Week in Review > Week in Review 04-08-2022

Posted by on April 08th, 2022


Gov. Mike DeWine’s office announced Friday he signed the capital reappropriations bill, HB597 (Oelslager), which reauthorizes projects from prior capital budgets and needed to be enacted by Friday in order for the funding to be available in the new fiscal year to avoid project disruptions.


The state notched another month of strong tax collections in March, taking in almost $324 million more than projected, according to preliminary figures from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM). Tax collections through the first three quarters of FY22 are now running $1.4 billion or 7.7 percent over estimates, reaching $19.58 billion versus projections of $18.17 billion.


Former State Board of Education Vice President Steven Dackin and three superintendents of local school districts in Ohio are among the seven finalists who will be interviewed in closed-door sessions on Monday, April 11 and Tuesday, April 12 for the position of state superintendent, the State Board of Education announced Friday. The list does not include Interim Superintendent Stephanie Siddens, who did not apply for the post. Among the local superintendents named finalists is Thomas Hosler of Perrysburg Schools, who was a prominent advocate for the Cupp-Patterson school funding formula, aka the Fair School Funding Plan, as it worked its way toward enactment in the General Assembly over the past few years. 

Also named finalists were Larry Hook, superintendent of Springboro Schools, and David Quattrochi, superintendent of Carrollton Schools. The remaining finalists are Finn Laursen, former executive director of Christian Educators Association International; Kimberly Richey, a former official in the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights; and Ronnie Tarchichi, superintendent of Pennsauken Public Schools in New Jersey.

In a new report for the Ohio Education Policy Institute, economist and school funding expert Howard Fleeter reflects on the importance of the DeRolph litigation in Ohio’s school funding debates in the 25 years since the first Ohio Supreme Court ruling in the case. Justices issued four rulings in DeRolph from March 1997 to December 2002, when they relinquished jurisdiction despite concluding the system was still unconstitutional. “At a practical level, the DeRolph rulings established that Ohio’s K-12 funding system needed to be both equitable and adequate. In addition, it also established that the state needed to provide significant funding for the construction and repair of school facilities, which the state has done through the creation of the Ohio School Facilities Commission (now part of the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission) which has disbursed more than $11 billion in classroom facilities assistance,” he wrote. Fleeter’s report notes the citation of his analysis as an Ohio State University professor at the time that the then-funding methodology relied on “residual” budgeting, by starting with the amount of funding lawmakers wanted to allocate to education and then designing a formula to achieve that result. That highlights the importance of an adequacy model that aims to determine an objective cost base for teaching typical students, plus additional needs of specific groups of students.

Reps. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) and Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) introduced another bill Tuesday to restrict school instruction on “divisive concepts,” also including a prohibition on instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3. Education groups immediately lambasted the proposal, comparing it to controversial Florida legislation derided as a “don’t say gay” bill. Under HB616, schools would be barred from using material or curriculum promoting “any divisive or inherently racist concept,” which the bill lists as including critical race theory, intersectional theory, the New York Times essay collection “The 1619 Project,” “diversity, equity and inclusion learning outcomes,” inherited racial guilt and any other concept so defined by the State Board of Education.

Member schools of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) will soon vote on whether high school athletes can financially benefit from their name, image and likeness (NIL). According to OHSAA, the program would be similar to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) policy enacted by the General Assembly and Gov. Mike DeWine in Summer 2021. “This proposed addition would now allow student-athletes to sign endorsement agreements so long as their teams, schools and/or the OHSAA logo are not used and provided there are no endorsements with companies that do not support the mission of education-based athletics (casinos, gambling, alcohol, drugs, tobacco),” OHSAA said. If approved, the item will become effective on Monday, Aug. 1, unless otherwise noted. However, Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Huffman) expressed some consternation Wednesday at the prospect of OHSAA getting involved in NIL discussions at the high school level. “I don’t think it’s the athletic association’s business. It’s the families’ business,” he said.

Posted by on April 08th, 2022

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