Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The Marietta Times, April 12
Child abuse leaves a permanent scar on its victims.
Children don't know why they are being abused. It is even sadder when abuse is the only way of life they know.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse is everyone's business.
About 70 percent of children who die from child abuse are under 4. They can't make the call, so somebody else has to do it. There is a report of child abuse nationwide every 10 seconds....
In one study, children whose parents abuse alcohol and other drugs were three times more likely to be abused and more than four times more likely to be neglected than children from families without abuse....
The scars of child abuse in families with substance abuse are evident. As many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children....
The cycle of child abuse continues when the abused child grows up and becomes a parent. About 30 percent of abused and neglected children will abuse their own children.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, don't hesitate to call the police or children services. Inaction may result in injury or even death. It is better to make the call instead of waiting. Children services or the police will investigate and take appropriate action if necessary....
The (Toledo) Blade, April 14
Ohio lawmakers are reviewing Gov. John Kasich's proposed updates to the state budget. It's greatly to be hoped that the governor and Republican-controlled General Assembly will use that process to start paying adequate attention to the quality and transparency of charter schools that collect state aid.
Charter schools are officially public schools, but they are not bound by many of the state regulations and union agreements that govern traditional schools. Some charter schools are run by universities and other community institutions; others are privately managed, for-profit operations.
More than 116,000 students attend Ohio charter schools. Proponents say they provide choice and competition that improve the quality of instruction in all schools, especially urban ones....
Yet too many for-profit Ohio charter schools have stayed open -- and continued to pocket large taxpayer subsidies -- less on the strength of their academic programs than on the size of their operators' campaign contributions to Statehouse politicians. Oversight of charter schools, by the legislature and the state Department of Education, is not what it needs to be....
Primary regulation needs to return to the state. The House approved a bill last week that would tighten state oversight of charter-school sponsors; the Senate needs to go along...
If charter schools are to compete fairly with traditional public schools, they must be held to the same standards of quality and accountability. And if state government insists on maintaining its current double standard, its leaders need to tell taxpayers why.
The Cincinnati Enquirer, April 13
For every sensational story of food-stamp fraud or abuse, there are thousands more of people who depend on them to feed themselves and their families. That's especially true now, with one in seven Americans -- a record 47 million people -- receiving help from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). That number is double what it was a decade ago.
Food benefits have become a popular target, with Congress cutting benefits late last year across the board and in more than a dozen states again this year. But fundamental changes in the economy mean that more Americans need the benefits than ever before, even though the unemployment rate is slowly dropping.
The recession we're emerging from, and the corresponding loss of well-paying jobs, has filled the program with people who never expected to be there. Americans should understand the value food assistance brings and resist the call for further cuts in the program. The real story is how food stamps help needy families and individuals navigate tough times....
Recent cuts and reforms have altered the program in small but important ways. All recipients saw a 5 percent cut in benefits in November that averaged about $11 for single households and $36 for families of four....
For decades, food assistance has mirrored the unemployment rate, falling in good times and rising when the economy tanks. While economists expect the numbers of recipients to fall as the economy improves, there are fundamental changes to the face of food stamps that should concern Americans. The reality is food stamps help families and individuals....
The Ironton Tribune, April 10
While prescription drug abuse is still at an epidemic level throughout the country, methamphetamine can certainly be viewed in the same manner.
With the enhanced efforts of law enforcement, the meth-related arrests have increased.
Unfortunately, the strong possibility exists that a massive amount of others are still in operation.
Over the past few weeks, there have been a significant increase in meth-related arrests in locations that could have resulted in a serious threat to personal property and injury to those nearby. Arrests are being made at locations posing a major danger to public safety.
In 2013, Ohio was the fourth leading state in the country pertaining to the number of meth labs found by various law enforcement agencies at more than 1,000.
This is an alarming trend that seemingly continues to escalate.
Ultimately, continuing to be vigilant to potential warning signs, being educated, having proactive law enforcement, and developing stricter laws can be the movement that aids in lessening the control this drug has on the Appalachian region and our local communities.