Week in Review - 07/06/2018

Week in Review - 07/06/2018

EDUCATION

Innovation Ohio's Steve Dyer and Central Ohio educators gathered Monday to highlight the effects of the now-shuttered Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) on Central Ohio schools' budgets and criticize Republicans for enabling the defunct online charter school for years. Dyer called a press conference outside the state offices of Attorney General Mike DeWine, who he said should be pursuing "serious criminal probes" given the thousands of children affected by the school's downfall and the millions of dollars at stake. DeWine's office countered that it's "shocking that they don't understand Ohio law," which holds that the attorney general's original prosecutorial authority is constrained to limited topics such as Medicaid fraud and organized crime. On most matters, DeWine can only prosecute at the request of other authorities.


William Lager, founder of Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), violated public contract law and his fiduciary duty to the online school by doing business with it through two other companies tied to him, and he could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars, Attorney General Mike DeWine's office argued in a civil court filing Tuesday.


In a recent, first-ever ceremony held at Ohio State University, the Ohio Department of Education recognized the members of the class of 2018 who are joining the U.S. military. "Ohio salutes these recent graduates and we beam with pride as they take the first steps into their careers in the U.S. military," said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. "In service to our country, opportunity of all kinds awaits them. We wish them well as they embark on this new journey."


Ohio Democrats argued Thursday that Attorney General Mike DeWine's decision this week to file court papers outlining plans to go after the founder of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) shows he's finally buckling to political pressure after ignoring problems with the online charter school for years. DeWine's office countered that two legal theories underpinning its strategy have only been established in case law for a few months.


The home school district of a student placed by children services in an out-of-state facility can be required to bear the expense of that placement, Attorney General Mike DeWine's office said this week in a formal legal opinion that overturns one written more than 50 years ago.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

The upper chamber will be in session on Tuesday, July 10 if payday lending reform bill HB123 (Koehler-Ashford) is ready for a vote, Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) told Hannah News Thursday. Following Thursday's non-voting session, Obhof said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) is working with Pew Charitable Trusts on a number of amendments to the legislation.


GOVERNOR

Gov. John R. Kasich Friday signed 15 bills into law, including the following:

- HB8 (Hambley-Rezabek) exempts from the Public Records Law certain information concerning a minor that is included in a record related to a traffic accident involving a school vehicle.

- HB21 (Hambley) makes changes regarding community school -- enrollments, school sponsor evaluation system, and exemptions for certain chartered nonpublic schools from state testing and graduation requirements; eliminates the current Education Management Information System (EMIS) Advisory Board, places a moratorium on the requirement for storm shelters in schools, and requires the Department of Education to establish a new EMIS Advisory Council.

- HB438 (Hambley-Kick) permits the addition of appointed members to educational service center boards, permits a local school district to sever its territory from one educational service center and annex that territory to an adjacent service center under specified conditions, authorizes educational service centers to establish local professional development committees, and modifies eligibility for community school classroom facilities grants.