Week in Review > Week in Review 11-12-2021Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on November 12th, 2021
Tax collections exceeded forecasts by almost $127 million or 6.2 percent in October, as all major sources beat forecasts, according to preliminary figures from the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM). Sales tax collections were up $58 million or 5.8 percent, mostly from a 6.6 percent or $56.2 million overage in the non-auto sales tax, plus a 1.2 percent, $1.7 million bump for the auto sales tax. For the fiscal year so far, sales taxes are $58.1 million or 1.4 percent ahead of estimates.
Interim State Superintendent Stephanie Siddens assured attendees at the OSBA Capital Conference that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is well equipped to handle pandemic-related education challenges amid a number of leadership transitions at the department. Siddens took over the role of interim state superintendent in early October after her predecessor John Richard announced his resignation from ODE shortly after the retirement of former State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria. Siddens told Hannah News Monday after her address that there were no updates on the search for a permanent state superintendent but said the subject will be discussed at the upcoming State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting scheduled for Monday, Nov. 15 and continuing Tuesday, Nov. 16. She said she didn’t think the recent resignations of former SBOE President Laura Kohler and SBOE member Eric Poklar, both appointed members, would have any effect on the board’s search for a permanent replacement to DeMaria.
At his annual school funding overview for the OSBA Capital Conference, economist Howard Fleeter said delayed state payment reports expected in December will shed light on how the new K-12 formula is actually working and expressed worry that substantial income tax cuts in the recent operating budget could provide a pretense to avoid following through on the phase-in of that formula. Fleeter tempered that forecast later, saying he’d expect significant blowback if the Senate tries not to follow through with the new Cupp-Patterson formula, aka the Fair School Funding Plan, in the next biennium. While the House spent three years advancing the plan championed by Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima), the Senate was more hesitant to embrace it.
The House Primary and Secondary Education Committee unanimously approved a bill providing schools continued latitude to deal with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday after adopting a handful of amendments. Among those final changes to SB229 (Blessing) were one Chair Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) previewed during Tuesday’s hearing, calling for school districts to consult with parents on the decision of a principal and reading teacher as to whether a student should be retained under the third grade reading guarantee. The legislation already contained a provision stating students should not be retained under the reading guarantee based on test scores alone, extending flexibility previously granted in 133-HB409 (Koehler).
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