Week in Review > Week in Review 12/03/2021Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on December 03rd, 2021
President Joe Biden told Americans Monday that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 identified this past week in South Africa is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” Travel restrictions placed on nations in Southern Africa give the United States time to get ready with Biden saying vaccination and booster shots are essential to preparing for “this new threat.” Those who received a booster shot have the best protection against all forms of COVID-19, and Americans should not wait, he said.
In other action, the Biden administration delayed the vaccination deadline for federal employees into 2022, according to media reports Monday. The administration said that 96.5 percent of the 3.5 million employees have been vaccinated.
Ohio’s COVID-19 cases continued to increase over the week as numbers approached the peak last seen in mid-September.
A federal judge based in Kentucky Tuesday granted a temporary injunction against the Biden administration preventing a federal mandate requiring federal contractors to have their employees vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022 from taking effect. In a 29-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove said the Biden administration had overstepped the authority given to it by Congress to issue the mandate. The injunction blocks the mandate from applying to federal contractors in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Grants totaling $13.5 million will be provided to 54 school districts as part of the Innovative Workforce Incentive Program, according to a Tuesday announcement from Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. The funds help establish new programs for students to earn industry-recognized credentials in priority industry sectors, according to Husted’s office and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation (OWT). “This funding will help more high school students earn in-demand career credentials that lead to quality, higher-paying jobs without the steep cost and debt that comes with many college pathways,” said Husted, who is also the director of OWT. Funds can be used for equipment, instructional materials, facilities and operational costs.
The State Committee on Computer Science (SCCS) recently held its first meeting, with Chair Mike Duffey calling it a “first of its kind effort” in the state and encouraging members to consider “one key question: what would it take to make Ohio a national leader in computer science?” Duffey, a former legislator and senior vice chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), leads the committee along with Vice Chair John Wiseman of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). The committee was created through the budget.
Ohio schools can now apply for a share of $11 million in safety grants to be awarded by Ohio Attorney General (AG) Dave Yost’s office for the 2022-23 school year. The funding is from the latest state budget, HB110 (Oelslager), and can be used for safety planning, training and classroom programs for public schools, charter schools, educational service centers, STEM schools and schools operated by county boards of developmental disabilities. Each school is eligible for a grant of $2,500 or $5.50 per student, whichever amount is greater. Applications are due by Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.
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