Karen Kasler

Ohio Public Radio and TV Statehouse Bureau Chief

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets.  She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.

Karen is a graduate of Otterbein College, and earned her Master’s as a Fellow in the Kiplinger Program for Mid-Career Journalists at The Ohio State University. Karen has been honored by the Associated Press, the Association of Capitol Editors and Reporters, the Cleveland Press Club/Society of Professional Journalists, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences/Ohio Valley Emmys, and holds a National Headliner Award. 

Ways to Connect

photo of John Glenn College of Public Affairs

State lawmakers have been working to find ways to trim $800 million in spending from the next two-year budget. And that’s why a $5 million allocation to a new program at Ohio State University has gotten some attention.

The money would launch a leadership institute at Ohio State’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs, aimed at teaching local and state elected officials about budgeting, dealing with state government and other matters.

A study from a pro-charter school group shows that open enrollment in public schools helped students. In one population, their grades dramatically improved.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute tracked 70,000 students who transferred from their home public schools to schools that admitted them through open enrollment. Chad Aldis with Fordham says, on average, students move up 2 to 4 percentiles compared to the kids who remain in their home districts.

photo of money

State senators are preparing to put out their version of Ohio's budget, in which they need to trim hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure it’s balanced. The state budget office is reporting another big loss in tax collections for the current fiscal year.

Photo of Paolo DeMaria with the state Board of Education.
Andy Chow / Statehouse News Bureau

Some 47,000 Ohio high school juniors are in danger of not meeting a set of tough new graduation standards for next year. And the state school superintendent says he’s pleased that the Senate version of the budget will likely include an alternative for those students. 

photo of Lorain City Schools logo

A second school district is now under increased state control after a series of poor report cards from the Ohio Department of Education. It seems to be going more smoothly than the first state intervention two years ago.