Week in Review > Week in Review 7-22-2022Posted by Thomas Perkins on July 22nd, 2022
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Thursday reported 26,610 new COVID-19 cases over the week, up from 24,465 for the previous seven days. Hospitalization numbers rose from 550 to 690, while ICU admissions had a marginal increase from 39 to 40. ODH reported 22 deaths, down from 39. Since the pandemic began, ODH has reported 2,918,366 COVID-19 cases, 120,890 hospitalizations, 13,862 ICU admissions and 38,981 deaths. The Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) lists 1,166 current hospital patients who tested positive and 147 ICU patients. At the national level, President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday. In a video, Biden said he has received two vaccination doses and two booster shots. His symptoms are “mild” and he continues to work. The Biden administration also released a letter from the White House physician saying Biden has been recommended to use Paxlovid as a treatment.
A House-passed bill would require athletics coaches at public schools and private schools with state charters to complete a student mental health training course approved by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS). The House approved HB492 (Loychik-Pavliga) before leaving for summer break, sending the legislation to the Senate for consideration this fall.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) recently announced a new page on its website dedicated to publicizing resources for families of students with disabilities. ODE says the page will be regularly updated with new information as it becomes available. The page is available at https://tinyurl.com/2p9bfx9e.
A coalition of two dozen organizations again Monday urged Gov. Mike DeWine to reconfigure State Board of Education (SBOE) districts, saying the maps put into effect last week violate the law and should be altered to provide better representation to major urban areas. At issue in part is the lack of alignment between the board districts as designated by DeWine and the Senate districts being used for the August primary and November general election. The letter includes a “non-comprehensive” list of violations in this regard, with Senate District 1 split between board Districts 1 and 2; and Senate District 16 split among board Districts 5, 6 and 7, among several others. As the letter says, state law holds that “the territory of no Senate districts shall be part of the territory of more than one State Board of Education district.”
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) said it will start taking applications in August to ensure the statutory effective date on continued flexibility in hiring substitute teachers does not interrupt hiring for the start of the academic year. In education omnibus HB583 (Bird-Jones), lawmakers provided a two-year extension of language that allows substitutes to forego the usual requirement for a bachelor’s degree so long as they are of good moral character and can meet qualifications set by their hiring district. Because the bill was signed just a few weeks ago, the normal 90-day delay until a new law takes effect means ODE cannot officially issue the 1-Year Temporary Non-Bachelor’s Substitute Teaching License until Friday, Sept. 23. However, ODE said, the law allows schools to employ someone with an application pending on a conditional basis for up to 60 days.
Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald isn’t doing enough to increase profits for K-12 education and is apparently “giving an unfair advantage to politically-potent gaming interests,” according to Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo). “Recent news reports and public records show a troubling pattern of you ignoring opportunities to maximize Lottery profits through sports betting at retail locations. More infuriating has been your unwillingness to testify before the Ohio General Assembly to answer important questions on this complex topic,” Fedor wrote in a letter. Ohio Lottery spokesperson Danielle Frizzi-Babb told Hannah News on Tuesday that the agency is still working on a response to Fedor’s letter, which was sent on June 23. “The letter Sen. Fedor sent to the director was filled with inaccurate claims and seems to be motivated by outside influences, but we are working through her claims to respond accordingly,” Frizzi-Babb said. “The director and the agency have never refused a formal invitation by any committee chair in the Senate to testify and has always provided background and information when asked.”
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