Week in Review - 08/02/2019

Week in Review - 08/02/2019

FY20-21 BUDGET

The final version of HB 166 (Oelslager), the biennial budget signed by Gov. Mike DeWine earlier this month, includes two policy changes added by the Senate and retained by the conference committee that move the primary election date back for the 2020 presidential race and reduce the number of required precinct election officials.


Gov. Mike DeWine Tuesday pointed to services such as those offered at Highland Elementary School in Columbus as an example of the type of wrap-around services schools around the state can now offer thanks to increased funding in the FY20-21 budget, HB 166 (Oelslager). It includes $675 million for schools to better address students’ social and emotional needs. The governor said those funds will be used for services such as student wellness programs, before and after school programs, and more mental health support to help students to cope with stress and trauma.


EDUCATION

Members of the State Board of Education's workgroup on dropout prevention and recovery school report cards discussed on Monday the concept of creating a "graduation eligible" category to define which students should be counted in the four-through eight-year graduation rate measures on the report cards.


State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria would receive a 2.75 percent raise, the standard increase for salaried state employees, under a resolution approved Tuesday by the State Board of Education's Executive Committee. Notably, the raise would not include a bonus as in years past, with members citing the need for improvement in his relationship with the board, communication, and policy advocacy. It will go before the full board at its next meeting in September. Following a lengthy closed executive session in which members discussed DeMaria's performance, they collectively expressed dissatisfaction with the current method of evaluating the superintendent based on his goals.


With no end in sight for parallel litigation, a closeout audit pending, and apparent interest from the FBI, the judge overseeing remaining assets from the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) approved about $300,000Tuesday for a new system to preserve the defunct online charter school's data. Richard Kruse, an asset management expert appointed to help mind ECOT'saffairs, told Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook that the aging system now housing the school's information is suffering hardware failures at an increasing rate.


Attorney General Dave Yost's office weighed in recently on interpreting laws for schools wanting armed security on their premises by responding to a request for legal advice from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. Prosecutor Michael O'Malley asked Yost in June for a formal opinion on the matter, prompted by Parma City School District's hiring of a safety and security supervisor. The district superintendent would like this person tobe able to carry a gun on school property while on duty.


The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) recently announced rural school districts that will participate in a grant-funded initiative in partnership with Harvard University to address chronic absenteeism and college readiness and enrollment. ODE and Harvard's Center for Education Policy Research in February won a $10 million, five-year grant from the U.S.Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to fund the initiative in Ohio and New York schools.


JUDICIAL

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted an appeal filed by the city of Alliance against Marlington Local Schools on how local jurisdictions should split settlement proceeds when a business breaches the terms of its development incentives. The two Stark County jurisdictions are at odds over distribution of nearly $1 million paid byTerry's Tire Town for violating a contract under which it was granted a 15-year, 100 percent property tax exemption to build a facility for its wholesale operations in an industrial park.