Creative Commons

It’s the second year of Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee. All third graders are required to pass a reading test Tuesday in order to move to fourth grade—but not everyone is happy with this new system.

Following Agreement, Early Voting Will Be Easier For Ohioans

Apr 20, 2015
Both Democrats and Republicans have launched major voter turnout efforts in advance of the November 2014 election.  vote election voters
elycefeliz / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ohio may see an end to the long debate over early voting access after advocates reached a deal with the state’s top elections official. 

Ohio voters have more opportunities to vote early and in-person starting this November because of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU. 

The expanded schedule includes a full work week where polls will be open until 7 p.m. And Mike Brickner with the ACLU says voters will also have another Sunday open for voting during next year’s presidential election.

During the past decade, Ohio’s income tax has been cut several times. And it looks like it might be cut again as the Republican led legislature considers the state budget. But some lawmakers are questioning the value of those cuts.

Republican Finance Committee Chair Ryan Smith says it is important to cut income taxes, especially for small businesses. They would get another tax break under the house’s proposed budget.

The law enforcement training panel created by Attorney General Mike DeWine met for a final time Monday before it will issue a report later this month. 

The advisory group is expected to make recommendations on training standards for law enforcement, especially in community relations and in situations involving the use of force. Chair Reggie Wilkinson, who once headed the state’s prison system, says to make sure its report doesn’t just sit around – as task force reports often do – the group wants to consider recommendations that can be implemented without lawmaker approval.

Civilians Who Oversee Police Departments Gathered In Akron

Apr 8, 2015
Ainsley Cromwell says the cameras are a crucial tool, but won't have all the answers.
M. L. Schultze / WKSU

The civilians charged with watching over police departments in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati and other Midwest cities traveled to Akron Tuesday to talk about body cams. But the conference touched on other issues of trust and relationships.

The session, “Body Cameras and their Importance in Building Community Trust,” was taking place about 40 miles south of where a Cleveland police officer is being tried for his role in a massive chase and shooting of two unarmed people two years ago.

Faith leaders and advocates for the poor are calling on the federal government to do something to reform payday lending.

An advocate for the homeless in Central Ohio says Ohio’s laws that crack down on payday lenders have been ineffective at curbing some of the predatory lending practices. Bill Faith says payday lenders are finding ways to get around those new laws by using other areas of Ohio’s lending laws.

“They have exploited those loopholes and we have tried multiple ways to close those loopholes,” he said.

The way Ohio cares for its developmentally disabled residents is slowly changing. There's a push to move people from institutional care into more community-based settings. A new report highlights just how difficult it will be to make that change.

Roughly 45,000 disabled Ohioans are waiting for special funding to get the services they need, according to a report from the nonprofit Center for Community Solutions.

Educators Focus On 'Brain Based' Curriculum For Kids In Poverty

Mar 27, 2015
Mark Urycki / StateImpact Ohio

In January, an analysis of federal data found that for the first time in at least 50 years more than half of the public school children in America are living in poverty. In Ohio, the number is only 39 percent, but it still concerns school officials here who know that poor kids come to school carrying extra burdens. In recent years education officials have been looking to brain research for answers. 

Educators call them “stressed” kids and brain research predicts that children under stress will have a more difficult time learning and behaving.  

Both Democrats and Republicans have launched major voter turnout efforts in advance of the November 2014 election.  vote election voters
elycefeliz / Flickr/Creative Commons

Some Democratic state lawmakers say they might vote against the proposed transportation budget because of a provision that could restrict voting rights. The plan would make it more difficult for some college students to vote in Ohio.

casino, gambling
Adam Tinworth

Ohioans have more gaming options now that the state has casinos and video lottery terminals at race tracks. But the charitable groups that rely on bingo to support their missions say expanded gambling is making it more difficult to raise funds these days.

The Children's Toy Fund organization provides terminally-ill children with toys and has depended on charitable bingo for decades. But Jason Bogavitch, a spokesman for the group, says it is getting harder to make enough on the games anymore to make ends meet.