Week in Review > Week in Review 02-26-2021Posted by Kevin Miller on February 26th, 2021
The House Finance Committee wasted little time after reconvening Thursday afternoon in accepting a substitute version of transportation budget bill, HB74 (Oelslager). This sets the stage for the bill’s final trajectory for action in the House with Speaker of the House Bob Cupp (R-Lima) telling reporters a vote is expected in committee on Wednesday, March 3 with the bill on the House floor on Thursday, March 4.
The House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee’s continuing review of the school financing bill, HB1 (Callender-Sweeney), focused on transportation issues and overall funding Thursday after discussion on categorical aid and charter schools Wednesday. Specifically, the subcommittee heard presentations Wednesday on funding proposals for categorical aid, charter schools and other costs beyond the base expenses in the formula. Several members of the working group of local education officials who helped write the plan provided testimony covering several topics including economically disadvantaged assistance, special education, gifted education, English learners, career-technical education, educational service centers, open enrollment, charter schools and vouchers, among others.
Gov. Mike DeWine again reiterated it will take “weeks” to meet vaccine demand for those 65 and older, but said Monday that once that’s done, the administration plans to expand vaccine eligibility again in five-year increments, sequentially adding those 60 and older, 55 and older and 50 and older.
Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday that his administration will be releasing guidance in the coming days on how spring events such as proms, graduations, and fairs can be held as restrictions put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are eased. DeWine said during his Thursday press conference that the guidance will be based on what his administration knows about the spread of the virus through Ohio. He said while the next few months will be critical in containing the virus as vaccinations continue, and there are still concerns about the variants of the virus that are appearing in the U.S. and around the globe, they are optimistic that these events can be held.
The federal government will not accept states’ requests to waive academic testing requirements for the spring as it did last year, but will offer flexibility in testing administration. In a letter to state education leaders, the acting assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE), Ian Rosenblum, wrote that testing data is important for families, educators and the public in understanding the effects of the pandemic on children, identifying inequities and directing resources.
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