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Ohio Senate bill takes aim at perceived bias in higher education

A view of Lakeland Community College
Ideastream Public Media
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A bill introduced in the Ohio Senate this week proposes overhauling higher education at the state’s public universities and colleges to counteract perceived “liberal bias.” Senate Bill 83 known as the “Higher Education Enhancement Act,” is sponsored by Kirtland Republican, Jerry Cirino, a former trustee at Lakeland Community College.

The bill includes ending mandated diversity, equity and inclusion training, requiring a searchable course syllabus to be posted online and requires all students, regardless of major, to take and pass an American history course in order to graduate. The bill also would prevent unionized employees from striking and halt new contracts or partnerships with institutions and universities in China.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a federal lawsuit this week against Norfolk Southern to ensure it pays for the clean-up of last month’s train derailment and damages caused to the environment.

The train derailed in the Columbiana County village of East Palestine on February 3. The state in its legal complaint says the derailment “caused the release of over a million gallons of hazardous chemicals.” The suit seeks unspecified money from the railroad. But Yost described is as quote: "lots. Maybe lots and lots."

The coalition working to place a reproductive rights amendment, including enshrining abortion-rights, in the Ohio constitution cleared another hurdle this week. The state ballot board ruled unanimously that the proposed amendment contains only a single subject. The decision clears the way for supporters to begin collecting the more than 400,000 signatures needed to get the issue on the November ballot.

Cleveland selected vendors this week to overhaul its on-street parking. Coin-operated meters are out. They will be replaced by modern credit-card enabled “smart meters.” People can feed the meter via app, text or quick response or QR code. The city hopes to have it up and running within six months.

-Gabriel Kramer, Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Ken Schneck, Editor, The Buckeye Flame
-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."