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What You Should Know Following Governor DeWine’s 2023 State of the State Address

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On January 31, 2023, Governor Mike DeWine delivered the 2023 State of the State Address which touched on several education-related topics under a newly proposed budget. According to data from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), 40% of third-grade children are not competent in reading. DeWine kicked off his address by stressing the importance of improving the literacy of children before pivoting to general mental health aspirations for the population, to include the goals of reducing suicides and substance addiction for Ohioans.

Key takeaways of the proposed two-year budget plan include:

K-12 Education:

  • Tasked the ODE with devising a plan to improve curriculum and literacy
  • Proposed a continuation of the school funding formula presented in the last budget
  • Requested to grow school choice by ramping up the income eligibility for EdChoice scholarships up to 400%
  • Proposed that lawmakers cover costs of a school resource officer for every school that indicates a need for the position
  • Proposed that charter schools will get an increase in per pupil funding from $500 to $1000

Higher Education:

  • Appropriated $300 million for career tech and county career centers for capital style infrastructure and capital dollar projects
  • Increased need based financial aid for students who attend community colleges and regional campuses of public universities
  • Increased scholarship to $6000 per student for renewal of up to four years
  • Proposed rewarding the top 5% of graduating high school seniors with a $5000 scholarship if attending a public university in Ohio

Early Childhood and Maternal Health:

  • Proposed expansion of counseling services, both in-person and via telehealth
  • Requested growth of programs that reduce infant and maternal mortality rates
  • Proposed increase for safe and stable housing for expectant mothers
  • Proposed that lawmakers support repeals on state sales taxes on infant and toddler supplies such as strollers, formula, diapers and more
  • Proposed expansion of child services agencies and foster programs
  • Expanded work in the Ohio Rise Program to support children with severe mental health issues

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Weston Hurd LLP attorneys regularly assist school districts in all aspects of school law. For further information, please contact Christina Peer (cpeer@westonhurd.com), Kathryn Perrico (kperrico@westonhurd.com) or any of the education law attorneys.