Week in Review > Week in Review 9-30-2022Posted by Thomas Perkins on October 03rd, 2022
General Motors (GM) announced Friday that it would make a $760 million investment at its Toledo facility, transforming the transmission plant for production of drive units that will be used in future Ultium-based battery electric trucks. Renovation work is slated to begin this month, according to GM. The announcement was attended by Ohio leaders including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), U.S. Rep. Marcy Katpur (D-Toledo) and Gov. Mike DeWine. Brown’s office said the investment will be bolstered by the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, which he helped write and pass. Brown said, “Ohio union workers are the future of the auto industry, and that future starts today, right here, in Toledo.” GM expects to retain the more than 1,500 employees currently at the facility, and it will be the company’s first
Melissa Kmetz of Lakeview Elementary School in Cortland is the 2023 Ohio Teacher of the Year, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced Tuesday. Interim Superintendent Stephanie Siddens bestowed the award at a schoolwide assembly.
Anti-hunger advocates in Ohio made their case once again for the state’s using a portion of its remaining American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to continue the pandemic-era policy of providing free meals to all school children, regardless of income, during Monday’s Legislative Children’s Caucus meeting. For two years during the COVID-19 pandemic, federal waivers allowed districts to serve all students free meals, but earlier this year on June 30 those waivers ended, forcing schools to transition back to a paid system.
Attorney General Dave Yost’s office is asking a Franklin County judge to freeze the assets of Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) founder William Lager and vendors of the defunct online charter school, claiming they are likely insolvent and a freeze is needed to maximize the public money that can be reclaimed. In May, Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Kimberly Cocroft had ruled that Lager illegally profited from contracts with ECOT and breached his fiduciary duty to the school. She issued partial summary judgement against ECOT vendor companies affiliated with Lager: $28.8 million against Altair Learning Management; $128.4 million against IQ Innovations; and $4.3 million against Third Wave Communications. The judge wrote that a trial is needed to determine the amount of Lager’s own liability.
Miami University announced it will use a $5 million award from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to create the new School-Based Center of Excellence (SBCOE) for Prevention and Early Intervention to address mental health issues. “By partnering to create this new School-Based Center of Excellence for Prevention and Intervention, where teachers and administrators can learn to implement prevention and intervention practices in their classrooms and schools, we are demonstrating that good mental health is just essential to physical wellbeing and academic success,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “This Center for Excellence will help complement the Student Wellness and Success Funds, staff trainings and prevention curriculum resources already received.”
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) recently updated its graduation requirement webpages, which were built based on feedback from stakeholders throughout the state to help communicate the long-term graduation requirements. The new pages reflect current graduation requirements, guidance, contact information and resources. With this new update there are individual pages for course requirements, demonstration of competency and demonstration of readiness, along with the old requirements and a significant number of new resources. The new pages can be found at https://tinyurl.com/4p528vyy.
The Ohio Ethics Commission Thursday issued a reminder to public officials that state ethics laws apply to those who direct the expenditure of federal and state government stimulus funds, citing stimulus funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and a state investment in Appalachian communities passed as a part of HB377 (Hall-Swearingen). It cautioned state and local officials that those funds are public funds. In that context, the commission said long-standing conflict of interest laws must be observed. “The Ohio Ethics Law protects the public by prohibiting those in public service from directing or influencing government processes to benefit their private interests,” Ethics Commission Executive Director Paul Nick said.
If not for term limits, Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) would be running for another term in the Senate, the longtime state legislator told Hannah News in a wide-ranging interview. “I absolutely love my job. I think I have the best job in the world because it allows you, in some small way, to feel like you’re part of something big,” Hottinger said. He said he wasn’t interested in returning to the House, citing leadership uncertainty as a major factor. House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) is also term-limited, and it’s unclear who will take the gavel in that chamber.
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