Editorial roundup

The (Toledo) Blade, July 6

Charged with nourishing the world’s hungry, the United Nations World Food Program appears to be starving.

The agency, citing financial reasons, says it will cut the amount of food it distributes to 500,000 refugees in Kenya, putting them on a daily diet of 1,500 calories. These Oliver Twist-like rations are not confined to southern Africa …

President Obama’s proposed budget for next year slashes by $66 million the support it gives the U.S. Office of Food for Peace, an aid initiative that partners with the World Food Program. Anti-hunger advocates say the office’s budget should instead be increased from $1.4 billion to $1.75 billion.

The World Food Program can put its dollars to better use. Working in countries with high levels of corruption, its efforts have sometimes fallen prey to scams. In Syria, the agency has mistakenly doled out aid to people who did not qualify.

Still, the Obama Administration should reverse its planned cuts to the Office of Food for Peace, if only out of self-interest. Famine intensifies global conflict, placing greater strain on our Armed Forces.

More than 11 million people became refugees in the past year. This is not the time for Washington to lessen its commitment to international food aid.

Online: http://bit.ly/1HHja6y

The Akron Beacon Journal, July 2

The way Ohio oversees charter schools has been described as a something out of the “Wild, Wild West.” The state has become a laughing stock, reinforced recently by the closure of four charter schools in this part of the state and the conviction of Dayton charter officials on public corruption charges. How, then, to describe Cliff Rosenberger, the House speaker who sent his chamber home for summer break without taking up a comprehensive repair of charter school oversight that won unanimous approval in the state Senate?

“Misguided” would be a polite word. What Rosenberger should not miss is the impression he has invited. Under the leadership of his predecessor, the House gained the reputation of looking to take care of charter operators, especially the for-profit management firms, known for their willingness to deploy political money in seeking to get their way. Now the new speaker appears to be filling the familiar role.

For all the talk from his office about taking care in examining changes made by the Senate, the impression is closer to Rosenberger and his team weighing the political fallout against sound policy-making …

Charter schools are here to stay, the concept, when executed well, advancing the quality of education. The challenge is setting up a structure that demands solid academic performance. Ohio has an opportunity to do as much. That is, if House Republican leaders are committed to serving schoolchildren and seeing that the state is no longer the butt of jokes.

Online: http://bit.ly/1TgrV9I