Morning News and Stuff

Kasich adviser named superintendent, bridge costs may change, educators protest budget

Richard Ross
Richard Ross

The Ohio Board of Education

named Richard Ross

, one of Gov. John Kasich’s top education advisers, to the state school superintendent position. Ross’ appointment links the Ohio Department of Education more closely with Kasich, according to StateImpact Ohio. Ross is replacing Stan Heffner, who resigned in August after an ethics investigation found he had misused state resources for personal matters and testified in favor of legislation that could have benefited a company he planned to work for.

In a study that should be out next month, Ohio and Kentucky officials are

reviewing the Brent Spence Bridge project

to make it more affordable. Many officials want to use tolling to help pay for the bridge, but northern Kentucky residents and elected officials have pushed back because they’re concerned tolls will divert traffic to other bridges in Ohio and hurt the local economy.

In a press conference in front of the Ohio Statehouse yesterday, more than 100 educators and members of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools (CORAS) asked Kasich to rework his education reform proposal in a way that would raise per-pupil funding, fully fund transportation, career technical and special education programs and pay for new initiatives like the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Under Kasich’s current proposal, the state is reducing aid from $5,700 for each student to $5,000, but CORAS says funding should be increased to $6,270. CityBeat covered Kasich’s budget proposal, which includes his education reform plan,

here

.

While funding in Kasich’s plan is mixed for traditional public schools, charter schools

will get 4.5 percent more funding

, according to the Legislative Service Commission. Conservatives typically tout charter schools for providing more “school choice,” but in a previous report, Policy Matters Ohio, a left-leaning policy research group, found more choices

may bring down results from teachers and students

.

Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan and friends and family of fire victims are

pushing for a review of Cincinnati’s fire ordinance codes

to avert fire deaths. The proposed changes include more required fire exits, annual inspections, a mandatory fire drill at the beginning of each school semester, the removal of all exceptions in the code and a measure that would prevent air conditioning units from being placed on windows that are supposed to act as exits. Quinlivan is also encouraging the University of Cincinnati to restart a certified list of preferred rental locations around campus, which would only include housing properties that pass fire safety inspections.

The first public hearings on Kasich’s budget proposal to expand Medicaid

contained mixed testimony

, with supporters touting greater accessibility to health care and improved health results and opponents claiming that Medicaid leads to worse outcomes and will discourage people from improving their economic situation. Previous studies, which CityBeat covered along with the rest of Kasich’s budget proposal

here

, found Medicaid expansions led to lower mortality rates and better health outcomes in certain states. The Health Policy Institute of Ohio says the Medicaid expansion will

save the state money in the next decade

and provide health insurance to 456,000 Ohioans by 2022.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has posted

the full lawsuit

filed against the city’s parking plan, which is set to have a hearing in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court on Friday. CityBeat wrote more about the lawsuit

here

.

Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled that Elmwood Place

can’t collect

on tickets from speed cameras that he recently deemed a violation of motorists’ due process. The city and police are filing an appeal to the initial ruling, which halted the use of the cameras.

Eighteen percent of Greater Cincinnati’s chief financial officers

plan to hire

for new professional-level positions in the second quarter, while 66 percent say they will only fill jobs that open in the next three months.

Ohio joined 37 states and the District of Columbia in a $7 million settlement with Google yesterday that is

expected to net $162,000 for the state

. The case centered around Google collecting data from unsecured wireless networks nationwide and taking photographs for its Street View service between 2008 and March 2010.

The effort to effectively ban Internet sweepstakes cafes

passed an Ohio House committee

.

The federal government

may not need to balance its budget at all

, according to Bloomberg.

Trained Soviet attack dolphins with head-mounted guns are

on the loose

.