Week in Review - 12/08/17

Week in Review - 12/08/17

FY18-19 BUDGET

Revenues for November met estimates, however slightly, coming in $8.7 million or 0.5 percent over estimates for the month, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the Office of Budget and Management (OBM). For the year-to-date, Ohio is nearly $29.5 million or 0.3 percent over estimates.

 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Attorney General Mike DeWine released his office's annual report on businesses' compliance with the terms of economic development incentives they've received. The report found 213 of 272 awards in substantial compliance, while 59 were not in compliance, for a compliance rate of 78.3 percent.

 

ECONOMY

A wide-ranging study from the Pew Charitable Trusts looking at financial data in all 50 states showed that, while there has been a general upswing in states' economic viability since the 2007-2008 recession, many indicators of financial success have not yet returned to pre-recession levels. For Ohioans, the data were a mixed bag, with the Buckeye State often sitting near the middle of the pack, occasionally dipping below or exceeding national trends of economic well-being.

 

EDUCATION

Two of the State Board of Education's elected members, Stephanie Dodd of the Ninth District and Nick Owens of the Tenth District, issued a bipartisan statement Friday in defense of the board's role and responsibilities. Dodd and Owens cite those who "suggest" the board should be eliminated or relegated to a lesser role. Recently, the Fordham Institute has written commentary on overhauling the board, and Jai Chabria, a confidante of Gov. John Kasich, submitted a column to the Columbus Dispatch on the same topic. Both noted debate in Michigan about abolishing that state's board.

 

The application form for schools seeking STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) designations is now available, the Ohio Department of Education announced. Schools seeking the designations should submit a letter of intent by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 20, and final proposals are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2, 2018.

 

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has scheduled three information sessions across the state this month for those interested in learning more about Community Connectors, the state's mentorship grant program, in advance of the expected opening of applications for the next round of grants in February. The state has $8 million in available funding for the grants. Sessions are Monday, Dec. 11 in Tiffin; Thursday, Dec. 14 in Archbold; and Friday, Dec. 15 in Chillicothe.

 

The Ohio Supreme Court is again rejecting Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow's (ECOT) request to stop the state from clawing back and withholding money in an enrollment dispute. Justices ruled 5-1 Wednesday to deny an emergency request to grant an injunction or expedite ECOT's case that the online charter school filed in October.

 

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria gave a lengthy critique Wednesday of Sen. Matt Huffman's (R-Lima) education deregulation proposal, listing several concerns with the legislation. DeMaria was one of many witnesses who signed up to testify or provided written comments on the legislation at a Senate Education Committee hearing.

 

Ohio should simplify its report cards for local schools and make value-added data account for a greater share of schools' ratings, the Fordham Institute recommended in a report released Thursday. The report, "Back to the Basics," was written by Fordham's Ohio research director, Aaron Churchill, who called for the state to winnow its dozen-plus letter grades down to six: one overall grade, based on five component grades.

 

GAMING/GAMBLING

Ohio's four casinos earned $66.4 million in November, up from $62.2 million in November 2016 and down from $66.5 million in October, according to new figures released by the Ohio Casino Control Commission Thursday.