week in Review - 01/18/2019

week in Review - 01/18/2019

ECONOMY

A lack in workforce availability is causing at least one central Ohio economist to lower his estimates for job growth in 2019 after the previous year's numbers came in under estimates for 2018. Bill LaFayette, owner of Regionomics LLC and a contributor for Hannah News, appeared before a recent meeting of the Columbus Metropolitan Club to provide an overview of his hiring forecast for the next year. LaFayette expects a hiring gain of 1.2percent in 2019, totaling 13,000 new jobs in the city. He said that represents his lowest forecast since the recession but still higher growth than any year between 2003 and 2007.


EDUCATION

State Board of Education members elected Laura Kohler as president and Charlotte McGuire as vice president at their organizational meeting Tuesday. Kohler beat Nick Owens on a 13-6 vote for the presidency. McGuire squeaked past Sarah Fowler 10-9, following a first ballot that split 9-9 with the abstention of Stephanie Dodd. Dodd put McGuire over the top on the second ballot.


Legal, financial, and practical limits on how charter schools find buildings have pushed some into questionable arrangements that raise policy questions for the Legislature, according to a report former Auditor Dave Yost released just before handing over the office to Auditor Keith Faber. Yost, now attorney general, launched a study of charter school facility funding arrangements afterthe office fielded a complaint "alleging that complex lease agreementsentered into by some community schools involved with management companies areresulting in excessive lease payments, diverting public dollars away fromeducating students and into the pockets of private companies and theindividuals who run them," the report states.


Reps. Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson) Tuesday outlinedfor the State Board of Education portions of their plan to revamp the stateschool funding formula that they have been working on in the past year. Theplan is based around two key questions: "What does it cost to educate achild today," and "What does every district need to operate?"


During a Wednesday morning discussion of policies and procedures, members ofthe State Board of Education floated the idea of receiving pay for time spentpreparing for board meetings. What began as an informational orientation fornew members pivoted to a discussion on pay when new board member Kristen Hillasked Recording Secretary Jack Alsop if board members received pay for timespent preparing for board meetings. Alsop said, no, members do not, but they doreceive pay for time spent at board meetings; time spent on other educationpanels; time spent on professional development; time spent visiting schools andschool facilities; and time spent actively informing or engaging the public onboard business.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

Members of the Ohio House would have more flexibility in proposingamendments while avenues previously used to block amendments would no longer beallowed under proposed changes to House rules. A committee appointed by SpeakerLarry Householder (R-Glenford) and chaired by Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Concord)began its work on potential rule changes for the 133rd General Assembly onWednesday, though it did not vote on any of those changes. Callender explainedto members that he wanted to give them time to review any potential changes.


GOVERNOR

Gov. Mike DeWine told a packed Statehouse crowd Monday that it may takeyears or even a lifetime before some results of his administration's work areseen, but said that those results "will be profound" and "willendure." Focusing on his early childhood initiatives during his speechduring his ceremonial inauguration event, DeWine said his administration'splans to intervene "early in the lives of at-risk kids, to address theirphysical and emotional needs, and to give them better, higher-quality educationalopportunities -- all will be undertaken in the faith and hope and yes in theconfidence that these children will flourish and grow and that their lives willbe forever changed by the things that we do."