Week in Review > Week in Review 10-08-2021

Posted by on October 08th, 2021


Total General Revenue Fund (GRF) tax receipts for September finished $94 million (4.5 percent) higher than the budgeted estimate, the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) announced Wednesday.


Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff announced Friday the state has doubled the prize money for the Ohio Vax-2-School program to a total of $2 million in scholarships. In addition, Vanderhoff said the state plans to expand the age group of eligible Ohioans to younger children. Entries opened Monday, Oct. 4 for Ohioans aged 12 to 25, online at https://www.ohiovax2school.com or by phone at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

After pushing a bill establishing new exemptions for COVID vaccine mandates through committee in one hearing but scrubbing the planned floor vote last week, the House announced Monday two days’ worth of hearings on HB435 in another committee. The House Commerce and Labor Committee held informal hearings on the bill Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled to last all day but ended before lunch, with the bulk of the time dedicated to questioning of Ross McGregor, a manufacturing company owner and former lawmaker who spoke against the bill on behalf of the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association. At Thursday’s hearing, the bill faced criticism from all sides of the issue. Representatives of health care organizations and business groups argued that the legislation goes too far in restricting the ability of employers to require vaccines to ensure a safe workplace. Anti-vaccine activists said the bill doesn’t go far enough to protect unvaccinated individuals. Trial lawyers derided HB435 for language that “would gift new immunity to negligent, harmful actors until June 2023.”

Ohio is seeing “early indicators” that COVID-19 case numbers are peaking and may start to decline, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff told reporters Monday. Hospitalizations and deaths “should soon follow,” he continued during the morning briefing.


The U.S. Department of Education included 16 Ohio schools in its recent recognition of National Blue Ribbon Schools, an honor that is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 325 schools nationally this year, the 39th year for the award.

Ohio State University (OSU) is partnering with the city of Columbus, Columbus City Schools, and Columbus State Community College for a new initiative that will offer training to teachers and students. The “STEAMM Rising Columbus” initiative will create a summer institute to train and develop 500 STEAMM teachers in the next five years. The initiative also establishes STEAMM Pathways among the participating educational institutions to develop and share curriculum to provide more access to this specialized education, OSU explained in an announcement about the program.

Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) had no right to turn to the courts for review of the State Board of Education’s decision that it owed more than $60 million to the state, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a split decision.

Nonprofits that award scholarships for primary and secondary school students can now apply to participate in a new program that provides tax credits to such organizations. Lawmakers created the tax credits in the recently enacted biennial budget, HB110 (Oelslager). The Scholarship Granting Organization Certification application is available at:


Sponsors and supporters of legislation to create a money-follows-the-student education funding model released a draft substitute bill Wednesday to replace the placeholder copy in the introduced version of HB290 (John-McClain).


All Ohio high school students will soon be required to complete one-half unit of financial literacy to graduate, under legislation that is headed to the governor’s desk. The Senate on Wednesday unanimously concurred with House amendments to SB1 (Wilson-McColley), sending the bill to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature. The bill applies to all public school students who enter ninth grade for the first time on or after July 1, 2022.

Posted by on October 08th, 2021

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