Week in Review - 01/03/2020

Week in Review - 01/03/2020

EDUCATION

Completion-based or competency-based funding models for e-schools aren't feasible at this time, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) concluded in a report to state leaders on the subject. The report also shows how Ohio's current model gives e-schools funding for about two-thirds of the students they enroll on average. The e-school funding report, which lawmakers required ODE to complete by the end of 2019, also found other states generally use online schooling as a part-time supplement to traditional education, with concurrent enrollment at e-schools and brick-and-mortar schools. That's in contrast to the dominant model of full-time e-school enrollment in Ohio's online education sector.


High school coaches would no longer be allowed to require their athletes to participate in one sport under legislation proposed by Reps. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Joe Miller (D-Amherst). As certain high school sports such as football and basketball have continued to grow and become more popular, with a number of events being shown on TV, some coaches have required their athletes to specialize in one particular sport.


STATE GOVERNMENT

Ohio's minimum wage got a 15-cent bump to $8.70 benefitting an estimated 84,000 of Ohio's lowest paid workers effective Wednesday, Jan. 1, while Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 69 million Americans increased 1.6 percent. The 1.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) begin with benefits payable to more than 63 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2020. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries began on Dec. 31, 2019. (Note: Some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits.)


Over the holiday season, the Ohio Ethics Commission issued a reminder to public officials and employees of the gift-acceptance restrictions under Ohio's ethics laws. The commission said Ohio Ethics Law prohibits a public official or public employee from soliciting or accepting anything of value that could have a substantial and improper influence on the performance of public duties. "Nominal or very inexpensive gifts such as a coffee mug, tin of popcorn, or t-shirt are not considered substantial," the commission said. "These types of minor gifts are not prohibited under the ethics law, though you may still choose to decline them to avoid even the appearance of impropriety."


As the new head of Ohio's construction oversight agency, Cheryl Lyman has her eye on how data analytics can help with its mission, and she faces the challenge of increased demand for help from local schools amid strong competition for the talents of the construction workforce. In an interview with Hannah News, Lyman said she jumped at the chance to lead the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission because of the potential to make a difference on a statewide level and the ability to assess the progress of two reforms she'd worked on years ago -- construction procurement reform and the establishment of the agency itself, which first complemented and later subsumed her previous employer, the Ohio School Facilities Commission.