Democrats In Close Race Before Primary, And Education And Workforce Merger Under Debate

Recent polls show the Democratic race for governor is a dead heat between former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Chief Richard Cordray and former Congressman and Cleveland mayor Dennis Kucinich - a lot closer contest than many expected.

A bill to crack down on payday lending passed an Ohio House committee without any changes – a week after the House Speaker resigned and a vote on it was halted. The original bill imposing strict 28 percent interest rate caps on payday lenders passed.

A bill that would bring K-12, higher ed and workforce development into one big agency under the governor’s control is getting a lot of attention. It would create the Department of Learning and Achievement under a director appointed by the governor. And its sponsor says it doesn’t make any changes to membership of the state board of education, but will bring its duties more in line with other state boards and commissions. The bill has qualified support from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and other business groups and from career tech schools. But most education groups oppose it, including teachers, administrators, school boards, home schoolers and charter schools, who say it would undermine the state school board and create a bureaucracy that would exclude stakeholders’ input. Ryan Burgess from Gov. John Kasich’s Office of Workforce Transformation and Barbara Shaner, executive director of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, one of the state’s leading education groups, talk about the proposal.

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