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Morning Headlines: School Districts Get Average Report Card Rankings; Obama Rallies Ohioans to Vote

Cordray and President Obama

Here are your morning headlines for Friday, September 14:

  • Ohio school districts mostly average in report card rankings;
  • Obama rallies Ohioans to vote;
  • Auditor reports multiple errors in medical marijuana growing selections;
  • About 100 people to become U.S. citizens this weekend
  • Thousands of Ohio schools respond to survey on safety measures;

Ohio school districts mostly average in report card rankings

Ohio schools are about average, according to the states new grading system released Thursday. Only 28 districts received A grades — among them is Solon, which has topped the state’s Performance Index since 2014. Fourteen districts received failing grades, including Canton City and East Cleveland districts, which could trigger state intervention if there’s no improvement. State appointed CEO’s are currently in place in Cleveland, Youngstown and Lorain.

In Summit County, Hudson was the only to score an A, while Akron schools received a D, along with Barberton and Coventry. No Stark County school district received an A for their overall grade, and Canton City Schools received an F.

Obama urges Ohioans to vote

Former President Barack Obama delivered a simple message Thursday headed into the fall midterm elections: Vote.

Speaking to an enthusiastic crowd of several thousand in Cleveland, Obama said the consequences of sitting on the sidelines during November's midterm elections "are far more dangerous" than in the past. He said a continuation of Republican control in Washington would threaten Medicaid, affordable health care, even democracy.

Obama was in closely divided Ohio to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray, running mate Betty Sutton, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and the party's statewide slate. Cordray, who was Obama's appointee to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is locked in a tight contest for governor against Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine. Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich is term-limited.

Auditor reports multiple errors in medical marijuana growing selections

The state auditor said Ohio's process for selecting medical marijuana grower applicants suffered from numerous errors and inconsistencies.Republican Auditor David Yost said the Department of Commerce exceeded its legal authority when it awarded two additional licenses to cultivators. He also found weaknesses in how the agency protected passwords, system folders and summary scoring sheets. Yost, a candidate for Ohio attorney general, called the department's work sloppy and said Ohioans deserved better. The Department of Commerce said that while it doesn't agree with every finding, it acknowledges there was room for improvement in the process. Once up and running, Ohio'snew medical marijuana program will allow people with certain medical conditions to buy and use medical marijuana on the recommendation of Ohio-licensed doctors.

Abotu 100 people to become U.S. citizens this weekend

Northeast Ohio will welcome more than 100 new citizens over the next few days. Swearing in ceremonies will take place Friday in Mentor; in Cleveland on Sunday; and in Akron on Monday. Fifty immigrants will take an oath to the United States at the Akron Summit County Public Library. That event “America: A Nation of Immigrants” is sponsored by the Akron Bar Association. All three events are free and open to the public.

Thousands of Ohio schools respond to survey on safety measures

Thousands of Ohio schools have responded to a voluntary survey about school safety measures that will be used to help craft recommendations for state policymakers to consider next year. Ohio Homeland Security spokesman Dustyn Fox said more than 6,500 school building and district administrators were notified about the survey, and about 4,000 responded by Wednesday's deadline.

They were asked whether their buildings have school resource officers and features such as visitor screening, reinforced exterior windows, panic alarms and card-swipe systems that limit entry. The survey also asked which security features administrators consider to be essential. Their specific answers won't be shared publicly for security reasons, but a summary of the findings and recommendations is slated to be provided to the Legislature and the next governor's administration early next year.

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