Week in Review - 06/01/2018

Week in Review - 06/01/2018

EDUCATION

Under federal law passed in 1975, children with intellectual disabilities are supposed to spend as much time as possible in general education classrooms. But a new study from Ohio State University (OSU) suggests that progress toward that goal has stalled.


After subpoenaing digital records of the defunct Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), Auditor Dave Yost is now asking to officially be named as a party to the lawsuit in which court-appointed attorneys are settling the online charter school’s affairs. Outside counsel appointed for Yost, Maria Armstrong and Federico Barrera of Bricker & Eckler, filed a motion to intervene Friday.


The Ohio Department of Education announced Tuesday that it awarded a combined $33 million-plus in federal grants to dozens of school districts or consortiums of school districts to improve student literacy. The awards follow an application process for the $35 million Ohio received from the U.S. Department of Education's (USDOE) Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grant program. About 95 percent of that amount was earmarked for distribution to local schools.


A group that helped to craft graduation flexibility for the class of 2018 is meeting again to develop a new system for this year's freshman and classes beyond, though the fate of classes in between is bogged down in the General Assembly. Superintendent Paolo DeMaria's Advisory Committee on Graduation gathered for a second time Wednesday following a meeting in early May. The group last met in early 2017 to approve a 2018 framework that the State Board of Education and lawmakers later ratified, with some tweaks.


GAMING/GAMBLING

The Ohio Lottery Commission (OLC) and the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) are prepared to implement rules allowing sports betting if they're directed to do so by the governor or the General Assembly, agency representatives told Hannah News. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that the federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional, thereby opening the door for states to legalize it. However, Jon Keeling, a spokesperson for Gov. John Kasich, said expanding gambling is not currently a priority for the administration.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

There are 160 bills that have been passed out of a House committee and are awaiting action as the House speaker's seat remained vacant for another week. Five sessions have been cancelled as the House Republican Caucus continues to debate who should replace former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) for the rest of this session, and House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) tries to secure 50 votes for a candidate.


With the House speaker's race still at an impasse, House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) Tuesday outlined two scenarios for proceeding for House members and asked them to choose from: 1) Calling a session and voting until they have a speaker, or 2) calling a session to amend the House rules and allow him to oversee the full duties as speaker while remaining speaker pro tempore. He set a Friday, June 1 deadline for members of both parties to let him know their preference, which will determine the process followed the next time the House is in session on Wednesday, June 6.


Meanwhile, several House Republicans held two separate news conferences this week on Tuesday and Wednesday, calling on their fellow Republicans to back Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) for speaker and urging Speaker Pro Tem Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) to call a vote. Smith said on Wednesday that he is "frustrated" and "perplexed" by Schuring's two options for resolving the speaker's race that Schuring laid out on Tuesday.


The upper chamber plans to move forward with two sessions in June, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) told reporters Tuesday. "My expectation is ... that we'll be here June 6 and probably again on the 27th," Obhof said following a non-voting session. "My anticipation would be that we'll have a pretty steady stream of work going over the summer, even for the month or two that we're not here."


TELECOMMUNICATIONS

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio recently approved a plan to overlay a new area code over the existing 937 area code. The 937 area code is expected to run out of available phone numbers in the third quarter of 2020, according to the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA). All current 937 area code subscribers will continue to maintain their current number and 937 area code.