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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Legislative Update

November 15, 2021 11:18 AM | Anonymous

                Along with the DeWine-Husted Administration, the Ohio General Assembly remains highly active and in part focused on issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Earlier in November, Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Director Bruce Vanderhoff encouraged parents to get their kids vaccinated following the Federal CDC’s approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11.  Vanderhoff also announced an expansion of the state’s Vax-2-School Program, which will now allow students age 5-25 to apply for up to $100,000 in scholarships to a post-secondary college or technical center (after receiving their vaccine).  These announcements come in the wake of the legislature’s consideration of bills that limit (private and public) employer vaccine mandates and prohibit the discrimination of unvaccinated employees.

                The Ohio House and Senate continue to consider dozens of pieces of legislation that have been introduced this year and are currently attempting to settle a handful of legislative priorities prior to year’s end.  (The 134th General Assembly will continue through next year and conclude at the end of 2022).  In the education sector, note the following:

Senate Bill 1 (Financial Literacy): Signed by Governor DeWine on October 28, 2021 and effective immediately, SB 1 requires students who enter 9th grade for the first time after July 1, 2022 to complete ½ unit of financial literacy instruction as part of an elective course or in lieu of one-half unit in math.  The bill also requires instructors to have an educator license validation in financial literacy.  In addition, SB 1 extends the flexibility granted to substitute teachers last year for one more year; for the 2021-2022 school year only, all schools can continue employing a substitute teacher as long as the individual completes a background check, meets the school’s educational requirements, and is deemed to be of good moral character.

Senate Bill 229 (Blended and Remote Learning): Introduced in September and placed on a “fast track,” SB 229 allows all schools to continue using a blended or remote learning plan during the 2021-22 school year.  We expect SB 229 to be delivered to the Governor yet this month, complete with an emergency clause making the bill effective immediately.

SB 166 (Career-Tech): Ohio ACTE has advocated for the legislature to approve SB 166, a piece of legislation we helped develop that is intended to enhance workforce development statewide.  Among other provisions, the bill would create tax and insurance incentives for employers who offer work-based learning opportunities to high school students.  It would also incentivize high school students to complete driver’s education and secure a driver’s license.  Having passed the Senate unanimously, SB 166 is up for an additional hearing this week before the House Economic and Workforce Development Committee and could be approved by both chambers prior to year’s end.

Ohio ACTE will continue to monitor legislative developments  and comment as necessary.

The 2022 Legislative Seminar will take place Feb. 9-10, 2022 in Columbus.  The Planning Committee is working on speakers/presenters, but all information to date can be found by clicking here.

- by Will Vorys, Attorney, Dickinson Wright Law Firm and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel

 

Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

38 Commerce Park Dr. Suite D, Westerville, Ohio
(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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