Week in Review - 04/13/2018

Week in Review - 04/13/2018

BALLOT ISSUES

Saying the proposed congressional redistricting changes in Issue 1 do not go far enough in reforming the process, the ACLU of Ohio said Monday that it will neither support nor oppose the constitutional amendment. "While there are some benefits to Issue 1, it still allows for partisan gerrymandering. We need a better process -- with better rules -- to ensure Ohio voters are appropriately represented in congressional elections," said Mike Brickner, senior policy director at the ACLU of Ohio.


 

EDUCATION

During his monthly address to the State Board of Education, Superintendent Paolo DeMaria previewed an upcoming initiative to provide institutional support to school districts looking to establish partnerships with health care providers, as well as took questions on a recent computer error that left more than 5,000 English Language Arts (ELA) exams with incorrect scores.


The two-dozen plus indicators that factor into schools' state report card grades would grow by one under a plan approved Monday by a committee of the State Board of Education. The new chronic absenteeism improvement indicator, included in Ohio's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan, will look at how schools are working to reduce the number of students who miss school regularly.


Democratic lawmakers on the House Education and Career Readiness Committee expressed concerns about how major changes to the state school report card system would require significant changes to the state's school accountability system Tuesday. Rep. Mike Duffey (R-Worthington) appeared before the committee for an informal hearing on his HB591, which would overhaul the state report card with the express purpose of putting more emphasis on student growth measures and removing a letter grading system that he argued obfuscates true school achievement through obscure measurement and calculations.


The House Finance Committee added $10 million in school safety funding to HB318 (Patterson-LaTourette), legislation on school resource officers, and sent it on to the full House for passage Tuesday.


Persistent questions about when state test essay questions initially scored by computers should be re-scored by hand led Ohio Department of Education (ODE) staff to back off plans to move forward with rule revisions Tuesday. The State Board of Education's Achievement and Graduation Requirements Committee was scheduled to consider a vote on rule revisions prompted by recent complaints about the results of test scoring by artificial intelligence (AI).


ENERGY

Wind farms in Paudling, Van Wert and Hardin counties have generated $54 million in payments to landowners and local governments and schools in recent years, but Ohio is losing potentially billions in new facility investments because of turbine setback restrictions that make new farms unfeasible, Northwest Ohio officials said Wednesday at a Statehouse press conference. The result of the halt in development related to the 2014 setback change is a haves and have-nots situation in neighboring counties and school districts, local officials from that region said.


GAMING/GAMBLING

Ohio's four casinos combined and seven racinos combined reported earning more revenue in March than in any other month since they opened, according to new figures released Monday.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

Wednesday's House session included passage of HB360 (Greenspan), regarding bullying and school safety; HB318 (LaTourette-Patterson), setting standards for school resource officers and providing school safety funding; HB131 (Gavarone-Reineke), regarding physical therapists; and HB378 (Smith-Cera), providing broadband development grants;


Wednesday's Senate session included passage of SB82 (Williams-Lehner), requiring schools to contact parents when a child has an unexcused absence.