Week in Review - 11/01/2019

Week in Review - 11/01/2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL


Schools can now apply for grants totaling $10 million for the 2019-20 school year as part of funding included in the state budget, HB166 (Oelslager). Attorney General Dave Yost's office announced that public schools, chartered nonpublic schools and those operated by county boards of developmental disabilities are eligible for the grant totaling either $2,500 or $4.49/student, whichever amount is greater. The funding can be used for school resource officer training, active shooter training, professional development for student mental health professionals and any other necessary school safety training. All applications are due by Friday, Dec. 13.


EDUCATION


Six education entities will coordinate $3 million in state funding to help expand the pool of teachers who can teach College Credit Plus Courses, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) announced. Lawmakers included the funding in the biennial budget, HB166 (Oelslager), to pay for graduate coursework for teachers to become credentialed to teach College Credit Plus courses in the high school setting. The budget language gave priority in awarding the funding to consortia that pair colleges or universities with economically disadvantaged high schools with few or no teachers credentialed to teach College Credit Plus courses.


Several advocates urged the Senate Education Committee against authorizing development of state health education standards Tuesday, saying it would give further license for schools to use sex education materials that promote risky behaviors and erode the law's existing emphasis on teaching abstinence. 


A sponsor of the legislation repeatedly remarked to witnesses that the proposal does not address the curricular decisions of local education officials, while the committee chair, Sen. Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering), said she recognizes the topic of sex education is fraught but wants to find a way to develop standards on a range of other health-related topics.


The State Board of Education's Graduation Requirements and High School Redesign Task Force laid out Monday the questions it will consider for the first phase of its work to consider how the high school experience should change to help students become prepared for what's next in their lives. The task force plans an initial information gathering and research phase, followed by work on developing a framework of attributes for an engaging and inspiring high school, followed by development of recommendations to Superintendent Paolo DeMaria on a statewide approach to developing and promoting such high schools.


Ohio students who took the National Assessment of Educational Program (NAEP), also known as the Nation's Report Card, matched or beat the national averages but in some cases lagged the state's own scores from the 2017 version of the assessment. In all cases, the scores showed fewer than half of students scoring at the proficient level.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY/STATEHOUSE


The General Assembly Monday sent three bills to Gov. Mike DeWine for his consideration including SB26 (Kunze) which authorizes a state income tax deduction for teachers' out-of-pocket expenses for professional development and classroom supplies, and modifies the business income deduction to allow lobbyists and lawyers to claim it.


Ohio lawmakers took another step toward cracking down on drivers passing stopped school buses on Thursday. The House Criminal Justice Committee accepted a substitute version of school bus photo evidence bill HB83 (Brown/Schaffer) that now includes language from HB89 (Antani) and HB105 (Brown-Scherer) requiring deputy registrars to display graphics on school bus procedures, increasing penalties for repeat offenders and making a $1 million appropriation, among other provisions.