Failing charter schools look to get millions more in state money

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    Catching Our Eye:

    Millions more to failing charter schools? Cleveland.com’s Patrick O’Donnell is reporting on a loophole that “could give F-rated charter schools millions meant for better schools.”

    “The fast-growing for-profit Accel charter school chain… has applied for more than $15 million in cash from a new $30 million fund that Gov. Mike DeWine and the state legislature created this summer as a boost for Ohio’s best charter schools.

    “The 33 Accel schools seeking the money failed to earn the good grades that would qualify them for the bonus. Instead, the chain is applying under language in the state budget bill that declares schools as “quality” if their operator meets a few criteria with schools it runs in other states.”

    No safe storage law. The Columbus Dispatch’s Rita Price is reporting that, “Not long after the founding of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, organizers began advocating for a safe-storage law to help keep firearms out of children’s reach.

    “’It was one of the top things we were working on, because we thought it was such a no-brainer that everyone could agree,’ founder Toby Hoover said of the organization’s early efforts — more than 20 years ago — to mandate secure storage or gun locks so that kids can’t accidentally shoot their friends, siblings or themselves.

    But the push for a safe-storage law failed then and has failed to advance in almost every Ohio legislative session since…

    “The gun-rights lobby targets each proposal, ‘and then it gets picked and picked and picked apart,’ Hoover said.”

    Payday lending. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jessie Balmert took a look into whether Ohio law has actually Ohio’s law banished unscrupulous payday lending. The answer? Kind of.

    From Balmert: “Voters passed restrictions in 2008, but the industry circumvented them. Ohio lawmakers tried to rein in astronomical interest rates and businesses battled back. The quarrel even ensnared former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, leading him to resign over questionable travel with payday lending lobbyists.

    “In late April, a new law took effect to limit how much payday lenders can loan customers and how much they can charge in interest and fees.

    So perhaps it’s not surprising that some bad actors – many of them online – are finding ways to charge sky-high interest rates and fees on loans approved after Ohio’s new law took effect.”

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.