Educational Articles

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Every day there is an article written about inflation, which has become the new buzzword in financial circles. Whether we are feeling it or not, inflation is happening all around us. As we know, inflation is a measure of the rate of rising prices for goods and services in an economy. Using CPI data, over the past ten years inflation has remained relatively stagnant averaging 1.7 percent. However, recently we have seen a rapid increase in this rate. The annual inflation for the month ending August 2021 was 5.3 percent and reached the highest level since 2008 in June of 2021 at 5.4 percent (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov ). So, we ask ourselves ...
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Design-Build is a construction-procurement model that came about in the Ohio House Bill 153 Construction Reform Bill. This procurement model can be used for any type of renovation or construction project in your school buildings ranging from $50,000 to multi-million-dollar projects. Here are four things you need to know about Design-Build. You are protected. The Design-Build process requires two independent firms working on behalf of the district-- a Criteria Architect and the Design-Build firm. The Criteria Architect works directly for the school and on the school’s behalf, creating a written scope of work based on the district’s desired outcomes. With ...
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Employers must pay premiums timely to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) to receive and maintain workers' compensation coverage. Throughout the year, employers have been making premium installment payments based on estimated payroll. As we near the conclusion of the 2021 public employer policy year (January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021), BWC will be requiring all employers to reconcile (“true-up”) the payroll that was used to estimate their premium with their actual payroll for the policy year. BWC will also be sending information regarding premium installments for the upcoming 2022 policy year (January 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022). ...
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As COVID-19 and its variants continue to be present in the workplace, it is important to convey to managers and employees the importance of following precautions when using sanitizing, cleaning, and disinfecting chemicals. Enhanced sanitation protocols for COVID-19 and its variants may necessitate the use of new chemicals in the workplace. Therefore, appropriate chemical safety policies, procedures, and training are essential to keep workers safe. Fortunately, the OSHA/PERRP Hazard Communication Standard has provided employers with the framework to make working with new chemicals easy to incorporate into their existing program. HazCom is based on a simple concept ...
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To improve the environment within a school building – namely comfort, health, safety, energy efficiency, and overall performance – you have to start with ABC or Air Barrier Continuity. Without continuity within your “building envelope,” unintentional air filtration can bring moisture, pests, odors, and even airborne infection into your controlled environments. Did you know that buildings that leak as a result of age or poor envelope construction can cost you up to 40 percent more in heating costs and 15 percent more in cooling costs? According to the U.S. Department of Education , the average school building is 42 years old. In all buildings, (but especially ...
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Technology has become an integral part of supporting the district, administration, and the learning ecosystem that leads to student success. Historically, technology has played more of a support role, however, the recent pandemic exposed the reality that districts need to move technology from a support function to a strategic partner that drives teaching, learning, and, more importantly, the operations (Finance and HR) to support the education ecosystem. As districts consider this shift, they must understand the importance of business and data systems and how data must be leveraged to provide key metrics for the many stakeholders involved in our K-12 districts. ...
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Co-authored by Daniel A. Hedden, CPA, Partner, Baker Tilly On April 30, 2021, the Ohio Auditor of State released Auditor of State Bulletin 2021-005 to all county treasurers and fiscal officers as defined by Ohio Revised Code. The purpose of the bulletin was to prescribe the form and substance of the Certificate of Transition by outgoing fiscal officers as required by recently enacted § 117.171 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). The Certificate of Transition is intended to facilitate a smooth and efficient transition of power or change in position to benefit both incoming and outgoing county treasurers and fiscal officers as defined by ORC § 5705.01 (D), as well ...
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The maintenance department in each district works hard all year long to keep the district running smoothly but the summer months are a little busier! How well do your associates know and follow good fire safety practices? Ask these questions to find your strengths and weaknesses in fire safety: Do I know the location of fire extinguishers and alarm boxes in each area I work? Do I know what fire extinguishers to use for each flammable or combustible chemical I use? Do I know and understand fire safety precautions for materials as outlined in warning labels or SDSs? Do I keep flammable and combustible materials away from heat and machinery? Do I know ...
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While important throughout the year, the summer months are especially busy for the district maintenance staff. Most associates have some experience working with chemicals and naturally want to avoid dangerous overexposure to chemicals, especially on the job. Such overexposure is possible no matter where you work. Your district's Hazard Communication, or HazCom, program was created to protect workers’ health and safety. Three important elements are at the heart of your HazCom program: warning labels on containers, training on the safe usage and handling of chemicals, and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Know what’s On an SDS SDS’s are printed on pages or online which ...
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Cybersecurity is a prevalent issue across all industries, and increasingly so in the K-12 education sector. We know there are a lot of unanswered questions lurking in the minds of superintendents, treasurers, technology directors, and other school administrators. To help, I'll answer the most pressing questions we’re hearing from districts right now about c ybersecurity. Let’s get started… Q. Why did the education sector account for over 60 percent of all reported cyber attacks in the US in 2020? A. Not surprisingly, criminal activity capitalizes on opportunity. The education industry, and, in particular, the K-12 subset technology environments, ...
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Co-Authors: Beverly A. Meyer , Sean R. Lehman , Christopher L. McCloskey , Rebecca C. Princehorn The federal government has issued three rounds of relief funding to Ohio school districts in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The most recent round - created by the American Rescue Plan and referred to as ESSER III or ARP ESSER - is the largest round so far and has made $4.5 billion available to Ohio school districts. Given the significant amount of dollars that school districts need to allocate, many are wondering how and to what extent these funds may be used for construction and facilities improvements. While these monies come with certain ...
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Since the early 2000s, Ohioans have had the ability to shop for the “generation” portion of their electric bill. This should not be confused with the distribution and delivery charges on the bill which cannot be shopped. The local electric distribution utility (“EDU”) operates the distribution and delivery of electricity which includes managing outages regardless of the generation supplier. Ohio EDUs include AEP Ohio (formerly Columbus Southern and Ohio Power), AES Ohio (formerly Dayton Power & Light), The Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, and Duke Energy Ohio. Customers that choose not to shop for generation are served under their EDU’s ...
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Co-Authors: Beverly A. Meyer , Aaron D. Rothey , Christopher L. McCloskey , Sean R. Lehman , Catherine M. Swartz , Rebecca C. Princehorn The federal government has allocated three rounds of relief funds to public schools during the course of the pandemic. Its most recent legislation, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 enacted on March 11, will funnel an additional $4.5 billion to Ohio school districts. These monies, commonly referred to as ESSER III or ARP ESSER can be applied toward school district needs arising between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2024. On April 16, the Ohio Department of Education released local school district allocations ...
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In addition to the proposed American Jobs Plan, which includes funding to upgrade and build new public schools through infrastructure improvement, federal lawmakers are considering a number of options for financing those improvements. However, like the proposed legislation supporting the return of tax-exempt advance refunding bonds that we’ve shared in prior communications, the American Jobs Plan and new financing options have many steps remaining for final approval to be achieved. For additional details on the American Jobs Plan for infrastructure improvements, visit the White House’s American Jobs Plan website or click here for the full factsheet overview ...
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It is hard to believe that the school year is nearly over, and it is now time to consider offering your employees reasonable assurance. Anyone who works at an educational institution or institution of higher learning may fall under the reasonable assurance guidelines. What is “reasonable assurance”? Ohio recognizes reasonable assurance as a written agreement or verification that the employee will perform services in the same or similar capacity during the next academic year or term. (Note: Reasonable assurance is a provision that is part of federal law.) By offering reasonable assurance you are indicating to the state agency that an employee should not be ...
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School districts and other state and local public employers have a new tool to mitigate the costs of providing paid sick and family leave due to COVID-19. These employers can temporarily access the same kind of tax credits formerly only available to private-sector employers. Governmental Employers of Any Size Eligible The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides refundable tax credits previously available only to small and midsize private employers and expands them to include non-federal governmental employers of any size. These tax credits are available for wages paid for qualifying leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. Qualifying ...
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We know districts are actively implementing steps to follow the CDC's guidance for K-12 to reduce transmission of COVID. Did you know video security technology and data analytics can be a good use of your ESSER funds to help? CDC Prevention Strategies Let's review. The CDC says prevention strategies are critical and outlines these five key prevention strategies as essential to safe delivery of in-person instruction and to help prevent COVID-19 transmission in schools: Universal and correct use of masks Physical Distancing Handwashing and respiratory etiquette Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities Contact ...
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Co-authored by Jennifer Oiler . Open Enrollment for selecting a managed care organization (MCO) is May 3 through May 28, and Ohio employers have this opportunity to ensure they have the right MCO partner to help them navigate the workers’ compensation claim process. MCOs play a vital role in an employer’s ability to control claims costs, care for injured employees, and preserve options for premium savings in the long term. “Medical management” can be a rather vague description of the MCO function, but the impact can be substantial. Here are 5 key areas that make your MCO an extremely valuable resource for employers and their injured employees. 1. Post injury ...
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If you have never had a reason to ponder that question, the simple answer is yes. The time and effort used to properly conduct an accident investigation can be invaluable when using the information that is gathered to defend the best interest of your organization. Remember, you only need to experience one workplace accident or safety-related incident to permanently change the life of an employee. Information gathered during an accident investigation can be used for multiple purposes; determining the validity of workers’ compensation claims; preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future; responding to legal action; and/or determining compliance with ...
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Slips, trips, and falls do happen, usually only causing embarrassment or a simple bruise. However, at times, these mishaps result in much more serious injuries or even death. Falls are among the leading causes of death in the workplace. To stay safe and protected, follow these tips: Be aware of your surroundings. Never assume a walkway is clear. Look for clutter on the floor or steps and watch for unexpected changes in floor levels such as a step up or a step-down. Also, check for holes and grates in a pathway. Maintain adequate lighting in hallways, stairways, aisles, and any other traffic areas. Make sure it is bright enough to see! Perform audits at ...