Week in Review - 01/10/2020

Week in Review - 01/10/2020

EDUCATION

Ohio's charter school sector continued to contract in number of schools and students enrolled in the previous academic year, according to the state's annual report on charter schools. The Ohio Department of Education's (ODE) annual report for the 2018-2019 school year shows the fifth consecutive year in which fewer schools and fewer students made up the sector. The sector had 320 schools and 102,563 students, down from 340 schools and 104,433 students the year prior and 395 schools and 120,893 students in the 2013-2014 academic year, the high water mark for the sector. Charter enrollment for 2018-2019 made up 6.2 percent of Ohio's total K-12 public school enrollment.


The court-appointed attorney minding Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow's assets said in a recent court filing that the defunct online school's old sponsor will prepare ECOT's final financial report to meet the demands of Auditor Keith Faber, though the filing says Faber's request is "unreasonable." The filing also provides another indication of FBI interest in ECOT's affairs. Myron Terlecky, appointed as interim master to supervise ECOT's assets by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Richard Holbrook, acknowledged in the filing that he has turned school records over to the federal law enforcement agency. 


FEDERAL

Newly released population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate Ohio could lose a congressional seat after the 2020 Census, according to an analysis of the data by the consulting group Election Data Services. The Census Bureau estimates Ohio's population at 11.7 million as of July 2019. This is a 1.3 percent increase since the last decennial census taken in April 2010. Ohio has the seventh largest population in the country. Despite the population increase, Election Data Services predicts Ohio will join nine other states, including neighboring Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, in losing one congressional seat.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said Wednesday he's confident both chambers will act to address recent concerns with the EdChoice scholarship program in the next few weeks. Obhof did not offer specifics on what EdChoice legislation would entail. Local school officials have raised the alarm over a substantial expansion of the number of school buildings at which students are or will be eligible for vouchers. Some of that expansion relates to changes made in the biennial budget, HB166 (Oeslager), while some is the delayed effect of laws on the books for a few years.