Week in Review - 09/21/2018

Week in Review - 09/21/2018

AUDITOR OF STATE

Auditor Dave Yost's office Wednesday released a review of results from recent school district performance audits, promoting the audits as a resource to stave off deficits many schools are projected to face in coming years. The auditor's office notes 93 percent of school districts are expected to see spending outpace revenue within the next five years. While some can rely on carryover balances, 148 districts are projected to end FY22 with deficit fund balances, according to forecasts submitted to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).


CENSUS

U.S. Census Bureau data released recently show an increase in the state's rate of uninsured individuals, a decrease in poverty and a noticeable increase in the state's median household income. Ohio's percentage of uninsured individuals increased from 5.4 percent in 2016 to 6.0 percent in 2017; its rate of poverty decreased from 14.6 percent in 2016 to 14.0 percent in 2017; and its household median income increased from $52,334 in 2016 to $54,021 in 2017.


EDUCATION

State Board of Education members and Superintendent Paolo DeMaria talked through both how they'd shoulder big cuts and where they'd like to see funding increases as they discussed planning for the FY20-21 budget Monday. DeMaria and Ohio Department of Education (ODE) budget chief Aaron Rausch presented outlines for two funding scenarios that the Office of Budget and Management (OBM) has asked agencies to plan for -- 90 percent of prior-year funding, and flat funding. DeMaria also prepared an appendix to the official budget submission to express board members' priorities for additional spending should the administration and lawmakers make additional money available.


As an advisory group nears completion of recommendations for new high school graduation rules, Superintendent Paolo DeMaria updated State Board of Education members on the outline of those proposals in advance of the recommendations formally going to the board in October.


Members of Native American communities and concerned citizens from around the state testified at Tuesday's State Board of Education meeting by urging the board and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to speak out against derogatory representations of native people in school mascots.


Officials at the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) on Monday detailed two recently released online tools meant to help school districts gain insight into the art coursework being offered at schools statewide and to adopt strategies that will improve student outcomes. These included the new Ohio Arts Education Data Project and Evidence-Based Clearinghouse. The data project is intended to provide schools and the public a snapshot of the state of arts education in the state. Developed in partnership with the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Ohio Arts Council, and Quadrant Research, the database will be provided to the public by Ohio and four other states. The second tool is the first version of the Evidence-Based Clearinghouse, which seeks to collect best practice strategies that improve student results and engagement and to share them statewide. The tool, part of ODE's Empowered by Evidence initiative, first launched on Monday, Sept. 10.


Pending minor revisions to reflect suggestions at its final meeting, the workgroup developing a long-term replacement for graduation requirements agreed Wednesday to a proposal to send to the State Board of Education, which will consider formally recommending it to the General Assembly. The draft final proposal largely fits the system Superintendent Paolo DeMaria presented to the school board's Achievement and Graduation Requirements Committee earlier in the week.


Charter schools in Ohio's eight largest urban districts generally outperformed their traditional school peers in student growth data, according to an analysis by Buckeye Charter School Boards Inc. (BCSB), an advocacy nonprofit. Site-based, general education charter schools got an A, B or C more often than nearby district schools on the overall value-added measurement; specifically, 44 percent of the charters got such grades, while 33 percent of district schools did. This measurement is based on testing data for math, English, and science in grades four through eight, as well as some high school end-of-course exams.


ELECTIONS 2018

Secretary of State Jon Husted announced that absentee voting for military and overseas voters begins Saturday, Sept. 22, for the upcoming general election. The deadline to register to vote or update an existing registration ahead of the Nov. 6 General Election is Tuesday, Oct. 9 (30 days before the election). Voters may go to www.MyOhioVote.com/VoterRegistration to register online or update an existing registration. Voter registration forms can also be printed from www.MyOhioVote.com or obtained from a local library or board of elections office.