Week in Review > Week in Review 7-15-2022Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on July 15th, 2022
Tax collections generated nearly $180 million more than expected in June, bringing Ohio’s revenue surplus to more than $2.7 billion at the close of FY22 on June 30, according to data from the Office of Budget and Management (OBM). The state collected $28.1 billion in taxes through the fiscal year, compared to expectations of $25.4 billion, a difference of nearly 11 percent. Personal income tax collections made up the bulk of that overage, bringing in $1.85 billion or 20.8 percent more than expected; June’s collections themselves were $50.1 million or 5.1 percent ahead of estimates.
The latest COVID-19 Omicron subvariant, BA.5, now makes up around half of COVID-19 cases according to sample data collected by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) in the two weeks ending July 2. Since this information involves genomic sequencing, it is published another two weeks after the fact. ODH said Thursday that Omicron BA.5 was present in 45.1 percent of samples, up from 18.76 percent in the previous period ending June 18. The BA.4 subvariant also nearly doubled, from 5.65 percent to 10.57 percent. Two earlier subvariants, BA.2 and BA.2.12.1, are in decline as a result and totaled 11.08 percent and 32.47 percent, respectively. BA.2.12.1 previously represented over half of samples in June 18 data.
Higher schoolers would face updated criteria for earning honors diplomas under a proposal approved Monday by a committee of the State Board of Education (SBOE). The changes adopted reverse a previous draft that would have reduced world language requirements, in response to public feedback in opposition to such reduction.
Staff with the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Monday gave an update on the state’s use of federal COVID-19 relief funds to support students experiencing homelessness as well as resources to help schools transition away from enhanced federal supports for school meals. While presenting to the State Board of Education’s (SBOE) Integrated Student Supports Committee, Jennifer Vargo, director in ODE’s Office of Whole Child Supports, said 20,922 Ohio students experienced homelessness during the 2020-2021 school year. Of the 20,922 homeless youth during the 2020-21 school year, 1,455 were unaccompanied youth, 310 were in an unsheltered situation, and 300 were preschool age. The vast majority, 79 percent, were living in doubled-up housing. About 41 percent of the students were White and another 39 percent of the students were Black. About 23 percent of the students had disabilities.
The State Board of Education debated at length Tuesday but took no concrete action on the search for a new, permanent superintendent to lead the Ohio Department of Education (ODE). Meanwhile, the interim superintendent, Stephanie Siddens, said she’s not made a decision on whether she wants to seek the job, something she declined to do during her prior stint as interim leader. Also, Gov. Mike DeWine’s office said that although the General Assembly maps he relied on were invalidated in Court, he can’t revisit his decision on designating State Board of Education districts. During each redistricting cycle, lawmakers have the option to designate which Senate districts constitute which State Board of Education districts. If they decline to do so, the job falls to the governor, who must complete it by Jan. 31 of the following year. DeWine did so several months ago, using maps that were approved Jan. 22 by the Ohio Redistricting Commission but then invalidated by the Ohio Supreme Court on Feb. 7. DeWine’s office interprets the law as not allowing him to make new designations, according to an email from spokesperson Dan Tierney.
The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to slightly increase the cut score third graders must achieve on English language arts tests to be promoted to fourth grade. The board voted to increase the score to 685 for the 2022-2023 school year, up from 683. The board also narrowly approved updates to state learning standards for computer science after board member Brendan Shea raised objections to proposed revisions recommended by the board’s Teaching, Leading and Learning Committee.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) was set to launch a new website this week that will give information about the state and school districts’ use of COVID-19 funds. While presenting before the State Board of Education, Jana Fornario, executive director of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) State Activities at ODE, said the department aims to launch the Future Forward Ohio website Friday, July 15.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has a survey open until Thursday, Aug. 4 on new industry credentials under consideration for inclusion on the list used for high school graduation requirements. The department says industry organizations’ feedback helps to validate the need for credentials within a career field “to ensure students are earning credentials that are valued by businesses or tied to Ohio’s Top Jobs List.” The survey is posted at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RRBR2X8.
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