Week in Review - 04/06/2018

Week in Review - 04/06/2018

FY18-19 BUDGET

Tax revenues were 2 percent ahead of estimates in March after stronger sales tax collections outstripped a shortfall in income tax collections, according to preliminary figures released Thursday by the Office of Budget and Management.


EDUCATION

Currently, the State Board of Education is not permitted to adopt statewide health education standards. That would change under a bill introduced Thursday by Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron). SB287 requires the State Board of Education to develop and adopt health education standards before July 1, 2019, establishing that they do so using the same methods they use for any other subject matter.


The State Board of Education is accepting nominations through Friday, April 13 for the 2019 Ohio Teacher of the Year awards. More information on the awards program, including nomination forms and the names of territory leads to whom nominations are submitted, is available at http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/District-and-School-Continuous-Improvement/Awards-and-Recognition/Ohio-Teacher-of-the-Year-OTOY.


The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is accepting intent-to-apply notices through Friday, April 6 from community schools interested in a share of federal grant funding intended to expand high-performing charter schools in the state. A link for the intent-to-apply notice as well as application materials and other information are available at http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Community-Schools/Charter-Schools-Program-Grant-CSP.


The State Board of Education's Executive Committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend a new tool for evaluating the superintendent of public instruction, as well as changes to the process by which school districts may take on additional debt.


A recent report from think tank The Early Childhood Data Collaborative analyzing various states' approaches to publicly funded early childhood education indicates that Ohio is making strides towards an early education and child care system designed to provide access to all children, regardless of socioeconomic status.


OhioMeansJobs is preparing to make improvements to its website, including creation of resource pages for K-5 and 6-8 grade bands, and is seeking feedback from educators on the plans. A survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018Survey_OMJK-12.


The State Board of Education's panel exploring report card reforms started a series of sessions Tuesday where it will review particular components of the state's measures of local school districts, then break into small groups for discussions of changes. The group reviewed the Achievement section of the report card Tuesday, with Ohio Department of Education accountability official Chris Woolard briefing members on the mechanics of the Performance Index and Indicators Met, the two measures that determine the overall Achievement grade districts receive.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

Updated data released in March by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) showed a slight uptick of one-half percent in the proportion of state legislators who are women, reaching 25.4 percent. "This represents a noteworthy change from the 2017 session's ratio of 24.9 percent, as the share of women legislators has finally reached one-quarter nationwide," NCSL said on its website.


Legislation providing an appropriation for new voting machines will likely be considered on the floor next week, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said Tuesday. Sen. Frank LaRose's (R-Copley) SB135 could be considered along with as many as a dozen other bills during the Senate's session on Wednesday, April 11, Obhof told reporters following the chamber's non-voting session.


HIGHER EDUCATION

OhioLINK and the Ohio Department of Higher Education said this week that the state has reached a new price agreement with a fourth textbook publisher and now has agreements with four of the five major publishers.