Week in Review - 11/09/2018

Week in Review - 11/09/2018

FY18-19 BUDGET

State revenues are about $100million ahead of estimates for the fiscal year so far, with October bringing a modest over performance for income taxes and a tiny uptick in sales taxes compared to forecasts, according to preliminary data from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM.) Tax collections reached $1.93 million in October versus expectations of $1.86 million, 3.7 percent or $68.7 million over estimates. This performance comes even after OBM and the Ohio Department of Taxation decided to increase their revenue forecast for FY19 by more than half a billion dollars.

 

FY20-21 BUDGET

Key legislators at the forward-looking budget panel for Thursday's Impact Ohio conference said they foresee greater partnerships with local governments in the near future, but House Finance Chairman Rep. Scott Ryan (R-Newark) said, for him, that does not mean restoration of the Local Government Fund (LGF). "I do not support any more money going to the Local Government Fund, period," he said." And that's because of the distribution model."

 

EDUCATION

Rep. Robert Cupp (R-Lima) and Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) will co-chair a new study committee to develop funding recommendations for online charter schools. House and Senate leadership offices confirmed Monday the appointments of Cupp and Lehner alongside Reps. Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) and Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati) and Sens. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) and Vernon Sykes (D-Akron). Cupp also chairs the House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, and Lehner chairs the Senate Education Committee. Despite the fact the committee is getting a late start and won't meet its statutory deadline, there is no date for a first meeting.


With approximately $2.8 Million in School Safety Training Grant Funding unclaimed, Ohio Attorney General (AG) Mike DeWine announced he is extending the deadline for eligible Ohio schools to claim their share of millions of dollars in school safety training grants. Only 63 percent of eligible schools had claimed their funds. A list of eligible schools that did not submitapplications by the Nov. 1 initial deadline can be found online athttps://tinyurl.com/ycxx5lsp .


Starting this week and running through year's end, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) will take applications from education, industry, and other community representatives looking to add to the list of professional work credentials that can help qualify a study for high school graduation. Earning a credential or series of credentials, along with a qualifying score on the WorkKeys job skills assessment, is one way students can earn a diploma.


Ohio voters approved 121 of 175 school tax issues on the Tuesday ballot, a69 percent passage rate based on unofficial returns, according to the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA). The total numbers of issues up for consideration dipped by one compared to totals announced ahead of Tuesday, after River Valley Local Schools in Marion County pulled its levy request.


A settlement agreement reached in the longstanding Doe v. State of Ohio class action lawsuit will require efforts by the state to improve special education test scores and rates of inclusion in 11 school districts that currently have very poor academic outcomes for students with disabilities and high levels of segregation. According to a release from Disability Rights Ohio(DRO), the state will work with DRO to create a plan that will reverse those deficits in the following districts: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, East Cleveland, Toledo, Youngstown and Zanesville.


EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT

The U.S. unemployment rate stayed steady at 3.9 percent in October, despite the addition of 250,000 jobs, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS). The number of unemployed people remained relatively unchanged at 6.1million. Notable in October's report is a reference to Hurricane Michael sayingit "had no discernible effect on the national employment and unemploymentestimates for October," adding that response rates for BLS employmentsurveys remained consistent.