Week in Review - 09/13/2019

Week in Review - 09/13/2019

FY20-21 BUDGET

Ohio collected $62.5 million more in tax revenue than expected in August, according to preliminary figures from the Office of Budget and Management. Tax receipts of $2.13 billion were 3 percent ahead of expected collections of $2.07 billion.


EDUCATION

Ahead of a hearing this week on academic distress commission reforms, Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) said Monday the Senate might complete work on its version of the legislation before September ends.


Ohio's career technical education system and dropout prevention and recovery schools have some common ground, members of the State Board of Education's Dropout Recovery and Prevention (DRP) Workgroup heard at Monday's meeting. Brian Bachtel, director of career technical education at Kent City Schools, joined the group at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to talk about the common challenges he has faced running two dropout-related programs: career-based intervention (CBI) and graduation realities and dual-role skills (GRADS), the latter a program designed to engage pregnant students and the expecting fathers.


A school turnaround expert with experience in Massachusetts and New York City told the Senate Education Committee Tuesday that a draft academic distress proposal reflects some of the successful approaches he's seen in action, but said it will be a challenge for any policy framework to compel the local partnership and commitment that's essential to long-term improvement. School management, teachers’ unions and education reform groups also weighed in on the new substitute version of HB154 (Jones-J. Miller). The committee adopted a substitute version of HB154 Tuesday, over the objections of committee Democrats and Sen. Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville), who represents one of the districts under a distress commission now, Lorain City Schools. Manning noted the sub bill resets the clock for other districts that have accrued at least one F on state report cards and said he dissented because districts under commission control don't get the same treatment.


Ohio schools got their second round of state report cards with overall A-F grades Thursday, with a few more districts at the top of the scale, substantially fewer at the bottom and dozens more in the middle of the pack with a C. Though a moratorium on new distress commissions blunted some of the consequences of this latest round of grades, a drop from 14 districts earning F grades last year to four this year diminished the overall threat of new state takeovers.