In the state of Ohio, teachers and other staff members can carry firearms on school grounds by meeting certain training requirements. Now a bill working its way through the legislature would require school staff to get the eight hours of training needed for a concealed carry license. More than 130 people have voiced their opposition to House Bill 99, introduced by Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Middletown).

laura mitchell
Courtesy of WCPO

Updated May 11, 2021

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Laura Mitchell is resigning from the job she's held since 2017. She made announcement at Monday night's board meeting. Mitchell is leaving to take the top job at Beech Acres Parenting Center.

Eight-year-old Lyra Christensen loves to play the harmonica after a long day at school.

Ohio legislators are trying to pass major reforms to the state’s school funding model, a model that the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional four times.

If House Bill 1 – known as the Fair School Funding Plan – passes, many of the changes would have Ohio following in the footsteps of states already touted for their education funding models, including New Jersey and Wyoming.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

During a late Tuesday afternoon news conference, a dozen members of a union that represents Cincinnati State Technical and Community College laid out reasons why they deserve a raise.

Preschool—viewed as potentially the great equalizer in education—got walloped in the pandemic. Kids disappeared from the rolls, and the loss was greatest in communities of color and poverty. But coming out of the shutdown, efforts are underway to recover and, perhaps, grow preschool post-pandemic.

Judah Israel Stokes was three when the pandemic struck, upending plans for him to follow his sister’s footsteps, literally, to preschool. Like districts throughout Ohio, Canton City went virtual, increasing demands on working and single parents. Mom, Dayree, said it was overwhelming.

Courtesy / Matt Ernst

The advisor of an after-school club at Taft High School is looking at turning the activity into curriculum. Matt Ernst says the Drone Club at the West End school started four years ago as a way to introduce students to the growing field of remote piloting. Now he's working with the Ohio Department of Education to take the idea statewide.


Like a lot of students these days, a lot of kids in Mason, Ohio, are sad and anxious. And they’re talking about it on the internet, saying things like this:

Student and teachers are under stress as schools readjust to in-person learning.

Part of that stress is preparing for mandated state testing after months of remote instruction.

For our special series, Learning Curve, we find there are few answers to the question of how standardized test results will be used this year.

Michelle Karim teaches math at Beachwood Middle School.

Under the school’s hybrid model, she’s scrambling to keep pace with past years.

“I’m running three to four weeks behind,” she said.

Many college campuses throughout the state have created food pantries for their students. And students might qualify for food stamp benefits as well because of new changes in the federal food assistance program. 

miami university
Courtesy of Miami University

The University of Cincinnati, Miami and Xavier all say they intend to be on campus this fall.

Students in Cincinnati Public Schools' "Speak Up and Speak Out" group on Thursday revealed plans to present a "list of demands" to the school board.

What Teachers Have Learned From Pandemic Education

Feb 24, 2021

It's a school day at Findley Elementary in Akron, but it's eerily quiet, according to Dean of Students Theresa Essandoh.

“This is our playground, and it’s such a sad sight that there aren’t any kids running around,” she said.

The kids are at home in front of computers.

Classes haven’t been held inside this building since last March when the pandemic first hit. Essandoh says the experience has been surreal.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order on Tuesday recommending that all school districts offer some type of in-person learning starting March 1 or within a week of vaccinations for school personnel. The order recommends that classes resume seven days after teachers and staff have received their second COVID-19 vaccinations, though the decision is being left to districts. 

The order also states that masks must be worn at all times in schools and during transportation to and from schools.  

“This is one of the number one ways that we can keep everybody in that school safe,” Beshear said. “And it’s going to be incredibly important, especially for districts that may go back for the first time, that this is strictly enforced as all of the studies that suggest there is low transmission are of districts that had and enforced a strong mask mandate.”

Ohio’s first free school for African Americans was established in Harveysburg, in present-day Warren County. Harveysburg was established in the early 1800s by the Quaker couple Jesse and Elizabeth Harvey. Like many Quakers, the Harveys moved to Ohio from the South to support abolition efforts and provide stops for Freedom Seekers along the Underground Railroad.

In laying out his proposed budget this month, Gov. Mike DeWine specifically said that the state legislature should do the heavy lifting when it comes to school funding. The state Supreme Court has been saying the same thing -- for over 20 years. Our education series, "Learning Curve," examines a $2 billion proposal to revamp how schools are funded in Ohio.

In January, the Education Department extended a suspension on federal student loan payments through Sept. 30, following a request from the Biden administration. The moratorium puts a pause on collections and keeps the interest rate at zero percent, while giving borrowers a chance to breathe as the economy struggles under the pandemic. But come October, many borrowers may struggle to get back on track with their payments.

Cory Sharber / WVXU

High schoolers will begin transitioning back to classrooms across Cincinnati Public Schools this week. While some students are excited to return, others have concerns.

Courtesy of Cincinnati Public Schools

On Thursday, the first 400 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered to Cincinnati Public Schools teachers and staff.

coronavirus vaccine
Jessica Hill / AP

Staff members at Cincinnati Public Schools will begin receiving vaccinations on Thursday.

Keith Klenowski / Xavier University

Incoming Xavier University President Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D., doesn't take over until July 1, but she was in Cincinnati Monday to meet with the Xavier community and the media.

In December the Ohio Senate blocked passage of the Fair School Funding Plan. The legislation would have provided an additional $1.99 billion a year, about a 24% increase, to K-12 schools when fully implemented.

mason high school
Courtesy of WCPO

While staff members across the Mason City School District largely want the COVID-19 vaccine, there may be some delay.

xavier university president colleen hanycz
Courtesy of Xavier University

Xavier University has named its first female president in its 190-year history. Colleen Hanycz is also the first lay person to hold the job.

As Ohio continues to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, Gov. Mike DeWine outlined plans to add recipients in group 1B in the coming weeks. He also said he’s disturbed by reports that some counties, including Erie County in northern Ohio, have vaccinated people not included in the 1A group. “Every time we vaccinate someone who’s 35 years of age who does not have a great risk, we’re bumping somebody,” DeWine said. “We’ve got to protect lives.”

Ohio students in K-12 schools no longer have to quarantine if they're considered a close contact of another student who's tested positive for COVID-19.


Following weeks of demands to remove school resource officers from Cincinnati Public Schools, the Young Activists Coalition have created a petition to gauge the community’s response.

school desk

School districts and private schools are planning for a massive statewide COVID-19 vaccination effort of teachers and other school staff. Districts have been asked to submit a roster to the Kentucky Department of Public Health by the end of the month of employees to be vaccinated.


Anderson High School is looking for a new logo and mascot after the Forest Hills School Board voted out a controversial race-based name for Native Americans in July. Students, staff, alumni and community members have a chance to vote on several new mascots, including the Anderson Phoenix, Lions and Dragons.

Universities and K-12 schools across Northeast Ohio are shifting students to remote learning between the Thanksgiving and winter breaks in light of county stay-at-home advisories and the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases.

That’s an “appropriate and reasonable” move, according to Dr. Bill Miller, an infectious disease epidemiologist and senior associate dean of research in the College of Public Health at Ohio State University, who called the recent spike in cases “dramatic and dangerous.”