Week in Review - 03/16/2018

Week in Review - 03/16/2018

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Attorney General Mike DeWine released the 2018 edition of Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual on Monday, coinciding with the beginning of National Sunshine Week. The Sunshine Laws Manual summarizes Revised Code provisions and case law regarding the Ohio Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act. The 2018 edition, also referred to as the "Yellow Book," includes updates on recent open government legal decisions and law changes. The electronic edition, accessible at http://tinyurl.com/ydaukh5o , includes clickable bookmarks that allow readers to quickly jump to their topic of interest as well as hyperlinked court cases to allow readers to quickly access court decisions.


EDUCATION

State Board of Education members discussed Monday Ohio's current programs and practices for making schools safe and secure and possible new approaches, sparked by the recent deadly shooting at a Florida high school. Superintendent Paolo DeMaria discussed safety and security measures through four lenses -- prevention strategies, facilities, planning, and practice. He reviewed topics such as implementation of positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) in schools, construction and retro-fitting of secure doors and emergency radios through the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, development of required safety plans by all schools, and the use of those plans in table-top exercises and drills.


The State Board of Education voted 11-4 Tuesday to state its "complete opposition" to HB512 (Reineke), a plan supported by House Republican leaders and Gov. John Kasich to merge K-12, higher education and workforce functions of state government and, in the process, diminish the role of the board and the state superintendent. The resolution was supported by board members Pat Bruns, Stephanie Dodd, Sarah Fowler, Linda Haycock, Meryl Johnson, Laura Kohler, Charlotte McGuire, Antoinette Miranda, Kara Morgan, Nick Owens and Lisa Woods. In opposition were Vice President Nancy Hollister and members Cathye Flory, Eric Poklar and James Sheppard. President Tess Elshoff and members Martha Manchester and Joe Farmer were not present for the vote.


While the vast majority of individuals testifying on HB512 (Reineke) on Wednesday were opposed to consolidating several education-related agencies into the Ohio Department of Learning and Achievement (DLA), the Ohio Chamber of Commerce cautiously commended the legislation. "The Ohio Chamber recognizes that HB512 is a comprehensive piece of legislation that touches on the whole of Ohio's educational system. However, I am here testifying as an interested party in order to express support for how the bill would impact workforce development, specifically. Better alignment of our education system to better prepare our workforce for both today and for the future is essential," Ohio Chamber of Commerce Vice President of Government Affairs Keith Lake told the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.


Gov. John Kasich's office had not made a decision as of Monday night on Superintendent Paolo DeMaria's request for a seat on the Governor's Executive Workforce Board.


Four charter schools will share $4 million in state funding for facilities projects, the second round of building awards under a state program created in the 2016-2017 biennial budget, 131-HB64 (R. Smith). The award recipients are as follows: Arts and College Preparatory Academy in Columbus, which received $1.88 million; Dayton Early College Academy in Dayton, which received $749,182; United Preparatory Academy in Columbus, which received $1.1 million; and Zanesville Community High School in Zanesville, which received $298,679.


A new national study finds nearly one in five teachers who were victims of physical or verbal violence at their schools didn't report the incidents to school administrators, according to Ohio State University. The study found "significant" minorities of teachers who experienced violence also didn't tell their colleagues (14 percent) or family (24 percent). Only 12 percent went to a counselor.


A former Central Ohio school administrator and teacher with more than 20 years in education has joined the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) as its deputy chief executive. Kathy McFarland comes from Olentangy Local Schools' Orange High School in Delaware County, where she served as principal for more than two years.


EMPLOYMENT/UNEMPLOYMENT

Ohio's unemployment rate fell from a revised 4.9 percent in December to 4.7 percent in January, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The state's non-agricultural wage and salary employment increased 12,100 over the month from a revised 5,534,300 in December 2017 to 5,546,400 in January 2018, according to the latest business establishment survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in cooperation with ODJFS.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

In legislative action, the House Education and Career Readiness Committee reported out HB360 (Greenspan) which enacts the "Ohio Anti-Bullying and Hazing Act.