Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Febraur 8 provided the following updates on Ohio's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor DeWine announced progress toward the goal of getting K-12 students back into the classroom by March 1. In December, 45 percent of Ohio students were attending school remotely full-time, but today, less than 15 percent of Ohio students are still attending classes completely online. Despite this progress, the pandemic has taken a toll on academic progress, as demonstrated in the Ohio Department of Education’s fall 2020 enrollment report.
“This once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has impacted all of us, so it should be no surprise that it has impacted our children. But we should not panic, nor should we be surprised by the results of assessments,” said Governor DeWine. “Instead, we should do what Ohioans have always done when facing a challenge – stay calm, roll up our sleeves, and work to solve the problem."
Governor DeWine asked school districts to work with their communities to help students advance and make up for any learning that may have been lost or delayed because of the pandemic.
Governor DeWine also requested that school districts design plans to meet the needs of the students in their districts that include ending the school year later than scheduled, beginning the new year early, or even extending the school day. Summer programs, tutoring, or remote options could also be considered. School districts should provide their plans to the public and General Assembly no later than April 1.
Lt. Governor Husted today also highlighted a provision in the proposed Executive Budget that guarantees student access to a computer science education.
The “right to access” computer science classes would be defined as the statutory right of a student to be able to take a class either offered directly by their school district or through another provider of the student’s choice. However, the program must be approved through the Ohio Department of Education.
“Every budget cycle presents an opportunity to distinguish ourselves as a state,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Coming out of the pandemic, the stakes are higher and the impacts more consequential. We must rise to the challenge and commit to the work that will lead to an educational recovery that will echo economically for a generation.”