Joe Vardon, the Dispatch’s new political reporter, is turning out to be a pretty good addition to the team.

Don’t get me wrong: I still completely disagree with almost everything the Dispatch produces in terms of editorials. And the editorial staff responsible for writing headlines never misses a chance to showcase their Republican bias. But Joe’s reporting, so far, has turned out to be pretty balanced.

Take for example today’s article about school funding.

If you were to believe the editor-created headline for the article, then you would think Kasich’s latest “proposal would save schools $229 million”. But if you read 3 paragraphs in, you realize that the “savings” comes at a cost. Schools may be saving money, but the burden is now placed squarely on the backs of teachers, who will be paying for the “savings” by forcing teachers take a 2% paycut.

The headline SHOULD have been “Kasich proposal forces teachers to take a 2% percent paycut”. Not in the Dispatch.

This editorial bias has long been a complaint of mine, and really should be reflected in the Dispatch’s tagline: The Columbus Dispatch, decent writing with horribly skewed headlines and editorials.

It’s going to take a lot to convince me to resubscribe to the Dispatch. If I ever do, I would certainly like to be able to credit Mr. Vardon’s balanced political reporting as one of the reasons. I know it’s wishful thinking, but I really hope his presence will result in some small improvements to the paper’s conservative bias.

Welcome aboard, Joe. Keep up the good work.

UPDATE:

As a reader points out, the true cost to teachers could be up to 5% if HB69 is passed:

HB 69 (I believe that’s the bill) on pension reform was already looking to push my contributions to 13%. So the REAL story here is that if HB 69 passes as is, and his proposal to have employers drop 2% and us to pick that up that 2% then I am going to 15% from 10%. That’s a real 5% pay decrease and news reports say that it also will leave the system underfunded — which cannot happen by law.

 
  • Good point! I will update the post.

  • dlw

    Does anyone know if the actual intention is to raise teachers’ contributions to 15%… or has hb69 essentially been included in the budget bill? So in other words, pass the budget with the increase included and hb69 goes nowhere… or lose that part of the budget and hb69 continues?

  • Anonymous

    The Cleveland Plainly Republican has the same issue. Often decent articles are slanted by wildly biased headlines like “Federal government takes Ohio’s rail money” (rather than “Kasich rejects federal rail money” which would be far more accurate). They ran a headline that implying Rich Cordray was spending recklessly on new hires in the AG’s office. Turned out he was filling positions left vacant by the interim AG who deliberately left them unfilled so the newly elected AG could hire his own people. They ran a headline saying two completely innocent county officeholders were implicated in the corruption scandals up here when it turned out that their names were mentioned in an email from a source that had already been debunked. And on and on and on. Other than Kevin O’Brien’s column, misleading headlines are the worst thing about the Plainly Republican.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly right, Common Sense, and what I have been saying all along. Cut public sector workers pay and lay them off and you will create — well, it’s probably a triple or quadruple rally, considering all the hits Kasich is unloading on local governments.

  • Fotogirlcb2002

    but the real story is — the private sector will jump for joy
    because they think all teachers have had it made for years
    they will just say — haha now they know how we the “ohio taxpayers” feel
    strange isnt it — we all ( public employees) knew all along our portion would increase but no one else knew until he put a target on us — and our health insurance will go up– heck fed taxes were increased on my check this week …
    man I wish I did get something for free — all he so called savings are killing me !!!
    where are those petitions ?
    and where is that recall legislation?

  • If I lose 10-12% of my real income I will lose my house I am fighting a losing battle ever since I found out I had a predatory loan and almost lost it after that. My husband is disabled now and no longer can work. I am the soul provider and we are living from pay check to pay check since we depleted our savings saving our house. Now I guess the tea partyers should be happy. I will be working for nothing. With nothing to show for it. But the states budget will be balanced. NOT!!!!! Oh but wait I can spend $2000 to be nationally certified so I can have a lead teacher certification so I can help fire my work mates. But then I may make merit pay and earn back what I lost. ya right I can see that working.

  • dlw

    Exactly. I’ve been saying the same thing. Oddly, I can’t find the line in the budget that accounts for the lost revenue that is a direct result of all of the coming layoffs. Because yes, the cities are going to feel this as about a triple whammy… but then so is the state. And for all of the state workers who are about to lose their jobs? No job equals no income tax. And lowered salaries equals lower income tax revenues. Hurts all the way up to the feds. Not what the economy needs on any level. And a most excellent way to bring the growth of the last year to a screaming halt.

  • Madashell

    Amen! I am in the same boat. Add all those student loans from the mandatory continuing education requirements to renew my license and that leaves nothing to pay the rest of the bills! As a side note, I met with an HUD employee yesterday and they are projecting over 500 new foreclosures in Montgomery County alone next month. So tired of being punished for the pursuit of happiness! Shame on them!!!

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