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Lt. Gov. Jon Husted

Husted defends Ohio private school voucher program facing legal challenge

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) said the EdChoice voucher program began as a way to help students in struggling school districts and he said it’s still effective today. Husted, who was Ohio House speaker when EdChoice passed in 2005, said families continue to support the vouchers today. “When we… Read More

College Classroom

Ohio schools group says bill to require all curriculum to be posted online could be a problem

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio’s schools would be required to post curriculum, lesson plans, reading lists and other material on their websites for anyone to access under a bill that’s been proposed by Rep. Brent Hillyer (R-Ulrichsville). An organization representing the state’s school boards says the idea is good in principle, but making… Read More

A row of desks in a classroom with a backpack hanging up on the back wall

A lawsuit from a group of school districts claims Ohio pupil voucher system is unconstitutional

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A lawsuit argues that Ohio’s school voucher system is unconstitutional because it’s creating a separate system of funding private schools with public dollars. Vouchers Hurt Ohio is a group of about 100 school districts suing to stop and reverse Ohio’s EdChoice Program. The districts filed a lawsuit in Franklin County court… Read More

A Hollywood, Calif., classroom sits empty in August 2020. At least 3,229 schools around the U.S. announced they were canceling in-person learning as of Monday evening.

Officials are determined to keep schools open, despite omicron

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Updated January 3, 2022 at 7:05 PM ET WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — As the coronavirus pandemic slides into a fifth school semester, there is less appetite than ever among U.S. leaders for schools to go remote, even though cases — and with them, pediatric hospitalizations — are rising. According to Burbio, an organization that tracks… Read More

Judge blocks COVID vaccine mandate for Head Start program

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MONROE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana federal judge has ruled that President Joe Biden cannot require teachers in the Head Start early education program to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The decision hands a victory to 24 states that had sued the federal government. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty wrote Saturday the Biden administration unlawfully bypassed… Read More

Federal vaccination mandate poses challenges for local Head Start programs

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WOUB Digital · Federal vaccine mandate poses challenges for local Head Start programs   ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The federal Head Start program has ordered any adult who interacts with a student in the program must be vaccinated soon against COVID-19. This has put Heather Wolfe in a bit of a pickle. She oversees the… Read More

A graduate walks a tightrope balancing life's responsibilities.

President Biden extends student loan payment freeze through May 1

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — On Wednesday, President Biden announced that pandemic relief for about 41 million federal student loan borrowers will be extended once again until May 1. Loan payments, interest accruals and collections of defaulted federal student loans have all been on hold since the start of the pandemic — first thanks to the… Read More

Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton) introduces the G.R.O.W. Act geared towards growing and retaining Ohio’s college student population.

Lawmaker wants Ohio’s workforce to grow with scholarships and tax breaks

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton) said the G.R.O.W. Act — Graduating and Retaining Ohio’s Workforce — is a multi-pronged approach to ramp up the state’s population. Cross said the state needs to work on policies that bring more people to Ohio and keeps them in the state. The concern is partially… Read More

A row of desks in a classroom with a backpack hanging up on the back wall

How some school districts around the country are coping with staff shortages, other pandemic disruptions

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NewsHour) — Public schools across the U.S. are taking a break for Thanksgiving after a more traditional fall semester that saw students largely back in their classes in person. But many teachers and staff did not return this year, causing a shortage of teachers, substitutes, bus drivers, custodians and more. In some cases,… Read More

A handgun is laid on a notebook

Ohio House okays lowering training requirements for armed teachers and school staff

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio House has passed a Republican-backed bill changing the law requiring more 700 hours of peace officer training or 20 years law enforcement experience for teachers and staff who want to be armed in schools. The bill passed on a mostly party line vote and now heads to… Read More

Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Ohio Department of Health

New quarantine guidance for Ohio’s K-12 schools means students can stay in class

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio is changing its guidance on quarantining kids who have been exposed to COVID in a school setting. The change comes after a pilot program in Warren County showed students could stay in school, wearing masks, without spreading the virus. And this is meant to keep kids learning in… Read More

The KFC in Athens is just one on many business looking for employees.

Lawmakers want to let teens work later on a school night

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The bill would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work until 9pm on a school night. Current law says those teenagers have to stop working at 7pm when they have school the next day. Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) said the bill, SB251, requires approval by parents. “They’re still not able… Read More

Students hold their backpacks supporting school choice legislation.

A Proposed Bill Would Allow All Ohio Kids To Attend Private Schools Using State Dollars

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — About 35,000 Ohio K-12 students currently receive state-funded vouchers to attend private schools under the EdChoice program. But there’s a new bill that would make it possible for all of the state’s students to get vouchers if they want them. Columbus resident Ben Douglass said his second-grade daughter was… Read More

Police officer, teacher, and firefighter with their heads above water.

A Troubled Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Will Get An Overhaul

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NPR) — A troubled student debt relief program for teachers, police officers and other public service workers will soon get the makeover that borrowers have been demanding. Next week, according to a source familiar with the plans but who is not authorized to discuss them publicly, the U.S. Department of Education will unveil… Read More

Gov. Mike DeWine at a press conference

New Vaccination Scholarships Incentives Announced By Ohio Gov. DeWine

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Updated: 3:46 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCPN) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced a new round of vaccination incentive programs Thursday, although it is not clear if other incentives offered earlier this year increased vaccination rates. Younger Ohioans could receive up to $100,000 as part of a new scholarship vaccination incentive from the Ohio… Read More

Kids were in masks in Worthington Kilbourne High School when the district reopened for in-person learning in March 2021. All K-12 students and staff in the district are required to wear masks after a mandate went into effect August 25, a week after school started for the year.

Key Lawmaker Says A Mask Mandate For All Ohio Schools Wouldn’t Stand

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Children’s hospitals say they’re worried about rising cases of COVID in kids, with nearly half of all Ohio students not required to wear masks in schools. But that’s unlikely to change unless local officials make decisions to do that. There won’t be a statewide mask mandate for Ohio schools,… Read More

A school bus in suburban Columbus picks up students in September 2020.

DeWine Not Ruling Out Ohio National Guard As School Drivers

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The bus driver shortage is so bad in some Ohio school districts that drivers are being asked to do multiple routes, and districts are drafting other school workers to drive or even considering closing down buildings. But another potential solution to do a million miles of bus routes each… Read More

Health officials urge the use of face masks in public to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Ohio Health Officials Recommend Masks In Schools This Fall

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOSU) — Citing a sharp spike in cases linked to the delta coronavirus variant, the Ohio Department of Health is issuing new guidance that recommends unvaccinated staff and students wear masks when classes resume for the fall term. The department’s medical director Dr. Bruce Varderhoff said the recommendation is not a requirement. “While… Read More

Remnants of the COVID-19 Pandemic are seen in Athens, Ohio, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. [Joseph Scheller | WOUB]

New Bill Would Ban Or Limit Mask Mandates In Ohio’s Schools And Businesses

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio’s COVID-19 rates are on an upward trend, and less than half of the state’s residents have been vaccinated. Still, some lawmakers want to make sure Ohioans who don’t want to get vaccinated or don’t want to wear masks won’t feel compelled to do so. The latest bill would keep schools… Read More

Hocking College sign

Program At Hocking College Helping People Experiencing Homelessness

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NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) – Elizabeth Cook has dealt with substance use her whole life. Her parents both struggled with addiction. Cook’s own substance use disorder began when she was 12 which led to her dropping out of high school. She went on to face legal trouble while trying to protect her younger sister who was… Read More

A row of desks in a classroom with a backpack hanging up on the back wall

Ohio Legislature Finalizes Reform To School District Evaluation System

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — The Ohio Legislature passed an ambitious education bill despite a transformative amendment introduced midway through the bill’s life cycle. Ohio House Bill 82, originally introduced to revise standardized test requirements, will now remedy longtime complaints about the state’s school district evaluation system.  The bill’s initial provisions remain intact, however. It will… Read More

The Athens High School entrance on Johnson Road.

Free Speech Provisions In School Bill Draw Opposition From ACLU

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A bill in the state Legislature is looking to strengthen free speech protections at schools throughout Ohio. But it is opposed by one of the nation’s leading champions of free speech. The provisions are tucked into Senate Bill 135, a larger omnibus bill that deals with educational issues at both the grade… Read More

Empty hallway in a high school

Bill Would Offer Ohio High School Students A Do-Over On Last Year’s Classes

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — School administrators are raising questions about a new bill designed to help high school students get back on track following pandemic-related setbacks. The High School Academic Recovery Act would establish the Supplemental School Year Program. This would allow students at all public high schools to retake classes they completed during the 2020-2021 school year…. Read More