Week in Review - 10/25/2019

Week in Review - 10/25/2019

EDUCATION

Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) made his three appointments Monday to the study committee on state report cards established in the budget bill, following Speaker Larry Householder's (R-Glenford) earlier appointments. Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) and Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) will serve by dint of their respective chairmanships of the standing education committees in the General Assembly. 


Obhof also appointed Sens. Louis Blessing III (R-Cincinnati) and Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) to the committee while Householder appointed Rep. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) and Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo). Superintendent Paolo DeMaria or his designee also will serve on the committee.


Two House lawmakers explained their push Tuesday for an official state definition of a school counselor's role, with counselors joining them to explain how administrative tasks eat up their schedules at a time when stressed and traumatized students need their help more than ever. Reps. Susan Manchester (R-Lakeview) and Jessica Miranda (D-Cincinnati) said their HB367 would direct the Ohio Department of Education to develop an official job description for school counselors and to designate a liaison for counselors within the department.


House Finance Committee Chair Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) said Thursday he'll seek to break discussion of the latest Cupp-Patterson school funding proposal into pieces so members can dig deeply into each component at separate hearings. He said such "targeted dialogue" has proven effective in weighing other complex legislation in his experience as a legislative chairman. After an introduction of HB305 last week by Reps. Robert Cupp (R-Lima) and John Patterson (D-Jefferson), the committee heard testimony from Akron Schools Treasurer Ryan Pendleton and Perrysburg Schools Superintendent Thomas Hosler on the proposal's base-cost calculations on Thursday.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE

Among a multitude of committee changes announced Friday by Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) was named chairman of the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee. Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) was named vice-chair.


The House narrowly passed legislation Thursday to change the way ballot language describes the cost of tax levies to voters, seeking to revive a proposal Gov. Mike DeWine struck from the biennial budget with a line-item veto. Rep. Derek Merrin (R-Monclova) said his HB76 would help voters to better assess the cost of a tax levy to them by expressing the expense per $100,000 in market value of their homes, instead of the current practice of expressing it per $100 of taxable value.


JUDICIAL

The Kasich administration clearly meant to avoid public debate over its academic distress plan and essentially created an entirely new bill when it added the plan to legislation that had almost cleared the General Assembly, the attorney for Youngstown City Schools argued Wednesday before the Ohio Supreme Court. Justices heard oral arguments Wednesday in the district's challenge to Ohio's academic distress commission law, enacted in 2015.