NOTE: We’re back from the holiday break. Today’s special edition covers news from 12/19 – 12/31/20. This first regular edition of 2021 will be published tomorrow and will catch up on news from 1/1 – 1/8/21.
Covid-related legislative changes
. The bill extends previous Covid-related education provisions (such as suspension of report card grades and third grade reading requirements for 2020-2021) and adds some new ones related to substitute teacher licensure. As of December 31, the bill had still not yet been signed into law by Governor DeWine.
No changes in school funding…yet
While House Bill 305—the Cupp/Patterson school funding plan—did not pass the Ohio Senate before the end of the year, some specific pieces of it were incorporated into the capital budget (Senate Bill 310), which was approved by the full legislature and signed into law by Governor DeWine. . The aim is to use the findings to inform the next iteration of school funding legislation.
Covid quarantine changes
On New Year’s Eve,which meant that students and teachers who are exposed to a Covid-19 positive person in school would no longer be required to go into quarantine as long as other mitigation measures—like masking and social distancing—were observed in that school. The changes were informed by findings by the Ohio Schools Covid-19 Evaluation Team and would likely make reopening schools for in-person or hybrid learning a bit easier in 2021.
Brooke Herbert, a kindergarten teacher at Beacon Academy in Canton, wascourtesy of home goods retailer Wayfair. She was chosen from among 1,100 applicants. She was initially offered new desks and chairs but she was looking for something else and so asked for more creative, individualized items to help with student focus and learning. Awesome!
New Ed Sec
On December 22, President-Elect Joe Biden introduced his choice for Secretary of Education. He is Miguel Cardona, currently the state education commissioner in Connecticut. There were a number of analysis pieces written on how Mr. Cardona might run the agency if confirmed, but…and quoting snippets from his doctoral dissertation which was titled “Sharpening the Focus of Political Will to Address Achievement Disparities”