Ohio bill would give private universities protection

Private universities are pushing for protections from lawsuits stemming from a requirement that they now make records from their police forces available to the public.

State Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, has submitted a bill that would give private institutions such as the University of Dayton and Wittenberg University the same legal protections afforded to public colleges and universities.

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How is the government spending your money? Ohio’s figured it out

Ohio in 2014 launched a searchable database of the state's expenditures, allowing residents to browse how their money was being spent by both the state and participating local governments.

Government watchdogs view it as a model for something that could be applied across the nation. "It's a transparency initiative rooted in the concept of making the government small and the individual big," said Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who launched OhioCheckBook.com through his office.

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Should Ohio private schools disclose more?

A four-page bill is causing a stink in Cincinnati. It's a back-and-forth battle about parents’ right to know versus private schools’ right to independent operation.

The bill would require private schools to publish some information on their websites, including enrollment and financial data. Other information – reading lists and school bylaws, for example – would have to be accessible to parents of enrolled students.

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Ohio treasurer asks charter schools to put finances online

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is cajoling thousands of local governments, public universities, the Ohio pension systems and others to post their expenditures on his government transparency website, OhioCheckbook.com, but until recently he had omitted Ohio’s 395 charter schools – an entire wing of public education that costs taxpayers nearly $1 billion in state funding each year – from his call list.

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Editorial: Public shut out in Ohio

When Ohioans find their access to government thwarted and sue to assert their open-government rights, the odds are stacked against them in the Ohio Supreme Court.

So finds a recent analysis by the Ohio Coalition for Open Government in a report that examines 32 such cases between 2010 and this year. Of those cases, only 12 rulings favored open government. The remaining 20 decisions went the other way. Continue…

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Editorial: Ohio needs public records audits

The ongoing assault by Ohio Republican lawmakers on public records laws and those who fight for citizen access to records shows no signs of slowing down.

House Republicans tried to use the state's two-year budget this month to shield themselves and state officials from new citizen-initiated records audits being conducted by Ohio Auditor Dave Yost, a Republican who refreshingly doesn't follow the party line 100 percent of the time.

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