August 2011 News from Policy Matters Ohio: Keeping an Eye on Jobs, Schools and Social Services

- August 18, 2011

JobWatch Returns – Last week, Policy Matters re-launched our monthly JobWatch report series in partnership with the Economic Policy Institute, analyzing employment in Ohio. Our August report finds Ohio on a slow slog toward recovery. Since the Great Recession ended in June 2009, the state has added only 62,500 jobs. The report shows that to return to pre-recession employment levels within three years, Ohio must add 10,000 jobs per month. Stay tuned for updates on job loss and gain, as this series continues.

Quantity Over Quality – Last week’s policy brief showed that changes to educational funding and expansion of charter and voucher schools in the new state budget add up to a missed opportunity to increase school standards across the board. New accountability measures are targeted toward sponsors that oversee fewer than 15% of the state’s charters, while 45% of the state’s charters were on “academic watch” or in “academic emergency” in 2010. The bill will continue unchecked growth of charter schools in challenged urban districts and increase the number of districts where start-ups are permitted, without adding requirements for reviewing academic track records of potential operators.

Who Will Save the Safety Net? – This Wednesday, August 24 from 3:00-4:00 pm, Wendy Patton will be presenting as part of ‘Deficit Reduction’ Isn’t Going Away, a webinar sponsored by Advocates for Ohio’s Future. Join Patton, and experts from Voices for Ohio’s Children, the Center for Community Solutions, UHCAN Ohio, and the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, as they delve into the importance of federal budget advocacy. As a group, we will work on a shared messaging strategy, to help frame conversations about social services that need to happen in our communities during these critical coming months. Click here to register, and please spread the word!

That’s all,
The Policy Matters Team

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