In this presidential election year, welfare reform has become a big issue. Eleven states, including Ohio, failed to meet work requirements for several years, and it's one of three that is facing penalties if 50 percent of those who are on cash assistance aren't working or in job training programs.The state announced last month that 151,000 Ohioans were receiving cash assistance - that's down from 230,000in mid-2010, when the caseload peaked, and that's also the lowest number since welfare reform was signed 16 years ago. A rebroadcast of a conversation with four experts to talk about how or if welfare reform is working: Michael Colbert, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; Joel Potts, executive director of the Job and Family Services Directors' Association, which works with county offices around the state; Phil Cole with the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, representing 50 offices working with low income Ohioans; and Jack Frech, director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services.
Gov. John Kasich announced in his State of the State speech that the state is going to increase the speed of OARnet, from 10 gigabytes per second to 100 gigabytes per second. While that may not have meant much to many Ohioans, it's been received nationally as a proposal with lots of potential and very little downside. And it's the most exciting thing that's happened at the Ohio Academic Resources Network, or OARnet, in years. Earlier this year, John Conley, the chief of P-20 educational technology at the Ohio Board of Regents and Pankaj Shah, the executive director of OARnet, talk about what that means and when it will happen.
September 14, 2012