. He says with a $2.5 million dollar budget shortfall projected for the university, the million dollar a year football program became a logical cut. “It’s part of a larger restructuring, and we’ve been having budget conversations since late fall in anticipation of a February board meeting.”

photo of high school hallway
DOM ERNEST L. GOMEZ / SHUTTERSTOCK

Charter school advocates are calling on lawmakers to bump up their funding for facilities. They say the money now going to charters falls well below what they need. But critics say more changes should be made before a funding increase.

Wright State University’s faculty union strike could affect the school’s credit rating if it continues much longer, according to an analyst for Moody’s Investor Services. A lower credit rating could make it more difficult for Wright State to take out loans.

Only two years ago, Moody’s lowered Wright State’s credit rating three notches from A2 to Baa2. At the time, analysts said the school’s, “severe financial deterioration in a short period of time," led to the downgrade.

Despite the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in Ohio, many colleges and universities continue to ban any forms of medical marijuana on campus.

It’s been nearly a week since members of Wright State University’s faculty union walked off the job. Now, union and administration officials are reporting they’re optimistic a deal to end the strike will be reached soon.

Union and university representatives say they made progress on a new contract deal during a four-hour meeting Sunday. It was the first time the two parties met since the strike began.

A photo of a drawstring bag marked with Say Yes Buffalo
EILEEN BUCKLEY / WBFO

Beginning February 4th, students from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be able to apply for college scholarships through "Say Yes Cleveland," a new effort to ensure all city students have the opportunity for post-secondary education. Cleveland is the fourth community wide chapter of the New York City-based "Say Yes to Education." One of the other chapters is in Buffalo.

In the past two and a half years, staff members at Wright State, who are not unionized, have experienced major budget cuts, changes to their benefits, and several rounds of layoffs. Now, as the faculty union strike enters its second day, the university is relying on them to cover for striking professors.

STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A new study by advocates for school choice shows charter schools in urban areas are underfunded. The group is making the case at the same time Gov. Mike DeWine and lawmakers are coming up with a new two-year state budget.

Chad Aldis with the Fordham Institute says the study found the state is not funding charter schools in Ohio’s so called Big 8 public school districts properly.

Hundreds of members of Wright State’s faculty union walked off the job Tuesday. The university's chapter of the American Association of University Professors union announced its intent to strike earlier this month after contract talks stalled.

With temperatures hovering in the teens, about 100 students chanted as they marched across Wright State’s campus to join professors on the picket lines.

A newly formed pro-union student group called WSU Students for Faculty organized the march.

More than 500 members of Wright State’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors are set to walk off the job Tuesday unless a contract deal is reached before then. The strike is the culmination of more than two years of failed contract negotiations.

The winners of this year's state oratory contest got a bit political in their speeches, referencing the Flint water crisis, police-involved shootings and NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem.

Thousands of high school graduates in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District could receive scholarships for college or vocational training thanks to a multi-million dollar program announced Friday.

BOB CHRISTY / KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State is remembering a pioneer in the campaign for LGBTQ rights.  The university has announced that Dolores Noll has died at the age of 88.

photo of Xyla Foxlin and Beauty and the Bolt team members
BEAUTY AND THE BOLT

A group of Case Western Reserve University student entrepreneurs are headed to one of the biggest consumer technology trade shows in the world. 

Nearly three dozen students, alumni and Case Western staff were picked for the annual CES trade show, which features thousands of tech companies and start-ups from around the world.  

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