Editorials from around Ohio
Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Toledo Blade, Jan. 8
For the past week or so, popular demonstrations have been taking place all over Iran, and not just in Tehran, the capital.
The people are rising up, and rightly so. It is a spontaneous uprising that crosses geographic, sociological, and even religious lines.
The Iranian government has now mounted counter-demonstrations in the streets of some of these cities, and more than 20 people, that we know of, have died at the hands of government security forces.
Hundreds more have been arrested.
The United States government has made clear that this nation supports the aspirations of the Iranian people to be free. The President has said “we are watching.”
There is a precedent for how we should treat this revolution. When Eastern Europe was struggling for freedom, the United States did not stand by indifferently. We were a mirror and a megaphone. We came to the aid of Solidarity as best we could. Solidarity did the work, but we in the U.S. did not stand by.
So it should be with Iran. We must be a mirror and a megaphone for freedom. The United States must lend more than its voice, it should lend its attention and its practical assistance.
The Newark Advocate, Jan. 5
The spike in foster care cases in Licking County and Ohio has long been documented.
A surge of parents addicted to drugs or alcohol, fueled by the opioid explosion, has created an increase in homes unsafe for our children.
Licking County voters saw that need when they approved a new child services levy last fall to provide the needed resources to protect those children. But just a few months later, it is possible the federal government could undercut much of the good of that vote.
Putting $400,000 of federal money for the county in jeopardy could not come at a worse time, with more than 500 children in the county’s care, up more than a third from the start of 2017. At the end of 2017, there were 1,000 more children in foster care across Ohio compared to the start of the year.
So we call on our federal legislators to preserve these critical dollars for Licking County. Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, Rep. Pat Tiberi and whoever replaces him must work diligently to ensure this money is safe from an accountant’s scalpel. If more accountability is needed, we are confident our county can prove the money is well spent.
The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Jan. 5
Last month’s congressional funding Band-Aid to keep the federal government in business included $2.85 billion in stopgap money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That’s far short of the five-year $8 billion CHIP extension advocates had sought.
Even more worrying, after partisan squabbles allowed the program to lapse Sept. 30, is that “it’s unclear how long (that funding) will actually allow all states to continue operating their CHIP programs,” warns the National Academy for State Health Policy.
CHIP needs to regain long-term funding. It works to safeguard the health of children, and long has enjoyed bipartisan support.
Nationwide, CHIP provides health care coverage to 9 million low-to-moderate-income children and about 370,000 pregnant women, cleveland.com’s Sabrina Eaton reports.
In Ohio, covering the 200,000 children enrolled in CHIP costs about $45 million a month — a cost Ohio funds via Medicaid.
Leaving CHIP in budget limbo subject to continuing partisan slingshots is a disgrace. Congress must act, in a bipartisan manner, on a clean compromise that assures long-term funding, and it must do so without delay.
The Marietta Times, Jan. 6
Since charter schools began popping up in Ohio, there have been arguments for and against them. While some are concerned about the funding they funnel away from public schools and a potential lack of supervision, others say they grant families the opportunity to find the form of education that works the best for each child.
The largest such school in the state is currently being asked to return $60 million under a claim that enrollment numbers were inflated. School officials say those numbers reflected documented learning opportunities and not necessarily logged-in classroom time.
As we watch the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) possibly prepare to shut down under this financial burden, we can all probably agree on one thing: that the ECOT students shouldn’t be in the middle of all this uncertainty. They are the ones most hurt as the legal proceedings go on and they wonder if they will have to go to another school.
ECOT should have made sure it had clear enrollment records and data and been prepared to share those with the state all along. Whether or not they agree with the state requirements, leaders should have known those requirements before the school opened and been prepared to comply.