Government Affairs News and Information
[The Church] does not restrict her mission to the private sphere. While not engaging in politics she does not renounce the political dimension of life itself, attention to the common good, and concern for integral human development.
- @CathEdToday, Reflecting on Fratelli Tutti
ISSUE 3; March 23, 2021
Legislative Action Network
Do you know a fellow parent or community leader who would be a great advocate for our schools? Nominate him/her to be a Legislative Action Leader!

With support from the Office of Catholic Schools (OCS), Legislative Action Leaders help to organize and lead advocacy in local school communities. If you are interested in serving or would like to nominate someone, please email Alison Cozad. For more information, please visit the LAN page of the OCS website.
Legislature 101 
HB 110 - The State Biennial Budget

The State Budget is in full swing! Currently, the Ohio House is hearing testimony from agencies and stakeholders regarding HB 110, that creates appropriations for FY 2022-2023. Ohio has a constitutional requirement that the state have a balanced budget, and state appropriations must only be for two years.

Once the bill passes the House Finance Committee, it needs to pass the Ohio House, and is then sent to the Ohio Senate for deliberation. Once the Senate passes its version, the chambers while reconcile their versions into one document, where it will be sent to the Governor for a signature. This bill must be signed by July 1.
HB 110 - Proposed Amendments
Below are amendments from the Catholic Conference for which we are asking support:

  • Increase maximum scholarship amounts to $5,500 (from $4,650) for grades K-8 and $8,000 (from $6,000) for grades 9-12 for students in the performance-based Ed Choice Scholarship, Ed Choice Expansion, and Cleveland Scholarship Program.

  • Support the provision in the Executive Budget for Catholic Schools to have the option of receiving direct Auxiliary Services payments. 

  • Permit Administrative Cost Reimbursement (ACR) to be up to $475 per student, notwithstanding the statutory cap of $360 per student. 
  • Increase the payment in lieu of transportation from $250 to the state average to transport students.

  • Support the additional provisions in the executive budget for school transportation. 

Legislative Action Leaders: Be on the lookout for an email letter template in the coming days to send out an action alert to your networks!
Legislator Spotlight - Representative
Gayle Manning (R)

Rep. Manning is currently serving her second term in the Ohio House of Representatives, after serving two terms in the Ohio Senate. In the Senate, she served as Majority Whip. She represents House District 55 that encompasses parts of Lorain County. Rep. Manning spent 37 years as an elementary school teacher.

Hometown: North Ridgeville, OH

Leadership: Chair of the House Primary & Secondary Education Committee

Highlighted Bills and Resolutions:
SB 246 (132 GA) - Regarding student expulsion procedures (Amended into HB 318)
HB 123 (133 GA) - Regarding school security and youth suicide awareness/training (Passed)
HB 465 (133 GA) - Authorize school zones around preschools (Introduced)
HB 732 (133 GA) - Eliminate retention under Third Grade Reading Guarantee (Introduced)
What's Happening on Capitol Square?
SB 1, introduced by Sens. McColley and Wilson, regards teaching financial literacy in high school. Currently, the bill would exempt chartered nonpublic schools. It has had one hearing in the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee.

HB 1, introduced by Reps. Callender and Sweeney, would create a new school funding system for Ohio. It has had one hearing in the House Finance Committee and several in the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education.

HB 67, introduced by Reps. Koehler and Bird, deals with testing requirements for this school year. It has passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor on March 20, 2021. It becomes effective immediately. See a quick bill analysis here.

SB 8 and HB 2 both address Broadband Access. Both bills have passed their respective chambers and have moved to the other.

SB 111 and HB 170 both deal with school support by providing assistance to schools and other entities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (EANS)
Ohio has been allocated $155 million in Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (EANS) grants through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund. Funds would go to all nonpublic schools and allocations would be determined based on enrollment and low income data. Schools cannot receive both the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and EANS funds; they must choose one. Applications for schools were due March 18, and final service amounts should be released by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in early April.
Focus On - EdChoice Scholarship Program

Under the most recent EdChoice provisions, students currently attending a nonpublic school are not eligible for a Traditional EdChoice Scholarship. They would be eligible to apply for an Expansion Scholarship based on their family's household income if qualified.

ODE just released guidance for Traditional EdChoice SB 89 Provisions. Students who were eligible to apply for a scholarship for the 2020-2021 school year have another chance to apply for a scholarship for the 2021-2022 school year. The eligibility information for the current year is still on the ODE website. Due to the confusion this temporary provision creates, ODE encourages anyone who believes they would have qualified this year and want to use the “second chance” opportunity to reach out to the EdChoice office directly at 614-728- 2743. Staff will work through applications on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility.
Click on the organizations below to access additional information and to stay abreast of news related to government and education.

Please contact Alison Cozad, Associate Director for Government Affairs for the Office of Catholic Schools, with questions or to become more involved in our advocacy efforts.
The Diocese of Columbus is hosting #40DaysofAdoration from Ash Wednesday through Palm Sunday at its parishes and schools. Our diocesan digital media team has been traveling
to each location to capture on film.
Below, student altar servers kept constant vigil during Adoration at St. Mary of the Assumption in Lancaster.