Week in Review > Week in Review 7-8-2022Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on July 08th, 2022
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Thursday reported 18,838 new COVID-19 cases over the week, up from 17,225 for the seven days ending June 30 and 16,159 in the previous weekly period. Hospitalization numbers dropped from 483 to 411, and ICU admissions fell from 32 to 29. Since the pandemic began, ODH has reported 2.87 million COVID-19 cases, 119,650 hospitalizations and 13,783 ICU admissions. The current number of reported deaths is 38,920. ODH said that a national “reprocessing” of all 2022 death files is underway after a new coding system was implemented, and so weekly numbers will not be reported until the reprocessing is complete.
The Vouchers Hurt Ohio coalition, which is challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s EdChoice scholarship program, announced another large district, Toledo Public Schools, has joined the litigation. More than 200 school districts are part of the coalition, and several school districts and a handful of parents and students are named as plaintiffs. The litigation alleges EdChoice violates the requirement that lawmakers provide for a “common” school system, and runs afoul of the prohibition on giving control of funding to religious sects. Several families whose children use EdChoice scholarships to attend private schools have intervened as defendants in the litigation. In addition, several amicus briefs were filed recently in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in support of school districts challenging the EdChoice program, including one signed by both the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT), and another signed by the three associations representing local school boards, superintendents and treasurers. The array of filings from numerous groups respond to a bid by the state to have the case dismissed, as well as requests for judgement filed by families of children who use EdChoice, several of whom were granted the right to intervene as formal parties to the case.
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.
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Thursday approved over $307 million in state funding for five school construction projects. Combined with about $151 million in local funding, the projects represent over $458 million in public construction work. The funding awards are contingent upon State Controlling Board approval.
A coalition of over 20 anti-hunger, education, and food and nutrition organizations is asking the DeWine administration to use leftover American Rescue Plan Act (ARAP) dollars or other funding sources to provide free meals to Ohio school children. The Hunger-Free Schools Ohio coalition includes groups like Children’s Defense Fund Ohio, Groundwork Ohio, the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hunger Alliance, the Ohio Education Association, United Way of Central Ohio, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, and many more. On Wednesday, the coalition sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine highlighting the role that expanded federal school meal programs played in reducing hardship during the pandemic. Federal waivers that allowed schools to serve meals at no cost to all students are set to expire at the end of this school year, resulting in what the coalition called a “child hunger cliff.”
An investigation has been launched after the 25 members of the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus were mailed envelopes full of feces Thursday, a Senate spokesman confirmed.
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