Week in Review > Week in Review 07-16-201

Posted by on July 16th, 2021


Public schools, colleges and universities will not be allowed to require students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, at least for now, under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Mike DeWine. Under HB244 (Lampton-White), originally written to address education for children from military families, public schools and higher education institutions cannot require students to get vaccines that lack full approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a category that covers COVID-19 vaccinations now being administered under emergency use authorization from the FDA. Asked why he chose to sign HB244 given how much time and effort he’s spent promoting vaccination uptake in recent months, DeWine’s office said the focus of the prohibition on vaccines without full approval should make the effect short-lived. Spokesman Dan Tierney also said the governor supports the original core of the bill.

A combination of unvaccinated people attending July 4 weekend events and the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant has likely led to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff said Wednesday.


The State Board of Education (SBOE) reviewed recently enacted school funding and policy changes in the biennial budget and other legislation Monday. The biennial budget, HB110 (Oelslager), included the Fair School Funding Plan developed by a workgroup of superintendents and treasurers convened by House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and former Rep. John Patterson. Lawmakers also reached a compromise on report card reforms proposed in HB200 (Jones-Robinson) and SB145 (Brenner) via an amendment to HB82 (Jones-Cross), a testing bill. Ohio Department of Education (ODE) legislative director Marjorie Yano and budget chief Aaron Rausch walked the board through a high-level overview of the new school funding formula, other education policy provisions in the budget and the report card reforms in HB82; Shelby Robertson, a department accountability official, joined in the report card presentation.

The State Board of Education asked Attorney General Dave Yost Tuesday to review the legality of its July 2020 resolution on racism and equity. The board also voted to name John Richard, deputy superintendent of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), as interim superintendent of public instruction, effective Saturday, Sept. 25. Superintendent Paolo DeMaria will retire Sept. 24. 

A recent report authored by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and sponsored and commissioned by the Carnegie Corporation, has called for states and localities to develop “STEM opportunity maps” to determine which areas don’t have enough science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs to meet the demand. In the report released Tuesday, “Call to Action for Science Education,” the authoring committee additionally recommends that the states implement accountability measures based not on a single end-of-year test focusing on rote memorization, but instead “multiple and varied assessments designed to check for conceptual understanding and proficiency with science practices.”

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) said Thursday it is approving Ohio’s plan to use billions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funding for schools and releasing the remaining installment of $1.4 billion. The plan addresses state efforts to help schools safely resume in-person instruction in the fall, among other topics. Ohio is getting more than $4.4 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding via the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act.

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