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Poverty skews school funding, "stand your ground" advances, tax-free weekend proposed

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Cincinnati Public Schools offices
Cincinnati Public Schools offices

Urban schools

spend less on basic education for a typical student

than previously assumed after accounting for the cost of poverty, according to a Nov. 19 report from three school advocacy groups. After weighing the extra cost of educating an impoverished student, the report finds major urban school districts lose more than 39 percent in per-pupil education spending and poor rural school districts lose nearly 24 percent, while wealthy suburban schools lose slightly more than 14 percent. In the report, Cincinnati Public Schools drop from a pre-weighted rank of No. 17 most per-pupil education funding out of 605 school districts in the state to No. 55, while Indian Hills Schools actually rise from No. 11 to No. 4.

An Ohio House committee

approved sweeping gun legislation

that would enact “stand your ground” in the state and automatically recognize concealed-carry licenses from other states. The “stand your ground” portion of the bill would remove a duty to retreat before using deadly force in self-defense in all areas in which a person is lawfully allowed; current Ohio law only removes the duty to retreat in a person’s home or vehicle. The proposal is particularly controversial following Trayvon Martin’s death to George Zimmerman in Florida, where a “stand your ground” law exists but supposedly played a minor role in the trial that let Zimmerman go free. To become law, the proposal still needs to make it through the full House, Senate and governor.

A state senator i

s proposing a sales-tax-free weekend for back-to-school shopping

to encourage a shot of spending in a stagnant economy and lure shoppers from outside the state. Eighteen states have similar policies, but none border Ohio, according to University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center. Michael Jones of UC’s Economics Center says the idea is to use tax-free school supplies to lure out-of-state shoppers, who are then more likely to buy other items that aren’t tax exempt while they visit Ohio.

An Ohio Senate committee

approved new limits on the Controlling Board

, a seven-member legislative panel that has grown controversial following its approval of the federally funded Medicaid expansion despite disapproval from the Ohio legislature. Gov. John Kasich

went through the Controlling Board

after he failed to persuade his fellow Republicans in the legislature to back the expansion for much of the year. The proposal now must make it through the full Senate, House and governor to become law.

Cincinnati’s Metro bus service

plans to adopt more routes similar to bus rapid transit (BRT)

following the success of a new route established this year. Traditional BRT lines involve bus-only lanes, but Metro’s downsized version only makes less stops in a more straightforward route. CityBeat covered the lite BRT route in further detail

here

.

Cincinnati

obtained a 90 out of 100 in the 2013 Municipal Equality Index

from the Human Rights Campaign, giving the city a 13-point bump compared to

2012’s mixed score

.

A bill approved by U.S. Congress last week

could direct millions in federal research dollars

to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

A UC study found a higher minimum wage

doesn’t lead to less crime

.

Gov. Kasich will deliver UC’s commencement address this year

.

The new owner of the Ingalls Building in downtown Cincinnati

plans to convert

some of the office space to condominiums.

Here

are some images of the Cincinnati that never was.

Someone invented a hand-cranked GIF player

.

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