Eleven Ohio advocacy organizations announced Friday they're joining together to push for a "holistic children's state policy agenda" in the upcoming FY20-21budget proposal to be developed by Gov.-elect Mike DeWine's administration. About one in four Ohio children, and one in three in the Appalachian region, live below the poverty line, the organizations said, noting the likelihood those children will face struggles with housing, health, nutrition, school, the criminal justice system, and risk of abuse, neglect and trauma.
Auditor of State Dave Yost released a report detailing significant flaws in Ohio's system for funding online charter schools identified by his office and recommending a number of fixes to the legislature. "As I have been saying for years, Ohio's funding method for e-schools fails to ensure that students are educated and that taxpayers are getting their money's worth," Yost said in a prepared statement. "I'm pleased that the legislature has created a panel to examine this problem and this report is intended to provide background and suggestions."
The county judge overseeing dissolution of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) should release funding to help former officials defend themselves against state collection efforts, attorneys for the officials argued in a recent filing.
The State Board of Education and Ohio Department of Education (ODE) recently announced awards for high-achieving schools and districts, including those that earned straight As and high-poverty schools with strong performance. Two districts and 57 buildings received the All A Award for their performance on state report cards for the 2017-2018 school district.
Both chambers have scheduled post-Christmas sessions to react to potential vetoes from Gov. John Kasich, who has vetoed guns rights measure, HB228 (LaTourette-Johnson), and who has expressed displeasure with both the anti-abortion "heartbeat bill," HB258 (Hagan-Hood) and lawmakers' decision to include an elected official pay raise in SB296 (Hottinger), which increases survivor benefits for families of fallen first responders. The House has set a session on Thursday, December 27 and an "if needed" session on Friday, December 28. The Senate meets that Thursday as well. Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) said Monday he expects both chambers to follow through with their post-holiday plans, though he was uncertain as to what they'll be taking up. The House, as the originating chamber, would have to start the process on veto overrides forHB228 and HB258.
Wednesday's Senate session included passage of HB66 (Young), a bill to create an Undergraduate Mission Study Committee that was amended on the floor to add SB82 (Williams), which requires schools to notify parents when students don't show up at school.
The Ohio Department of Commerce reminded Ohio businesses this week that the state's minimum wage is set to increase to $8.55 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.30 per hour for tipped employees on Jan. 1, 2019. The 2018 minimum wage is $8.30 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.15 for tipped employees.