Week in Review > Week in Review 04-01-2022Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on April 01st, 2022
A county common pleas court lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal of a school district’s losing state funding money for its failure to transport charter school students consistently, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) argued in a legal memo recently. The law on withholding of bus funds also can be enforced without establishment of an administrative rule, the department further argued. Under HB110 (Oelslager), the biennial budget bill, ODE can determine there has been a “consistent or prolonged period of noncompliance” with a district’s obligation to provide transportation to students who live in the district but attend other schools. In such cases, ODE is to deduct the daily share of the district’s state transportation funding for each day of noncompliance. Groveport Madison Schools sued in Franklin County Common Pleas Court over the law in late 2021, saying the “consistent or prolonged standard” is not defined in rule or law, and arguing that ODE’s move to deduct nearly $700,000 in funding would have “disastrous” effects on the district. The case is pending before Judge Michael Holbrook. In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed last week, the attorney general’s office argued on behalf of ODE that the trial court lacks jurisdiction because it was not the result of an “adjudication” by ODE, and the law on withholding bus funds itself does not authorize appeal of such withholding decisions.
The State Board of Education (SBOE) Executive Committee voted Tuesday to recommend the full board adopt a change to how teachers are nominated to serve on the Educator Standards Board (ESB), a change required under the state budget bill. The board now draws appointees for 10 seats on the ESB from nominations submitted by the Ohio Education Association and Ohio Federation of Teachers. Under HB110 (Oelslager), the board now has discretion to consider those nominees or choose other teachers.
Under the proposal adopted Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) will post applications for any interested teacher to apply, and ODE will review the applications to ensure they were submitted on time and that the applicants meet the criteria for a given seat.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) and Department of Education (ODE) Tuesday announced $5.2 million in funding awards as part of a statewide effort to address educator shortages. The money comes from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund. Awards will be shared among 29 four-year public and independent colleges and universities that have chancellor-approved educator preparation programs, including those in collaboration with school districts, educational service centers, and community colleges.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) extended the public comment period for the draft model curriculum of instruction in grades 9-12 on interactions with peace officers until 4 p.m. on Monday, April 4. Ohio law requires city, local, exempted village and joint vocational school districts and community schools to provide instruction on student interactions with officers within at least one course required for high school graduation. The first group of students expected to receive this instruction will be students entering grade 9 on or after July 1, 2022.
The Senate Wednesday unanimously sent the capital reappropriations bill to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature. HB597 (Oelslager) reappropriates $2 billion in capital projects for FY23-24. Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls) said that because of when the General Assembly passed the last capital budget as well as issues from the pandemic, a number of projects were not finished. He said HB597 needs to be in place by July 1 so the projects are not disrupted which means it must be passed by April 1. The bill does not include any new money.
In other action, the Senate approved governor’s appointments, though Democrats objected and voted against the appointment of Brandon Kern to the State Board of Education. Fedor called the appointment “a political maneuver” and said that Kern’s resume “falls short” of what is expected for a state board member. She also said the appointment replaces Laura Kohler, who resigned after she did not vote to rescind an anti-racism resolution, though Sen. Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) said that Kern is not replacing Kohler. He said Kohler resigned on her own, and he called Kern’s resume “stellar.”
The House voted Wednesday to extend pandemic-era flexibility on finding substitute teachers via HB583 (Bird-Jones), which also includes an appropriation for federal school meal funding. The bill passed 76-9.
Colleges and universities with teacher preparation and education programs can now apply for a share of $20 million to provide mathematics and literacy tutoring for Ohio’s K-12 students. The Ohio departments of education (ODE) and higher education (ODHE) announced the grant opportunity Friday, saying the funds will directly address pandemic learning disruptions by providing tutoring supports.
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