Week in Review > Week in Review 09-24-2021Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on September 24th, 2021
Younger, sicker and for longer — that was the litany from the doctors and nurses who joined Gov. Mike DeWine for a news conference Tuesday where he made yet another plea for the nearly half of Ohio’s population who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated. Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said, “If you are young and unvaccinated it’s now probably only a question of when, not if, you get COVID-19. When you get COVID-19 without the protection of a vaccine, there is a very real risk you’ll end up in the hospital or the obituary pages. The numbers really tell it all, COVID has changed and is now making younger Ohioans who are not vaccinated very sick. Don’t become a statistic when there is a simple, safe, and effective alternative. Go out today and get vaccinated. You’ll be glad. Your family will be glad. And the doctors and nurses will be grateful,” he added.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) received approval from the Controlling Board Monday to waive competitive selection to spend $106 million on one million at-home rapid COVID-19 tests from a Florida vendor, partially to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Ohio schools. ODH’s request to the board stated that it intends to use the BinaxNOW at-home tests, a 15-minute rapid test that individuals can use at home with the assistance of a telehealth session, as a foundation of its school COVID testing strategy through the remainder of the year. The request also states that the tests will go to community partners to keep nursing homes and communities safe.
The House Primary and Secondary Education Committee Tuesday unanimously accepted an amendment (AM1804) to substitute SB1 (Wilson-McColley) that permits schools to employ individuals as substitute teachers who do not have a post-secondary degree for the 2021-2022 school year only. The amendment, offered by committee Chair Rep. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville), does require the individual to meet certain criteria:
– Meet the district’s or school’s own set of educational requirements.
– Be deemed of good moral character.
– Successfully complete a criminal records check.
The State Board of Education heard about plans for Warren County schools to institute a new COVID testing protocol Tuesday to avoid sending large numbers of apparently healthy students into home quarantine based on viral exposure. Tom Isaacs, superintendent of the Warren County Educational Service Center, said the nine county school districts started to see large numbers of students sent home to quarantine when school resumed this fall, with the Lebanon and Carlisle Local districts even closing briefly.
The State Board of Education updated its official procedures so the president can no longer restrict public testimony based on the topics addressed, a practice that arose from a year-plus of debate on issues of racism, discrimination and equity. That debate continued Tuesday inside and outside the board, as protestors and counter-protestors gathered outside the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to air opinions on critical race theory and the board again debated the stance it took last summer and how it should react to a recent opinion from the attorney general.
Legislation like HB322 (Jones) and HB327 (Grendell-Fowler Arthur) would create an environment similar to the one Fan Jiang hoped to escape when she left China, the Athens Asian American Alliance president said Wednesday. “Originally, I am from China, which is a country that has tremendous government censorship on almost everything. So, I am very sensitive to these kinds of bills, because I think these bills pretty much undermine the freedom and the foundation of this democracy,” Jiang told the House State and Local Government Committee during her testimony opposing both bills.
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