OHIO, Ohio (AP) Schools in one of Ohio’s most populous counties closed Monday as the state faced a massive influx of students seeking college scholarships amid a nationwide financial crisis.
The closures come as many states face a looming cash crunch and the economy has taken a beating from a severe winter.
The Ohio Department of Education said its offices had closed about 20 schools, including high schools, to allow students to complete their studies.
The agency did not provide details on how many students had completed their studies in those schools.
In neighboring Butler County, schools in Butler County High School were closed due to snow melt, officials said.
Schools in Clark County, which includes Columbus, were also closed for the day due to a lack of staffing.
The closures came just weeks after Gov.
John Kasich signed into law a package of tax relief and other changes aimed at boosting economic development and reducing the state’s debt burden.
The measures, which took effect last week, include a $10,000 tax credit for high school graduates and a $100,000 cash grant to help pay for college and graduate education.
They also reduce property taxes for low-income families.
Kasich also created a program to help Ohio’s poorest residents pay for private college tuition.
State education officials also said they were working with other counties to help students and their families access scholarships, including the Columbus-based Community Foundation for Education, which has a partnership with Ohio State University to help needy students.
“Ohio has long had one of the lowest student achievement rates in the country, but these are not excuses for a lack in support for students,” said Christina Mazzuca, the director of the Ohio Department for Education.
“This package of initiatives helps Ohio students, their families, and the state of Ohio to continue to build on the successes we’ve had in the past and grow into the future.”
Officials said they had not seen any instances of students transferring from other high schools.
The state will help students pay their own way through a scholarship program that will be available in some areas.
The school closures came as the Ohio Supreme Court decided to let a judge rule on the case of a student who said he was unable to attend his high school graduation because he could not afford to pay the fees.