Week in Review - 08/03/2018

Week in Review - 08/03/2018

EDUCATION

Attorney General Mike DeWine's office is requesting a slight clarification on the scope of its authority in an ongoing case regarding the now-defunct Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT). DeWine's office was given permission by Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Michael Holbrook to seek recovery of funds from ECOT and its affiliates in an order released Wednesday.


The Ohio Department of Education announced Monday 11 teachers recognized as Teacher of the Year in each of the State Board of Education districts, a group from whom the next Ohio Teacher of the Year will be picked. Educators, administrators, parents, students, and others nominated teachers for the recognition, and the elected board member for each district work with a local committee of stakeholders to select the teachers of the year.


While large urban school districts can often share multiple staff members to fulfill the specific needs of students, rural school districts often struggle to hire and retain staff to meet the needs of just one. That was the situation at Sandy Valley Schools, Superintendent David Fischer told the Related Services Workgroup.


HIGHER EDUCATION

Ohio State University placed head football coach Urban Meyer on paid administrative leave late Wednesday as part of an ongoing investigation into allegations of domestic violence against former assistant coach Zach Smith.


HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS

A recent report from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) states that 47 percent of Ohio renters are cost burdened, meaning that they spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities, a key indicator of housing insecurity. According to the group's annual "Housing Needs Assessment," housing insecurity is on the rise in Ohio due to stagnating wages and a lack of affordable housing for the lowest-income earners.


JUDICIAL

The Ohio Supreme Court considered Tuesday the question of whether a 13-year-old suspected of a bomb threat should have been advised of his Miranda rights before being interrogated by Dayton schools' director of safety. The case In re L.G. arises from a 2015 incident at Dayton's Longfellow Alternative School. The juvenile L.G. confessed to Jamie Bullens, executive director of safety and security for Dayton schools, that he'd called in the bomb threat. But the juvenile court declined to allow use of his statements to Bullens at trial, finding that Bullens was acting as an agent of law enforcement and should have advised L.G. of his rights. The Second District Court of Appeals upheld that decision, prompting the Montgomery County prosecutor to appeal.


MEDICAID/MEDICAID REFORM

As Ohio potentially heads toward implementing Medicaid work requirements, a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) found that nationwide, only six percent of individuals currently enrolled in Medicaid would not be eligible for the program if work requirements were implemented, because the other 94 percent are either already working or exempt.


UTILITIES

The Ohio Supreme Court has no authority to require the state, a political subdivision or their officers to post millions of dollars in bond money to secure a Court-ordered stay of utility collections previously approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) argued Monday in a filing opposing FirstEnergy Solutions' three-year $500 million distribution modernization rider. The Ohio Manufacturers' Association Energy Group (OMAEG) joined OCC in claiming the Supreme Court, in fact, has unrestricted power to waive bond for private complainants as well, despite its recent history of denying stays in PUCO appeals resulting in multi-million-dollar "windfalls" to public utilities.