Week in Review - 01/31/2020

Week in Review - 01/31/2020

EDUCATION

After three days of late nights negotiating changes to the EdChoice voucher system, the House moved Thursday night to give lawmakers more time to address the issue by attaching a 60-day delay in the application window to SB120 (McColley-Rulli), a bill originally dealing with university performance audits. House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) said he’d brought a long-term proposal to the Senate but they’d asked for more time, though Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) laid blame for the delay at the House’s feet. The Senate had acted Tuesday to address the issue via amendments to HB9 (Jones-Sweeney) that would shrink the list of EdChoice-eligible buildings in the coming school year from more than 1,200 to 425, but also increase the earning threshold for income-based vouchers from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 300 percent. That bill went to a conference committee that met only to organize and never took further action. The House also discussed attaching changes to SB89 (M. Huffman) in the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee for a time but likewise never acted. Householder said he’s hoping for a system that drops the school performance-based element entirely, using only income as a qualification. 


The Graduation Requirements and High School Redesign Task Force of the State Board of Education met Monday afternoon to discuss graduation requirement updates and high school redesign initiatives and partnerships.


GOVERNOR

The state should not dissolve academic distress commissions (ADCs), Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday. He was responding to a couple of legislative efforts addressing ADCs in Youngstown, East Cleveland and Lorain. The House passed ADC abolishment bill HB154 (Jones-J. Miller) in May 2019, while the Senate recently proposed to abolish only the Lorain ADC as part of its EdChoice voucher program reform proposal in HB9 (Jones-Sweeney).