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OAAE Testimony on SB216

Testimony Before the Senate Education Committee on Senate Bill 216 (M. Huffman)

December 13, 2017

 

Chairwoman Lehner, Vice Chair Huffman, Ranking Member Sykes, and members of the Senate Education Committee:


The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) appreciates this opportunity to present our comments and concerns about Senate Bill 216 (Huffman) the Ohio Public School Deregulation Act.

 

For forty-three years the OAAE has brought together a variety of individuals and organizations in Ohio to ensure that the arts, which include dance, drama/theater, media arts, music, and visual art, are an integral part of Ohio’s education system. Our members include over 8,000 teachers, artists, administrators, parents, and students, and arts education associations and institutions, including the Ohio Music Education Association, the Ohio Art Education Association, OhioDance, and the Ohio Educational Theatre Association.


The OAAE understands that the purpose of this bill is to relieve school districts of some state regulations so that districts can operate more effectively and better address the needs of their students.


But the bill would affect 15 major areas of education law, and would eventually impact programs at institutions of higher education that prepare teachers and how school districts employ teachers. These changes will affect teacher quality, the quality of the education programs in our schools, and especially the students, who deserve well-trained teachers in all of their classes so that they can achieve at the highest levels.


For these reasons the OAAE takes the following positions on the bill:

 

Oppose Permitting the Proposed K-8 Grade Band License to be Certified to Teach the Arts (Section 3319.22 Educator Licenses)

 

The bill requires the State Board, when issuing resident, professional, senior professional, and lead professional educator licenses, to specify whether the educator is licensed to teach grades Kindergarten through eight or grades six through twelve. While the bill doesn’t address the types of courses that a teacher with the proposed K-8 and 6-12 licenses could teach, or the types of courses and other requirements that future teachers would be required to meet in order to earn the two new licenses, the bill sets up the future need to address these questions, and therefore the OAAE’s responsibility to respond.

 

The current grade band levels for educator licenses are not specified in Ohio law, but are issued by the State Board of Education through the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) rules, which are approved by the Joint Commission on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).


OAC Rule 3301-24-05 identifies several types of educator licenses that an individual can earn to teach all subjects or selected subjects at various grade levels. (1) The primary license areas are “Early Childhood” (grades pre-Kindergarten through three), “Middle Childhood” (grades four through nine in named curricular areas), “Adolescence through Adult” (grades seven through twelve in named curricular areas), and the Multi-Age Licenses (pre-K to 12) issued for a particular subject area, such as dance, drama/theater, music, visual art, library/media, health, languages, etc.

 

The OAAE is concerned that those teachers earning the proposed K-8 general teaching license could be certified to teach the arts in Ohio classrooms. Currently teachers with the pre-K to grade three license, and those teachers with the “grandfathered” K-8 license are considered “certified” to teach the arts under Ohio Administrative Code rules. But the course requirements for teaching the arts under these licenses are extremely minimal when compared to someone earning the Multi-Age License to teach the arts, which requires that the teaching candidate major in one of the arts disciplines, meet the requirements of the higher institution, and meet other state requirements. At Kent State University, for example, the course requirements for earning a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education to teach all subjects, including the arts, in grades pre-K through grade three, only include the course “Music and Rhythms in Preprimary Education” (3 credits) and 9 credit hours in the “Humanities and Fine Arts.” (2)

 

The OAAE recommends that Ohio law specify that all courses in the arts at all grade levels be taught by a teacher with a Multi-Age pre-K to12 license in a specific arts discipline of dance, drama, music, or visual art, or an equivalent license in a specific area. Teachers earning a Multi-Age license are required to complete a major or its equivalent in a specific content area in the arts, and meet the requirements specified by the teacher preparation institution, which are approved by the Ohio Department of Education. A teacher with the Multi-Age license in the arts can best provide the instructional and professional expertise to guide students to achieve at the highest levels in the arts.

 

Oppose New Section 3319.391, Which Would Permit the Employment of Teachers to Teach in any Subject Area or Grade Level


The bill also includes a provision, NEW Section 3319.361, that permits a superintendent of a city, local, or exempted village school district to employ a person licensed under section 3319.22 of the Revised Code to teach a subject area or grade level for which the person is not licensed.


This provision gives superintendents carte blanche to hire any licensed person to teach any subject at any grade level with no approval by the local board of education, no exemptions, no time limits, or guidelines to ensure that individuals have the training, knowledge, and experience to teach the subject in Ohio classrooms. Such limits have been placed in law on other efforts to provide school districts with more flexibility when hiring teachers. For example, while current law allows “high performing school districts” to hire licensed teachers to teach at any grade level, there are exemptions from this provision for special education teachers.

 

This provision could undermine the great track record that Ohio school districts have made to hire highly qualified and licensed teachers in the arts. According to OAAE data for the 2012-13 school year, there were 8,990 arts teachers in Ohio’s traditional public schools. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of these arts teachers were certified to teach courses in the arts by holding appropriate licenses. These teachers met the graduation requirements of their institutions of higher education in their arts discipline, and also met Ohio’s rigorous standards for beginning teachers, including passing a national assessment for teachers in their content area, and fulfilling all requirements for earning a permanent license.


Ohio already has in current law the alternative license program, which provides a different pathway for individuals to become licensed teachers.


There are other provisions in law that provide school districts some flexibility when hiring licensed educators and non-licensed individuals to teach on a limited basis, including Section 3302.151 High Performing School Districts, Section 3319.301 Non-licensed Teachers, and OAC Rule 3301-23-41: the 40-hour and 12-hour STEM temporary teaching permit.

 

At a minimum, the bill should require the State Board of Education to develop guidelines for hiring teachers who are teaching out of their subject area, including limits on the amount of time a teacher can teach; a requirement that these teachers pass a content area exam or are enrolled in a program to earn a license in the content area; and the requirement that the local board of education approve the hire. These guidelines should ensure that students are not short-changed in the classroom because they have a less than highly qualified teacher.


Oppose Changes to the Gifted Standards Rule for Professional Development


Currently OAC Rule 3301 -51-15 (D) Provision of Services requires educators working with gifted students to complete professional development that meets best practices for serving gifted students. The State Board of Education adopted this rule in March 2017 after years of stakeholder input and febate. At the time is was approved the State Board agreed that in order to better serve giftedstudents in Ohio classrooms, a general education teacher, who is designated as the provider of gifted services, would be required to participate in 30 hours of professional development in year one; 30 hours in year two; and additional hours of professional development each year thereafter as determined by the school district. The professional development must be aligned to specific competencies for teaching gifted students.


SB216 would reverse this rule, and prohibit the State Board of Education from requiring any gifted professional training for classroom teachers providing gifted services.


The OAAE believes that “prohibiting” the State Board of Education from requiring professional development to improve instruction for gifted students is an excessive reaction to the rule. Lawmakers, school districts, and stakeholders for gifted education should be able to identify other options that would help school districts meet a higher standard for serving gifted students, while also addressing their concerns about implementing the professional development requirements.


Support the Proposed Changes for the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES)

 

The bill requires the ODE to revise the state framework for teacher evaluations, based on most of the recommendations of the Educator Standards Board (ESB), and submit a summary of the revisions to the State Board of Education for review. The State Board must adopt the revised framework by May 1, 2018. School districts are required to update their teacher evaluation policies by July 1, 2018.

 

The State Board of Education approved on April 11, 2017 the recommendations of the Educator Standards Board to revise OTES. The ESB issued its recommendations on January 27, 2017 after several months of review and revisions. The recommendations call for many changes, including embedding student growth measures into the revised rubric so that student academic achievement and growth data, and professional practice measures, would be included in the OTES rubric, and the final summative ratings would be calculated using the revised OTES rubric. 

 

The OTES changes are the result of extensive discussions among educators and policy-makers and years of experience with OTES. The revisions would provide a more holistic teacher evaluation system that would increase the “…integrity of the system as a professional growth model for teacher development and advancement.” (3)

 

The OAAE supports the proposed changes in the bill with two additional amendments described
below:

 

Unlike the recommendations of the Educator Standards Board and the State Board of Education, the bill does not require that student growth measures remain embedded in appropriate components of the OTES teacher performance rubric. The OAAE would support this provision being added to the bill.

 

The bill also requires “high-quality student data” to be used when measuring student performance in an evaluation. But unlike the recommendations from the Educator Standards Board and State Board of Education, the bill defines “high-quality student data” as data derived from student assessments approved by each school district, rather than by the state. The OAAE would support amending the bill to require the State Board of Education, rather than local school districts, to approve the tests that provide the high quality data for OTES, to ensure consistency of data and standard OTES results across the state.

 

In conclusion, the OAAE appreciates the important work that the Senate Education Committee is tackling and the opportunity to testify on SB216, and extends to the committee our commitment to work with you to support Ohio’s students in the best way possible.

 


1. Ohio’s Certification and License Dictionary for Teaching the Fine Arts

2. Kent State Course Requirement Catalog (1) (2)

3. "Ohio Educator Standards Board Recommendations for Revising the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System” by Catherine Jacques, Jessica Giffin, and Amy Potemski, AIR, January 27, 2017

Top Ten Reasons To Support The Arts

10 Reasons to Support the Arts

Source: Americans for the Arts
Download: .pdf handout

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts are also a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.

  1. Arts improve individual well-being. 63 percent of the population believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 64 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 73 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
  1. Arts unify communities. 67 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 62 percent agree that the arts “helps me understand other cultures better”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.
  1. Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores, and college-going rates as well as lower drop-out rates. These academic benefits are reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status. Yet, the Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers. 88 percent of Americans believe that arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.
  1. Arts strengthen the economy. The production of arts and cultural goods in the U.S. added $730 billion to the economy in 2014, and included a $30 billion international trade surplus. The arts represented a larger share of the nation’s economy (4.2 percent of GDP) than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $166.3 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences), which supports 4.6 million jobs and generates $27.5 billion in government revenue.
  1. Arts drive tourism and revenue to local businesses. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $31.47 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters—valuable commerce for local businesses. 34 percent of attendees live outside the county in which the arts event takes place; they average $47.57 in event-related spending. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences.
  1. Arts spark creativity and innovation. Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders, per the Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate report—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. Research on creativity shows that Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists.
  1. Arts drive the creative industries. The Creative Industries are arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. A 2017 analysis of Dun & Bradstreet data counts 673,656 businesses in the U.S. involved in the creation or distribution of the arts—4.01 percent of all businesses and 2.04 percent of all employees. (Get a free local Creative Industry report for your community here.)
  1. Arts have social impact. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower poverty rates.
  1. Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
  1. Arts for the health and well-being of our military. The arts heal the mental, physical, and moral injuries of war for military servicemembers and Veterans, who rank the creative arts therapies in the top 4 (out of 40) interventions and treatments. Across the military continuum, the arts promote resilience during pre-deployment, deployment, and the reintegration of military servicemembers, Veterans, their families, and caregivers into communities.

Overview of Am. Sub. HB49 Biennial Budget

Overview of Am. Sub. HB49 Biennial Budget

September 13, 2017

The Ohio General Assembly approved the two-year state operating budget, Am. Sub. HB 49 (R. Smith), on June 27, 2017 and Governor Kasich signed it into law on June 30, 2017.

Governor Kasich, exercising his line-item veto authority, struck-down 47 provisions, including 13 education-related provisions, before signing the bill into law on June 30, 2017. Details about the education-related vetoes are included in the appendix. (Read the governor’s “Veto Message.”)

On July 6, 2017 the Ohio House convened and voted to override 11 of the provisions vetoed by the governor by securing at least 60 votes - three-fifths of House members. Most of the provisions related to Medicaid, and none of the overrides related to education.

The Senate, meeting on August 22, 2017, voted to override 6 of the provisions that the House had also voted to override. These provisions will now be enacted as part of the law.

One of the most significant vetoes made by the governor was a provision in the budget to freeze enrollment in Medicaid expansion, which could have led to 500,000 individuals losing health insurance.

While the House and Senate voted to override several provisions related to Medicaid, they did not, at this time, override the Medicaid expansion provision. However, House and Senate leaders have left open the possibility of revisiting some of the other vetoes made by the governor as this legislative session continues. The General Assembly can take action to override the governor’s vetoes until the end of this legislative session, which is December 31, 2018.


A Look at the Budget Numbers

The state’s biennial budget includes over $132 billion in overall spending, including $65 billion for the General Revenue Fund.

According to Stephen Dyer, fellow at Innovation Ohio, when compared to the budget passed during the 2009 recession, this budget is short $896 million, when adjusted for inflation. “In addition, 409 school districts will have less in the last year of this budget than they had in the last year of the Recession budget.” (Stephen Dyer)

As overall state revenue declined in FY17, lawmakers struggled throughout the budget process to ensure that the proposed budget for FY18-19 would be balanced. By May 2017 the Ohio House had adjusted the governor’s original budget and tax plan to cover a $1 billion projected shortfall in state tax revenue for FY18-19 by reducing most agency and department spending by an average of 3-6 percent; eliminating programs, such as the Straight A Fund; reducing Medicaid by $200 million; eliminating earmarks; and re-purposing $85 million in unspent funds.

Lawmakers also resisted Governor Kasich’s attempt to further cut state taxes, which had occurred in the past two budget cycles. According to a report by Policy Matters Ohio, these tax cuts “...have sapped the state of billions of dollars a year of vitally needed revenue and weighted the tax system in favor of the wealthier as the expense of low-and middle-income Ohioans.”

While there were some positive tax changes in the budget bill as passed, some tax breaks for special interests were also included, but were later vetoed by the governor.

Several changes in the Current Agricultural Use Tax (CAUV), will reduce the value of agricultural property for farmers, but will mean that some school districts could lose tax revenue, and taxes could increase for residential taxpayers.

The budget also eliminates the bottom two brackets ($0-$5,000 and $5,000 to $10,000) of the income tax, and specifies that taxpayers with an Ohio adjusted gross income, minus exemptions or a taxable business income of $10,500 or less, will owe no tax.

And, to help families save for college, the maximum annual income tax deduction for contributions to a federally tax-advantaged college savings account is increased to $4,000 from $2,000 for each beneficiary.

While the law assures over $2 billion in the rainy day fund, according to Policy Matters Ohio, the state still needs “...a balanced tax system that delivers the revenue we need and taxes those who can afford to pay.”


Ohio Arts Council: The approved biennial budget provides the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) with General Revenue Fund (GRF) appropriations of $14.653 million in FY18 and in FY19. This amount is a little less than the level of spending in FY17 of $14.935 million. Appropriations for the OAC All Funds account are unchanged at $16.453 million in both fiscal years.


Ohio Department of Education: GRF appropriations for the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) total $7.987 billion in FY18 and $8.117 billion in FY19. This amount is more than the level of ODE spending in FY17 of $7.873 billion.

Appropriations for the ODE’s All Funds account total $11.167 billion in FY18 and $11.319 billion in FY19. This amount is more than FY17 spending of $10.956 billion. The All Funds account includes$4.3 billion from the federal government; $2.78 billion in redistributed funds; and $2.22 billion in lottery profits.

Estimated total funding for school districts increases from $8.003 billion in FY17 to $8.075 billion in FY18 and to $8.165 billion in FY19. The change in total state funding among school districts between FY17 and FY18 is $76.8 million (0.9 percent), and $86 million (1.1 percent) between FY18 and FY19.

One of the major expenses for school districts is the cost of transportation. State funding for transportation was cut from $592.3 million in FY17 to $546 million in FY18 (-7.69 percent) and reduced again to $527 million in FY19 (-3.59 percent). The budget also modifies the pupil transportation formula by decreasing the minimum state share applied to a district’s calculated transportation cost from 50 percent in FY17 to 37.5 percent in FY18 and 25 percent in FY19.


Policy Changes for K-12 Education

The following are some of the major policy changes in education policy included in law:

School Funding
-Maintains the structure of the existing school funding formula and the nine aid categories used in the existing formula: the core opportunity grant, targeted assistance, K-3 literacy funding, economically disadvantaged aid, limited English proficiency funding, gifted funding, transportation aid, special education aid, and career-technical education funding.

-Specifies a formula amount of $6,010 in FY18 and $6,020 in FY19. The House had increased the formula amount to $6,020 in both years. Generally maintains FY17 amounts for the categorical payments.

-Modifies state funding for school districts based on student enrollment between FY14 and FY16. School districts with enrollment declines of less that 5 percent are ensured to receive FY17 funding levels. Guaranteed funding will be reduced by 1 percent per percent of enrollment lost, for schools districts that have lost more than 5 percent of students between FY14 and FY16, with a maximum loss of 5 percent.

-Guarantees that districts will receive over the biennium at least 100 percent of the
funding for career-technical education and associated services they received in FY17.

-Establishes the gain cap at a scaled amount between 3 percent and 5.5 percent in FY18 and between 3 percent and 6 percent in FY19, based on the district’s enrollment change from FY14-FY16.

-Modifies the cap for school districts that have lost taxable value due to changes in public utility personal property valuation. Provides a “cap offset” payment in FY18 for these 18 school districts.

-Eliminates the TPP tax supplement.

-Includes a provision to address the loss in property values that certain school districts are experiencing as a result of closed or devalued power plants. Requires the ODE to recommend annually to the General Assembly a structure to compensate districts that experience at least a 50 percent decrease in public utility personal property from one year to the next.

-Allocates approximately $293.1 million in FY18 and $293.9 million in FY19 for Joint

-Requires the ODE to conduct a study of appropriate funding levels and methods for teaching gifted students, and to report its findings by May 1, 2018.

-Appropriates up to $450,000 each year for the Teach for America program.


Charter Schools
-Permits the ODE to know the identities of students associated with student data verification
codes (“SSID” numbers) for making per-pupil payments to community/charter schools. This provision is intended to assist ODE in preventing duplicate payments (and district deductions) that occur when a single student has more than one SSID entered into the EMIS – School Options Enrollment System.


Non Public Schools and Vouchers
-Increases the maximum amount that may be awarded under the Cleveland Scholarship
Program to students in grades K-8 from $4,250 to $4,650, and to students in grades 9-12
from $5,700 to $6,000.

-Requires the ODE to conduct a second application period if there are funds remaining to
award income-based EdChoice vouchers after the first application period.

-Eliminates the deadline for students to apply for the Jon Peterson special needs scholarship. Students can now apply at any time.

-Adds STEM schools to the list of entities that a public board of education must first offer an unused school facility for sale or lease. STEM schools will now have the same rights to such property that start-up community schools and college-preparatory boarding schools currently have.


Alternative Graduation Requirements
-Includes language providing for alternative graduation requirements for the class of 2018 to address a potential decrease in the number of students graduating in the Class of 2018. School officials have been worried that up to one third of the students in the Class of 2018 might not graduate, because they have not been able to earn enough graduation points based on their scores on end of course exams.

Section 773.67 (temporary law) creates additional ways for students attending regular education programs and students attending career-technical education programs to earn a diploma.

Students in traditional education programs must take all applicable end of course exams; retake at least once, exams in which the student has earned less than a score of 3; complete the graduation course requirements; and meet two of the following conditions:

  • Achieve an attendance rate during senior year of at least 93 percent
  • Earn a 2.5 GPA for senior-year courses (minimum 4 full year courses or equivalent)
  • Complete a capstone senior project as defined by the district
  • Complete 120 hours of work experience (including, but not limited to internship, work study, co-op and/or apprenticeship) or community service during the senior year, as defined by the district
  • Earn 3 or more credits in a College Credit Plus course at any time during the student’s high school experience.
  • Successfully complete an International Baccalaureate, or Advanced Placement course and earn a score on the respective exam that would earn college credit (4 on IB exam, 3 on AP exam) at any time during the student’s high school experience.
  • Earn a minimum Level 3 score on each of the reading for information, applied mathematics and locating information components of the WorkKeys exam (9 points total).
  • Earn a State Board of Education-approved, industry- recognized credential or group of credentials equal to or greater than 3 points.
  • Meets the conditions required to receive an OhioMeansJobs readiness seal.

Students in career tech programs can earn a diploma if they take all of the end-of-course exams; complete the district’s or school’s required units of instruction; complete a career-technical training program approved by ODE that includes at least four career-technical courses; and meet one of the following conditions:

  • Attain a cumulative score of at least proficient on career-technical education exams, or test modules, that are required for a career-technical education program
  • Obtain an industry recognized credential, or a group of credentials equal to at least 12 points
  • Demonstrate successful workplace participation, as evidenced by documented completion of 250 hours of workplace experience, and by evidence of regular, written, positive evaluations from the workplace employer or supervisor and representative of the district or school. (Specifies that the third condition must be based on a written agreement signed by the student, a representative of the district or school, and an employer or supervisor).

 

Assessments
-Eliminates statewide fourth and sixth grade social studies end-of-year assessments, but requires each school district to teach and assess social studies in at least the fourth and sixth grades. In addition, school districts no longer have to provide prevention/intervention services to students who score below the proficient level in social studies.
-Allows districts to administer certain portions of the kindergarten diagnostic assessment up to two weeks prior to the first day of school.
-Requires that at least 40 percent of the questions from each elementary state assessment andhigh school end-of-course exam become public records beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.
-Permits school districts to integrate academic content in a subject area for which the state board has adopted standards into a course in a different subject area including a career-technical education course in accordance with guidance that will be issued by ODE. Students may receive credit for both subject areas upon successful completion of the course. If an end-of-course examination is required for the subject area delivered through integrated instruction, the school may administer the related subject area exam upon completion of the integrated course. The ODE is required to issue by July 1, 2018 guidance regarding the appropriate teacher licensure for the course.
-Requires the ODE by December 31, 2017 to develop a framework for school districts to use in granting units of high school credit to students who demonstrate subject area competencies through work-based learning experiences, internships, or cooperative education experiences. Districts must comply with the framework and adopt changes to any of their policies regarding demonstration of subject area competencies by the start of the 2018–2019 school year.
-Requires the superintendent of public instruction to work with the governor’s office and business officials to establish a committee that will develop a list of industry-recognized credentials and licenses that may be used to qualify for a high school diploma. The credentials must align with the in-demand jobs list published by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The credentials will be used on state report cards.
-Establishes an OhioMeansJobs readiness seal for students to earn on their diplomas.

 

Students
-Permits students to self-apply sunscreen, and permits school districts to require parent authorization.
-Prohibits students from using or possessing any substance that contains betel nut on school premises.
-Allows student enrolled in career-technical education programs to participate in pre-apprenticeship training programs that develops skills and knowledge needed to complete a registered apprenticeship programs. The ODE will develop this program.
-Specifies that a student participating in a school athletic activity submit the signed form indicating review of sudden cardiac arrest guidelines prior to participating in an athletic activity once every year rather than once every year for every athletic activity.
-Permits F-1 visa holders at certain schools to participate in interscholastic athletics.

 

Teachers/Educators
-Retains the Ohio Teacher Residency Program. This program was eliminated in HB49 as passed, but that provision was vetoed by the governor. This is a four-year entry level program to prepare educators for their professional educator license. Some lawmakers are considering overriding the veto, unless the ODE makes changes in the summative assessment part of the program.
-Requires the ODE to request fingerprints from licensed educators and applicants for licensure who are not enrolled in the Retained Applicant Fingerprint Database (RAPBACK) in order to enroll them. (RAPBACK is a criminal record monitoring service overseen by the Attorney General’s Office.
-Retains the current law regarding career-technical educator licenses. Several changes had been proposed as HB49 was being considered.
-Permits a superintendent to allow a school district to hire and pay a “substitute educational aide,” who does not currently hold an aide permit, but who is filling-in during an emergency or employee leave of absence. Currently an educational aide/paraprofessional must hold an aide permit from ODE. Someone in this new position of “substitute educational aide” can serve for up to 60 days, if they meet certain requirements, and must have already submitted an application for a permit with the ODE.

 

College Credit Plus (CCP) program.
-Student Eligibility: Limits CCP participation to students who demonstrate college readiness either by scoring remediation free on a college entrance exam, or by scoring within one standards error or measurement of the remediation free threshold and either obtain a recommendation from a school administrator, or have a GPA of 3.0 The college must pay for one assessment, but additional assessments are the responsibility of the students. Also requires that the student meet the college’s standards for admission and course placement to participate in CCP.

-Course Eligibility: Requires the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) in consultation with the ODE to develop rules specifying the courses eligible for CCP funding.

-Continuing Student Participation: Requires the ODHE in consultation with the ODE to develop requirements for students who underperform in CCP to meet in order to continue participation. These include the conditions that the students must meet to continue participation, the timeframe for notifying an underperforming participant, the mechanisms to assist underperforming participants, the role of school guidance counselors and college academic advisors in assisting underperforming participants, and consequences of ineligibility.

-Changes the annual deadline to notify high school Moves to February 1 (from March 1 as under current law) the annual deadline by which a high school must provide information about CCP to all students in grades 6-11.

-Moves the deadline for distributing to students information about the CCP program March 1 to February 1 for all students in grades 6-11.

-Modifies the appeal process for students when a principal refuses to provide written consent for participation. The final appeal will now be heard by the district superintendent rather than the state board of education, and the decision will be final.


-Modifies the appeals process for granting credit for CCP courses, and moves it to the ODE.
-Allows districts to negotiate CCP payments below the default floor. The Chancellor of Higher Education can approve or deny the agreement.

-Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Chancellor of Higher Education to study the outcomes of the CPP program annually and submit each report by December 31.

 

Early Childhood Education
-Creates an Early Childhood Education pilot program in no more than two counties in Appalachia.
-Prioritizes funding for early childhood education funds to providers receiving funds in the previous fiscal year. Any balance of funding will be given to new eligible providers.
-Permits the ODE to establish a pilot program in one or two geographical areas of the state that employs one or more parent choice models to deliver early childhood education services to eligible children.
-Extends eligibility to three-year olds if early childhood education funds remain after awards are made for eligible four-year olds. Requires the ODE to approve the spending.


Other Provisions

Straight A Fund: Eliminates this fund, which has provided grant support for a number of projects across the state.

 

Victims of Violent Behavior: Requires victims of students who are disciplined for violent behavior to be identified in EMIS reports starting on July 1, 2018. Victims are broadly classified as teacher, student, non-teacher.

 

Intervention Teams: Removes the requirement that absence intervention team assignments be made within ten days.

 

Ohio School Facilities Commission: Abolishes the Ohio School Facilities Commission (SFC) and transfers its responsibilities to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (FCC). No effect on service delivery. Currently, FCC and SFC work as one organization. However, it may reduce administrative costs by, for example, eliminating the required quarterly meetings for SFC.

 

Annexation Agreement: Requires boards of education that are party to an annexation agreement to approve a transfer of non-residential territory, unless the territory of one of those boards overlaps with a new community authority created prior to January 1, 1993. This provision is effective until October 1, 2021.

 

Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission: Ended the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, in July 2017. The commission was charged with analyzing and making recommendations to the Ohio General Assembly to amend the Ohio Constitution, but struggled to find consensus on a number of topics.

 

Business Advisory Councils: Requires the superintendent of public instruction, in consultation with the Governor’s Executive Workforce board, to develop standards for the operation of business advisory councils established by a board of education. These standards require the council to meet at least quarterly with the board, and determine on which matters it will advise the board. Current law requires that each school district board of education and ESC governing board appoint a business advisory council to advise and provide recommendations to the board regarding industry employment and skills needs.

 

STEAM School: Establishes in law a STEAM community or nonpublic school, which stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. STEAM schools must meet certain requirements, including involvement of arts organizations.

 

EMIS Advisory Group: Establishes an advisory group of school districts and other stakeholders to make recommendations for changes to EMIS to format standards and data definitions. Districts not using uniform data definitions and data format standards will have all EMIS funding withheld until the district comes into compliance.

 

Career-technical education enhancements: Creates a new program called “Agricultural Fifth-Quarter Project,” and allocates $600,000 each fiscal year for work-based learning through supervised agricultural experience anytime outside of the school day. ODE will develop eligibility criteria and will fund as many programs as possible.


APPENDIX

Vetoed Provisions

The governor vetoed the following education-related provisions:

Reimbursement Payments for Fixed-Rate TPP Tax Losses: This provision would have extended reimbursement payments to school districts for tangible personal property (TPP) and utility property tax revenue losses by slowing down the previously-enacted phase-out schedule of the reimbursements.

Laws were approved to change the tax code and eliminate revenue earned from public utility tangible personal property in 1999 and 2000, and general tangible personal property (TPP) in 2005. The TPP tax provided school districts about $1 billion per biennium. But lawmakers also approved reimbursements of the revenue lost for school districts to compensate districts. The original schedule for reimbursed payments to school districts for the tax revenue lost was to be phased-out by FY19. However, this schedule has been extended several times.

According to the governor’s veto message, most of the reimbursement payments go to school districts that have the capacity to raise local revenue to cover the lost tax revenue, and therefore diverts limited state funds from lower-wealth school districts. “Continually extending the reimbursement payments as this provision would do, and making only small reductions in their amounts, merely postpones the inevitable transition that districts must make.”

However, the governor did recognize a small number of school districts in which the reimbursements are truly needed, and agreed that the legislature should examine ways to help these districts.

 

Exemption from State Test and Graduation Requirements for Selected Schools: This provision would have exempted from state assessment and graduation requirements all students at chartered nonpublic schools in which at least 75 percent of students are children with disabilities who receive special education and related services. According to the governor’s veto message, “This provision could create lower expectations for all students at these schools, including children with disabilities receiving special education and related services, and potentially diminish their ability to succeed after high school.”

 

Progress Weighting for Community School Sponsor Evaluations: This provision would have required the ODE to increase from 20 percent to 60 percent the weight given to the “Progress” category score when computing a total score for the “Academic Performance” component of the ODE’s charter school sponsor evaluation.

The governor opposed this provision, because it would create a lower standard for charter schools compared to local public schools. According to the veto message, “Given the use of a 1 00-point scale, this change would unavoidably lead to a reduction in the weight given to all other factors in the accountability measure, including student achievement and graduation rates, which are important measures of a school’s performance. Additionally, by prohibiting the Department from considering the Compliance or Quality Practices components from its sponsor evaluations, this provision would essentially exempt community schools from complying with standards that the General Assembly has decided are important for schools to follow. Managing school accountability systems in a uniform way drives strong standards for all Ohio schools and improves educational opportunities for all of Ohio’s students and lowering those standards-even in a seemingly narrow way as this provision-undermines this progress.”

 

Educational Service Center Community School Sponsor Requirements: This provision would have permitted Educational Service Centers (ESC) rated “Effective” to sponsor a charter school anywhere in the state. Currently, most ESCs can only sponsor schools in their own and contiguous counties, unless they obtain permission from the ODE. According to the veto message, allowing effective ESCs to sponsor charter schools throughout the state would undermine the ODE’s efforts to create a high performing charter school system in the state, by removing its ability to reward high performing ESC sponsors.

 

Community School Sponsor Authority Revocation Exception: This provision would have allowed a charter school sponsor, that lost its sponsorship authority in 2015-2016 due to receiving zeros for the quality practices and the compliance components of the sponsorship evaluation, to renew its sponsorship for the 2017-2018 school year under certain conditions. The sponsor would have needed to receive a three or four rating for the academic component of the sponsorship evaluation. Currently the state rates charter school sponsors in three categories -- academics, quality sponsoring practices, statutory compliance and regulatory compliance. This provision was included in the budget, because it addressed a situation in which some sponsors met the performance measure, but failed to meet all the rules and laws for operating a charter school.

 

Elimination of Ohio Resident Educator Program: This provision would have eliminated the four-year program for new teachers to prepare them for a professional educator license issued by the State Board of Education. According to Governor Kasich’s veto message, this program is necessary, because it provides teachers with a path to become a professional teacher, and includes mentoring support, instructional guidance and detailed, objective feedback on classroom performance.

 

Paper and Online Tests: This provision would have allowed Ohio’s public and private schools to choose between administering state achievement assessments in either paper or online formats. The governor opposed this provision, because it is not necessary and would undermine efforts to encourage schools and students to utilize more technology. According to the governor’s veto message, approximately 98 percent of tests are already administered online, and districts and schools can request a waiver from the ODE to administer paper assessments if necessary.

 

College Credit Plus Minimum Grade Requirement: This provision would have required College Credit Plus students to receive a C or higher to receive college credit. According to the governor’s veto message, this provision would have established a different standard for earning credit depending on the learning situation, which would have created inequities, and would not serve the public interest.

 

School Facilities Assistance Segmenting: This provision would have allowed 29 school districts to reduce the amount of matching funds that they are required to produce in order to receive state funds. The governor opposed this provision, because it would have changed the protocol for determining the state/local funding share percentages, and increased the state share of construction projects supported by the Classroom Facilities Assistance Program (CFAP). As a result, the state would have fewer dollars to support the program, and would therefore serve fewer school districts.

 

Joint Vocational School District Projects: This provision would have redirected funding from the K-12 Classroom Facilities Assistance Program (CFAP) to the JVS Vocational Facilities Assistance Program (VFAP) by providing for one additional JVS project each year in the biennium, and capping the local share of costs for existing projects at 50 percent. According to the governor, this provision “...represents a fundamental departure from principles of fairness and equity that have guided Ohio’s school building program since 1997 by ignoring a NS district’s wealth, capping its share of costs at 50 percent, and moving it ahead of K-12 districts in the state that have been waiting for assistance. Further, by requiring the state to pay more for projects in high-wealth JVS districts, this provision would increase state costs by as much as $36 million over the biennium and reduce resources available to other, often lower-wealth, districts.”

 

Undergraduate Tuition Guarantee Program: This provision would have allowed any of Ohio’s public universities that choose to initiate a tuition guarantee program to increase tuition by 8 percent for the first cohort, as compared to the 6 percent currently allowed. The governor opposed this provision, because it would have undermined efforts to increase student access to higher education by making higher education more affordable.

 

Community Colleges Tuition Increase: This provision would have allowed an increase of up to $10 per credit hour for undergraduate instructional and general fees for community, state community, and technical colleges, while also exempting non-instructional program fees from the legislation’s two year freeze on undergraduate instructional, general, and all other fees for state universities or colleges. The governor’s veto prohibits credit hour and fee increases for the 2017-2018 academic year. According to the governor’s veto message, this provision would have increased annual education costs for students, and would undermine efforts to control the cost of higher education.

 

Joint Education Oversight Committee Authority Over Ohio Department of Education Audit Standards: This provision would have given the Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC) the authority to review the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) manual for conducting enrollment reviews, and exempt schools and districts from meeting standards set by the manual, if the committee determined that schools or districts could not comply with the manual. Currently the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (E-COT) and the ODE are litigating this issue in the state courts. The governor vetoed this provision saying that this provision extended the authority of the JEOC’s jurisdiction by giving a committee a “functional veto over the Department’s administration of full-time-equivalent student population audits and reviews.”

Summary of SB216 The Ohio Public School Deregulation Act

Summary of SB216 The Ohio Public School Deregulation Act

Joan Platz

originally published October 19, 2017
updated November 18, 2017

 

Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima) introduced on October 10, 2017 SB216 (Huffman), the Ohio Public School Deregulation Act.  The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Peggy Lehner, is now holding hearings on the bill.

According to Senator Huffman, the bill was developed based on the recommendations from several school superintendents in his 12th Senate District (Lima), and from other superintendents around the state.  A working group from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) also contributed to the bill.

These superintendents identified state mandates in law that added to school district costs, or were inefficient or ineffective. The bill’s intent is to reduce regulations and mandates for local schools to increase local control, improve efficiency, and reduce costs, while still supporting improved student achievement. 

One of the bill’s provisions, for example, changes state law to revise Ohio’s Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) based on the recommendations of the Educator Standards Board and the State Board of Education.  The Ohio Education Association is also working on a bill with Senator Peggy Lehner to revise OTES.

But relaxing other mandates, such as the requirement that teachers be certified in the subjects that they are teaching, could lower the quality and effectiveness of classroom instruction, which could lower student achievement.

The bill makes changes in the following areas of law: 

* Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 

- Student academic growth
- Additional features of OTES
- Frequency of evaluations
- Professional growth plans
- Formal observations of teachers
- Alternative framework – repealed

* Educator license grade bands
* Teacher employment for any subject area or grade level
* Educational aide permits and educational paraprofessional licenses

- Individuals required to hold a permit or license

* Nonteaching employee contracts
* Educator licenses for substitute teaching
* Professional development for certain gifted services providers
* State achievement assessments

- Paper and online administration of certain state assessments
- Analysis and assistance

* Kindergarten readiness diagnostic assessment eliminated

- Effect on the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee

* College Credit Plus

- Comparable course delivery
- Textbooks
- Study on results and cost-effectiveness
- Background on CCP

* Excessively absent students

- Background on student attendance

* Special education preschool staffing
* Reading improvement plans
* Reporting of student performance
* School mandate reports

  

SUMMARY OF SB216 (HUFFMAN) THE OHIO PUBLIC SCHOOL DEREGULATION ACT

The following is a summary of the bill based on the bill as introduced and an analysis prepared by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission:

 

Section 3301.02 State Report Card:  The bill eliminates the requirement that districts, in which less than 5 percent of students have scored below grade level on the kindergarten assessment, receive no letter grade on the K–3 literacy component on the report card.

 

Section 3301.078 Analysis of Assessment Questions:  New Sections (C) and (D) require the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to request that the American Institutes for Research (AIR) provide at the beginning of each school year starting in the 2018-19, an analysis of assessment questions on the state exams developed by AIR, and show how the questions are aligned to Ohio’s state academic content standards.  AIR must also provide schools and districts with practice materials and guides for the assessments.

 

Section 3301.079 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA):  Under current law, each school district, community school, and STEM school is required to administer certain diagnostic assessments in reading, writing, and math in kindergarten, first, and second grade, and in reading and writing in third grade. These assessments are used to determine student progress, and identify which students need to receive additional services in order to attain grade level performance under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

The Ohio Department of Education has approved eight assessments that can be used by school districts to evaluate literacy progress, but the law requires the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment (KRA) to be administered to all kindergarten students in the fall.  The results of the KRA are used to evaluate preschool programs under the “Step Up to Quality” program, but not all preschools participate in this program.

Some school districts question the requirement to administer the KRA, because it can’t be administered in the spring to evaluate incoming kindergarten students; takes teachers out of the classroom and away from their students to individually administer the assessment; and doesn’t provide valuable information about students in a timely manner. Most school districts administer other assessments to provide ongoing information about student progress in literacy throughout the school year.

The bill eliminates the KRA diagnostic and the inclusion of kindergartners in the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Several other sections of the ORC are amended as a result of the elimination of the KRA.  These include sections 3301.074; 3301.0715; 3301.163; 3301.52; 3302.13; 3310.03; 3313.413; 3313.608; and 3314.35.

 

Section 3301.0711 Administer and Grading State Assessments:  The bill allows school districts, other public schools, or chartered nonpublic schools to administer any state assessment in a paper format, or a combined online and paper format, in the third, fourth, or fifth grades. This would include state assessments in English and math in grades three, four, and five; assessments in social students in grade four, and assessments in science in grade five.

The bill also defines “other public schools” as community schools; STEM schools; or a college preparatory boarding school.

 

Section 3301.0714 Education Management Information System (EMIS):  This section includes an amendment regarding data pertaining to the kindergarten readiness assessment, which is eliminated in the bill.

The bill also requires school districts to report the person or persons, if any, at whom the student’s violent behavior was directed starting on July 1, 2018.

 

Section 3301.0715 Reading Improvement Plan: The bill removes a provision that required a board of education to administer to kindergarten students a readiness assessment, and a provision that allowed a chartered nonpublic school to administer the kindergarten readiness assessment.

The bill also requires any school district, community school, or STEM school in which less than eighty per cent of its students score at the proficient level or higher on the third-grade English language arts assessment prescribed under section 3301.0710 ORC to establish a reading improvement plan supported by reading specialists. Prior to implementation, the plan must be approved by the school district’s board of education. 

 

NEW Section 3301.68 School Mandate Report: The bill requires the ODE to establish a school mandate report to consolidate safety requirements and mandates identified in this section. Each district or school must complete and file the report on an annual basis prior to the end of the school year. The district or school must provide its board of education a written explanation for why it is not in compliance with the specified mandates, and submit a written plan of action to comply with the mandate.

 

Section 3302.03 Report Cards: The bill changes the minimum number of students for any group for reporting purposes from 10 students to 30 students, referred to as the N-Size.  The result is that no performance data for a specific student group will be reported if fewer than 30 students are in that group for a school or school district.

 

Section 3311.80 Municipal School District:  Requires a municipal school district to continue to follow Section 3319.112 ORC regarding OTES, as it existed prior to the effective date of this amendment.

 

Section 3313.413 Community School:  Adjusts report card grades and ratings as a result of removing the scores of kindergarten students from the literacy progress measures. 

The bill also makes a technical amendment to a provision that requires a board of education to offer property that it is selling to high performing community schools, college-preparatory boarding schools, and STEM schools. 

 

Section 3313.608 Third Grade Reading Guarantee:  The bill amends this section to conform to the elimination of the kindergarten readiness assessment.

Other changes are made that align this section to changes in the OTES, and the assignment of teachers to students who are not reading at grade level.

 

Section 3319.075: Professional Development Plans:  The bill adds division (H) to the requirements for professional development plans.  This new division requires boards of education to use their professional development standards to guide professional growth plans and improvement plans resulting from teacher evaluations conducted under section 3319.111 of the ORC.

 

Section 3319.081 Nonteaching School Employees:  The bill allows nonteaching school employees hired by non-civil service school districts, to renew a limited contract after one year, and three additional limited contracts lasting two years.  At the end of the third two-year contract, the non-teaching employee would be eligible for a “continuing contract” (tenure).

 

Section 3319.088 Educational Aide Permits and Educational Paraprofessional Licenses:  Current law requires any nonteaching employee, whether working in a federally funded program or not, to have a permit or license in order to directly assist a teacher in a school district.

The bill re-defines “educational assistant” as any nonteaching employee who is working in a federally funded program and assists a teacher as defined in section 3318.09.  Therefore, the requirement to obtain an educational aide permit or paraprofessional license seems to only pertain to those working in a federal program.

The bill also removes in current law requirements that individuals seeking a permit meet minimum education, training, health, and character qualifications, but directs the State Board to adopt rules prescribing the types and requirements for educational aide permits. 

The bill requires educational assistant applicants to undergo criminal records checks, and for the State Board of education to issue educational aide permits and educational paraprofessional licenses for candidates that meet the requirements. 

The bill allows nonteaching employees who substitute for educational assistants to do so without a permit or license pursuant to this section.

 

Section 3319.111 Teacher Evaluations: The bill requires a board of education to update its standards-based teacher evaluation policy pursuant to Section 3319.112 no later than July 1, 2018.  Any changes in the policy will be implemented once the current teacher’s contract with the board of education expires.

The bill eliminates in division (B) the requirement that measures of student academic growth in a teacher’s evaluation include the value added progress dimension prescribed in section 3302.021 ORC, or an alternative student academic progress measure prescribed in section 3302.03.  Instead the bill requires that when measures of student performance are used as evidence in a teacher’s evaluation that those measures “be high-quality student data, as defined under division (A)(6) of section 3319.112 ORC.”

The bill retains in division (C)(2)(a) a provision that allowed a board of education to evaluate each teacher who received a rating of accomplished on the teacher’s most recent evaluation conducted under this section once every three school years.  But it replaces “so long as the teacher’s student academic growth measure, for the most recent school year for which data is available, is average or higher, as determined by the department of education” with “…so long as the teacher submits a self-directed professional growth plan to the evaluator that focuses on specific areas identified in the observations and evaluation and the evaluator determines that the teacher is making progress on that plan.”

The bill also retains in division (C)(2)(b) a provision that allows the board to evaluate each teacher who received a rating of skilled on the teacher’s most recent evaluation conducted under this section once every two school years.  But it replaces “so long as the teacher’s student academic growth measure, for the most recent school year for which data is available, is average or higher, as determined by the department of education” with “..so long as the teacher and evaluator jointly develop a professional growth plan for the teacher that focuses on specific areas identified in the observations and evaluations and the evaluator determines that the teacher is making progress on that plan.”

The bill retains the requirements that in any year that a teacher is not formally evaluated, a qualified individual conduct at least one observation and hold a conference with a teacher who is accomplished or skilled.  The conference must include a discussion of progress on the teacher’s professional growth plan.

The bill eliminates a provision in (E)(2) that allows the board of education to elect to require only one formal observation of a teacher who received a rating of accomplished on the teacher’s most recent evaluation, provided that the teacher complete an approved project.

 

Section 3319.112 Teacher Evaluations: The bill shifts the responsibility for revising the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) from the State Board to the ODE.

In division (A) the ODE is directed to revise OTES “... based on the recommendations of the educator standards board established under section 3319.60 of the Revised Code.”  The ODE must submit a summary of the revisions to the State Board for review. Not later than May 1, 2018, the State Board must adopt the revised framework.  Local boards of education must update their teacher evaluations to conform to the updated framework by July 1, 2018.

The bill eliminates student academic growth as measured by the value added progress dimension or an alternative growth measure as a factor in OTES.  Instead, the bill requires that teacher evaluations be based on multiple evaluation factors; aligned with standards for teachers (Section 3319.61 ORC); including observations and classroom walkthroughs.

The bill retains the requirement that teachers be provided a written report of the evaluation.

Divisions (A)(6) and (7) in current law are eliminated.  These divisions pertain to measures of student academic growth for grade levels and subjects for which the value added progress dimension does not apply. Instead, the bill requires the use of student assessment instruments approved by the district board of education.

In addition, the bill prohibits the shared attribution of student performance data among all teachers in a district, building, grade, content area, or other group, and requires development of a professional growth plan or improvement plan for a teacher that is aligned to the school district or building improvement plan required under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

The ODE must also revise, “as necessary” specific standards and criteria that distinguish between the levels of performance for teachers and principals for the purpose of assigning ratings on the evaluations. The bill retains the current ratings as accomplished, skilled, developing, and ineffective.

The following are other provisions in this section:

  • Retains current provisions that require the ODE to assist school districts in developing evaluation policies under sections 3311.80, 3311.84, 3319.02, and 3319.111 ORC; serve as a clearinghouse of promising evaluation procedures and evaluation models that districts may use; and provide technical assistance to districts in creating evaluation policies. 
  • Adds the requirement that the ODE provide guidance to districts on how “high-quality student data” may be used as evidence of student learning attributable to a particular teacher, and provide guidance to districts on how information from student surveys, student portfolios, peer review evaluations, teacher self-evaluations, and other components determined appropriate by the district may be used as part of the evaluation process.
  • Requires the ODE by July 1, 2018, in consultation with other state agencies that employ teachers, to update the standards-based framework for the evaluation of teachers who work in state agencies.

 

REPEALS Section 3319.114 Alternative Framework for Evaluating Teachers:  The alternative framework for evaluating Ohio teachers requires the teacher performance measure to account for 50 percent of each evaluation, and the student academic growth measure to account for 35 percent of each evaluation.  The remaining 15 percent of the evaluation can be based on the results of student surveys, teacher self-evaluations, peer review evaluations, and student portfolios. The bill repeals this section.

 

Section 3319.22 Educator Licenses: The term “educator license” in Ohio can refer to a level of license, such as resident, professional, senior, or lead professional license, or a type of license, such as an Early Childhood Education license, a Multi-age license, or a license to be an Intervention Specialist.

Ohio law currently does not specify grade levels for educator licenses.

The current grade-level licenses are included in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) rules, which are approved by the State Board of Education and the Joint Commission on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).

These rules authorize licenses to be issued for many purposes through OAC Rule 3301-24-05, but the main types of educator license are “Early Childhood” (grades pre-kindergarten through three), “Middle Childhood” (grades four through nine in named curriculum areas), “Adolescence through Adult” (grades seven through twelve in named curriculum areas), and Multi-age Licenses (preK-12) issued in a particular subject area, such as dance, drama/theater, music, or visual art.

The bill retains the current levels of educator licenses (resident educator license; professional educator license; senior professional educator license; and lead professional educator license).

However, the bill also requires that each license level specify whether the educator is licensed to teach grades kindergarten through eighth grade or grades six through twelve, rather than the current grade level bands specified in the State Board rules.  The bill does not specify licenses for teaching subjects in grades preK-12, the current Multi-age license, or a license to teach preK, such as the current Early Childhood license.

The bill retains Section 3319.22(A)(1) which allows the State Board to issue any additional categories, types, and levels of educator licenses, and adopt rules for individuals to obtain an educator license.

The bill also retains the standards and qualifications for obtaining a residential, professional, senior, or lead professional license.  Requirements to obtain a grade-level license, such as Early Childhood license, or a license to teach music, are included in OAC rules.

 

NEW Section 3319.226 (Repeals former Section 3319.226) Substitute Teaching License:  Under current law (repealed by the bill) the State Board is required to issue educator licenses for substitute teaching that are valid for one year, five years, and any other length of time up to five years.

Instead, the bill requires beginning on July 1, 2018, that the State Board of Education issue educator licenses for substitute teaching under new Section 3319.226. 

This provision requires the State Board to adopt rules establishing standards and requirements, but states that the rules “shall not require an applicant to hold a post-secondary degree in any specified subject area,” and “shall not restrict the number of school days that the holder of a license issued under this section may work.”

In addition, the holder of a license issued under repealed Section 3319.226 will be subject to the new requirements under law when their license is renewed.

 

NEW Section 3319.361 Employment: The bill allows a superintendent of a city, local, or exempted village school district to employ a person licensed under section 3319.22 of the Revised Code to teach a subject area or grade level for which the person is not licensed.

 

Section 3321.191 Student Absences:  The bill requires school attendance officers to only consider un-excused absences when determining if a student is “excessively” absent from school.  Current law requires the school to count excused and un-excused absences for students.  The school must notify parents, guardians, or custodians when a student is identified as “excessively absent”.

 

Section 3323.022 Staffing Ratios for Preschool Programs for Students with Disabilities:  The bill lowers the staffing ratio for half-day preschool programs for children with disabilities from sixteen to twelve children per staff member.

The bill also requires that each child served by a center-based teacher, receive a minimum of ten hours of services per week, unless otherwise specified in the student’s IEP.

 

NEW Section 3324.12 Gifted Education:  The bill prohibits the State Board from requiring a licensed educator, who is designated as a provider of gifted services, but who does not hold a license or endorsement specifically in gifted education, to complete 30 hours of professional development related to gifted education.

 

Section 3365.03 College Credit Plus Program:  The bill states that if a course is offered and delivered on the campus of a student’s secondary school under the college credit plus program, the student must take the course at the school, rather than on a college campus.

The bill allows for an exception if a course offered at the school is full.  In that case the superintendent, or equivalent, of the school can allow a student to enroll in a comparable course that is delivered on the college campus, at another location operated by the college, or online.

 

Section 3365.07 College Credit Plus Textbook Purchases:  The bill states that beginning with participation for the 2018-2019 school year, section 3365.072 of the Revised Code shall govern all arrangements for the provision and payment of textbooks under the program.  

 

NEW Section 3365.072 states that under the college credit plus program, fifty percent of the cost of textbooks for students who elect to participate under division (B) of Section 3365.06 ORC during 2018-2019 school year and thereafter, will be paid by the student’s secondary school, and fifty percent by the student.

The bill exempts a student who is identified as economically disadvantaged according to rules adopted by the ODE, and 100 percent of the cost of the textbooks will by paid by the secondary school that the student attends.

The bill also requires each home-instructed participant enrolled in the college credit plus program to be responsible for the cost of textbooks required for courses under the program.

 

Uncodified Law Section 3:  The bill requires the ODE to conduct a study on the results and cost-effectiveness of the college credit plus program, and submit a report of its findings to the Governor, the Chancellor of Higher Education, each member of the General Assembly, and the superintendent of each school district and each educational service center no later than one year after the effective date of this section.

The study must include the cost-effectiveness for secondary schools and students, the amount of money students save on college tuition, and the amount of time that students take to graduate.

 

Huffman:  Reducing mandates better for state’s students,” by Melanie Speicher, limaohio.com, October 12, 2017

SB216 as introduced

SB216 analysis prepared by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Requirements in Law Regarding Teaching Licenses

Chapter 3319:  Schools-Superintendent; Teachers; Employees of the Ohio Revised Code, specifies the professional qualifications of teachers, principals, and superintendents, the levels of educator licenses, employment of teachers, professional development requirements, nonteaching employees, and more.

 

Section 3319.22 Standards and requirements for educator licenses; local professional development committees, directs the State Board of Education to issue four levels of educator licenses: a resident educator license, a professional educator license, a senior professional educator license, and a lead professional educator license.

 

The State Board may issue any additional categories, types, and levels of educator licenses, and has done so under Ohio Administrative Code Rules 3301-24-05.

 

The law also requires the State Board to adopt rules establishing the standards and requirements for obtaining each educator license, in addition to minimum standards and qualifications included in law.

 

Non-licensed Teachers

The Ohio Revised Code also includes provisions for non-licensed individuals to teach.

Section 3319.301 Board to issue permits to qualified nonlicensed individuals, requires the State Board to “issue permits to individuals who are not licensed as required by sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code, but who are otherwise qualified, to teach classes for not more than a total of twelve hours a week, except that an individual teaching in a STEM school may teach classes for not more than a total of forty hours a week.”

The law also includes minimum requirements, such as “possession of a baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degree in, or significant experience related to, the subject the individual is to teach.” The nonlicensed teacher also must work under the supervision of a licensed teacher.

 

Exemptions for High Performing Schools

Section 3302.151 was approved in Senate Bill 3 of the 131st General Assembly and expanded the practice of exempting school districts from the state’s teacher licensing standards.

The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, along with the Ohio Education Association and the Ohio Federation of Teachers, testified against several provisions of the bill in the House and Senate, and some changes were made before it passed.  But the law still exempts a “high performing school district”, which is defined in division (D) of the section, from the following:

  • Teacher qualification requirements under the third-grade reading guarantee
  • The mentoring component of the Ohio teacher residency program
  • Any provision of the Revised Code or rule or standard of the state board of education prescribing a minimum or maximum class size
  • Any provision of the Revised Code or rule or standard of the State Board requiring teachers to be licensed specifically in the grade level in which they are teaching, unless otherwise prescribed by federal law. This exemption does not apply to special education teachers, and teachers must still hold a valid Ohio license in the subject area in which the teacher is teaching, and at least some grade level experience determined appropriate by the district board. 

This law also allows the superintendent of a high performing school district to “employ an individual who is not licensed as required by sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code, but who is otherwise qualified based on experience, to teach classes in the district, so long as the board of education of the school district approves the individual’s employment and provides mentoring and professional development opportunities to that individual, as determined necessary by the board.” The individual must also pass a criminal records check. 

To qualify as a “high performing school district” the school district must meet the following requirements:

  • The district received at least eighty-five per cent of the total possible points for the performance index score calculated under division (C)(1)(b) of that section
  • The district received a grade of an “A” for performance indicators met under division (C) (1)(c) of that section
  • The district has a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least ninety-three per cent and a five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least ninety-five per cent, as calculated under division (C)(1)(d) of that section. 

A school district that meets these requirements can qualify for the exemptions for three school years, beginning with the school year in which the qualifying report card is issued.

Legislative Update September 23, 2017

National News

FY18 Appropriations and More: The U.S. House and Senate returned to Washington D.C. in early September and surprisingly passed legislation (H.R. 601), that included $15.3 billion for Harvey relief; extended the national debt limit; and funded government agencies through December 8, 2017. President Trump signed the resolution into law on September 8, 2017.

H.R.601 continues current FY17 funding levels for federal agencies and departments, and avoids a government shut-down on October 1, 2017, the beginning of the new fiscal year.

H.R.601 also gives Congress more time to continue to work on several appropriation measures that have been moving through Senate committees, and H.R. 3354, a House resolution that combines 12 appropriations measures. The House approved H.R. 3354 on September 14, 2017.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations, chaired by Senator Roy Blunt, and the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Senator Richard Shelby approved S1771 on September 7, 2017. This bill includes FY18 appropriations of $164.1 billion in discretionary funding for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.

The Senate committees ignored the spending cuts ($27 billion) proposed in the Trump administration’s appropriations package, and even added $3 billion more than FY17 levels. The bill also makes program changes that will save approximately $800 million.

The House approved on September 13, 2017 the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act (HR3354), a resolution that consolidates 8 of the 12 House appropriations measures with HR3219, which includes the four remaining appropriations resolutions. The consolidated resolution includes appropriations for the departments of the Interior, which funds the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the U.S. Department of Education, and Related Agencies, which includes libraries and museums.

Both the House and Senate appropriation measures curb the Trump administrations efforts to expand school choice programs. While the Senate increases spending for charter schools to $367 million, which is less than the Trump request, the Senate bill also requires Congressional approval before the

U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) is allowed to use federal funds to support vouchers or school choice.

The House appropriations resolution (H.R. 3354) maintains current levels of spending for school choice programs, but provides no support for the Trump administration’s proposal to allow Title I federal dollars for education to “follow” students to their school of choice.

The full Senate is not expected to accept H.R.3354, which means that the House and Senate will need to go to a conference committee to resolve the differences in the appropriations measures. As mentioned above lawmakers have given themselves some extra time to approve final FY18 appropriations, by agreeing on a continuing resolution to fund the government through December 8, 2017.

A comparison of some of the appropriation levels in S.1771, H.R. 3354, and in the plan proposed by President Trump’s administration is included in the appendix.

See “Trump School Choice Proposals, K-12 Cuts Again Rebuffed by Senators,” by Alyson Klein, Education Week, September 7, 2017.

 

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) submitted its ESSA plan on September 15, 2017, and will now wait for the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) to review and respond to it.

The U.S. DOE has been reviewing the sixteen states’ ESSA plans submitted in April, and has approved the plans for Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Tennessee, and Vermont. Massachusetts, Michigan, and Colorado still need to be approved.

Ohio is among the 33 states that submitted plans in September 2017.

According to Alyson Klein at Education Week, the U.S. DOE required Louisiana and Delaware to change the way that achievement in science was factored into their accountability systems, but overall most state plans were approved, even though the U.S. DOE noted some objections to them.

The U.S. DOE also approved some state plans that certain education advocates believe could have been more comprehensive. Arizona’s plan, for example, gives a lower weight to reading and math scores of students who have recently enrolled in a school, causing some advocates to fear that these students will not receive the attention they need to achieve at higher levels.

And some state plans were approved even though they are not complete. Illinois’ plan, for example, includes components that are still being developed. States also don’t have to identify schools that need improvement until after the 2017-18 school year. More on Ohio’s ESSA plan below.

See "ESSA: Four Takeaways on the First State Plans to Win Approval,” by Alyson Klein, Education Week, September 12, 2017.

 

Ohio News

132nd Ohio General Assembly
The Ohio General Assembly returned to Columbus in September 2017 to resume this legislative session, which ends on December 31, 2018.

One of the first actions of the House of Representatives was to approve George Lang as the representative of the 52nd House District on September 13, 2017. Representative Lang replaces Representative Margy Conditt (R-Hamilton), who resigned to spend more time with her family.

Lawmakers are expected to take up action this fall on bills that focus on redistricting, abortion, guns, taxes, Medicaid, the state budget, and more. Currently over 350 bills have been introduced in the House and close to 200 in the Senate. Among those introduced are over 80 education-related bills, including bills that would change how schools are funded; how charter schools are evaluated; and what students need to learn.

House and Senate leaders have also stated that they will revisit Governor Kasich’s vetoes of provisions in Am. Sub. HB49 - Operating Budget, which was signed into law on June 30, 2017. (See the separate report on HB49.)

According to several Ohio newspapers, House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, has been surveying House Republicans to see if he has enough votes to override the veto of the provision that would have frozen enrollment in Medicaid.

In the mean time, Senate President Larry Obholf is holding back final Senate approval of SB8 (Gardner, Terhar), a bill to support schools that want to update their infrastructure to support technology. The Ohio House recently approved the bill with amendments, but Senator Obhof said that it might be used as a vehicle to address some budget issues related to Governor Kasich’s vetoes, instead of trying to override the governor’s vetoes.

One of the issues that might be included in SB8 is a replacement of managed care organizations sales tax (MCO). This tax provided local governments with $207 million in funds. The federal government told the state last year that local governments could no longer collect the tax, leaving a revenue gap for cities, townships, county governments, etc. to fill. The legislature provided a remedy in HB49, but Governor Kasich vetoed that provision.

Another vetoed provision that might be considered for an override or compromise is the phase-out of Tangible Personal Property Tax (TTP tax) and Utility Tax reimbursements for some school districts.

Governor Kasich said in his veto message that he is prepared to negotiate a way to help certain school districts that have struggled to replace the lost revenue from the TPP tax.

The General Assembly can take action to override the governor’s vetoes until the end of this legislative session, which is December 31, 2018.

See “Ohio House again weighs override of Kasich veto protecting Medicaid expansion,” by Julie Carr, Cincinnati Enquirer, September 9, 2017.

 

Congressional Redistricting Reform: Leaders in the Ohio House and Senate are discussing a plan to pass a constitutional amendment that would reform the way the state establishes districts for members of Congress. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Senate President Larry Obhof, Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko, House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, and House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn met in mid September to discuss how the state draws its congressional districts and work-out a compromise.

Ohio’s current congressional map, which was signed into law in 2011, creates, as a result of gerrymandering, a situation in which Republicans control 12 of the 16 congressional districts, even though the state is evenly split between Democratic and Republican voters.

Pressure on lawmakers to pass a redistricting bill is mounting, now that some statewide organizations, including the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause, are joining together to collect signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2018 ballot. The Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition needs to collect 309,521 to qualify for the November 2018 ballot, and has already collected over 100,000 signatures. The proposal would create a bipartisan seven-member panel to oversee the redistricting process.

See “Are Ohio lawmakers truly serious about revamping congressional redistricting?” by Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch, September 10, 2017.

 

Education Policies: The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, has been considering bills about the computer science curriculum (HB170 Cargagna, Duffey); student rights (SB172 Yuko); and the use of student seclusion in public schools (SB104 Tavares).

The House Education and Career Readiness Committee, chaired by Representative Brenner, has been reviewing bills about career information for students, (HB98 Duffey, Boggs); community school enrollment verification (HB21 Hambley); and informing students about the cost of higher education (HB108 C. Hagan, McColley).

A status of some selected education-related House and Senate bills is included in the appendix.
There are also two legislative committees that have been meeting to examine education-related issues.

The Speaker’s Task Force on Education and Poverty, chaired by Representative Bob Cupp, met for the first time on July 27, 2017.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger announced the creation of the task force in March 2017. The goal of the task force is to inform legislative and state policy decisions about practicable and effective strategies to close the student achievement gap for disadvantaged students.

Members of the Task Force include:

  • Rep. Darrell Kick
  • Rep. Janine Boyd
  • Dr. Bob Mengerink (superintendent, Cuyahoga County ESC)
  • Anthony Knickerbocker (career and technical education director, Lancaster City Schools)
  • John Stack (president and owner, Cambridge Education Group)
  • Karen Boch (superintendent, Wellston School District)
  • Dr. Thomas Maridada II (CEO, BRIGHT New Leaders for Ohio Schools)
  • Hannah Powell (executive director, KIPP Columbus)

The Joint Education Oversight Committee, also chaired by Representative Cupp, was established by the 131st Ohio General Assembly through HB64 to review educational policy issues and programs in schools and state institutions of higher education.

The members include Representatives Bob Cupp, Vern Sykes, Andrew Brenner, Teresa Fedor, John Patterson, and Ryan Smith, and Senators Cliff Hite, Matt Huffman, Peggy Lehner, and Sandra Williams.

So far the committee has received presentations about school transportation, teacher preparation programs, Ohio’s ESSA plan, building world-class education systems, and more. Tim Katz presented testimony in March 2017 about the OAAE’s recommendations for ESSA.

The JEOC’s executive director is Lauren Monowar-Jones.


Ohio’s ESSA Plan: The Ohio Department of Education submitted to the U.S. DOE Ohio’s ESSA plan on September 15, 2017.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Paulo DeMaria changed the Ohio Department of Education’s original timeline for submitting Ohio’s ESSA plan to the U.S. DOE in April, 2017 after stakeholders protested that the plan did not reflect what was said at the public outreach meetings. Among the several components of the plan that stakeholders questioned, was the continued emphasis on testing as a basis for Ohio’s accountability system, the lack of accountability measures that better reflect the whole school experience, and a lack of vision and goals for Ohio’s education system.

The delay provided another opportunity for education advocates to make more recommendations to revise the ESSA plan. The OAAE, for example, recommended that the plan correct the state graduation requirements, which had omitted the arts requirement, and insert support for a “well-rounded education” in several parts of the plan. Most of OAAE’s recommendations were included.

See http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA


Ohio’s Strategic Education Plan: As Ohio’s ESSA plan was being developed, it became apparent that the federal ESSA template, which was aligned to federal rules and laws, and even Ohio’s laws, were preventing any real substantive education reforms from being proposed in the plan. An article by Patrick O’Donnell in The Plain Dealer by Patrick O’Donnell described the revised ESSA plan as including, “few changes that anyone will directly notice in classrooms.”

In response to stakeholder calls for less testing and more comprehensive reforms, Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria announced in March 2017 the creation of a test advisory committee to review state mandated testing, and a framework for developing a new strategic plan for Ohio’s schools.

The recommendations of the test advisory panel led Superintendent DeMaria to recommend in June 2017 eliminating the 4th and 6th grade social studies state tests. This provision was included in Am. Sub. HB49 (R. Smith) Biennial Budget, and is now in law.

But some of the panel’s other recommendations to reduce the number of graduation tests, including American History, Government, and those used to evaluate teachers, including locally developed tests at the elementary level in the arts, social studies, and science, will have to wait until the legislature changes current law. Locally developed tests used to evaluate teachers, for example, “make-up nearly 80 percent of the more than 200 hours of standardized tests students have to take over their 12 years of school.” (Patrick O’Donnell quoting Superintendent DeMaria at the June 2017 State Board of Education meeting.)

Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education is being developed by six workgroups, coordinated by an Oversight Team and Stakeholder Advisory Group that reports to the Superintendent’s Steering Committee. The six workgroups are focusing on the following areas:

  • Early learning and literacy (preparing our youngest children for success in school);
  • Standards, assessments and accountability (measuring what students know and are able to do and evaluating schools);
  • Excellent educators and instructional practices (excellent teachers, teaching and school management);
  • Student supports and school climate and culture (supporting students and offering a comfortable environment that maximizes their learning);
  • High school success and postsecondary connections (clear academic expectations and smooth transitions to higher education and work).

 

See “Halt Ohio’s ESSA plan until state testing is cut, 150 angry educators, officials tell state,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, February 23, 2017.

See “No more art, music, and gym tests just to grade teachers? How Ohio could change testing under new proposal,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, June 13, 2017.

State school board approves bare bones ESSA plan with a few adjustments,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, July 12, 2017.

 

Report Cards: The Ohio Department of Education released on September 7, 2017 the 2016-17 state report cards for Ohio’s 609 schools districts, schools, charter schools, career-technical districts, and dropout prevention and recovery schools.

The report cards for most traditional and charter schools are based on six categories: Achievement, Progress, Graduation Rate, Prepared for Success, K-3 Literacy and Gap Closing.

The 2016-17 report cards are the last report cards to be released that do not include an overall A-F grade for schools. This is also the last state report card issued under a legislative “safe harbor provision” that protects schools from some consequences of low grades.

According to a presentation made to the State Board of Education on September 18, 2017 by Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria, overall, Ohio’s schools scores are improving and proficiency rates are increasing compared to 2015 and 2016, the first two years of the transition to the new Ohio standards. Scores increased in every subject area compared to 2016, and in every grade, except for fifth grade math and eighth grade history. Also of note, more students are passing at higher levels of proficiency.

In addition all subgroups improved in English language arts and math; the graduation rate continues to improve; and more students are prepared for success.

On a sobering note, the report card also includes information about chronic student absenteeism, which is an unfortunate problem facing Ohio’s schools. Ohio’s overall rate is 16.4 percent, but increases to 27 percent for African-American students and 30 percent for seniors. Economically disadvantaged students are 2.5 times more likely to be chronically absent compared to non-disadvantaged students.

The following is a summary of some of the report card results:

  • The Performance Index score increased to 84.1 from 81.6 last year. Proficiency rates for all students increased on all but two tests – fifth grade math and high school American history.
  • More than half of school districts earned and A (129 districts) or a B (200 plus) on the Progress component, which measures how students do compared to their own past performance on math and English tests in grades four through eight. About 50 districts earned a C grade, which equates to average academic growth.
  • About half of school districts earned a D on the Achievement component, which shows how many students score at, above, or below proficiency on state tests. About 200 school districts earned a C; 13 earned an A; more than 50 earned a B; and 19 earned an F.
  • Fewer charter schools scored above average for Progress than in previous years, and more charter schools scored lower on the Achievement component. Two charter schools earned an A on the Achievement component, and four earned a B. On the Progress component, about a quarter of charter schools scored in the A or B range, while about 50 showed average growth with a grade of C. Some charter schools are not rated on various measures and components for state report cards, because they do not enroll students at all grade levels, or enroll a small number of students or subset of students.
  • Ohio’s Urban 8 group of big city schools – Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown – earned mostly grades of D and F on the report card components, accept for the graduation rate component, in which more than half earned an A and over 80 percent earning at least a B.

The state’s report card website includes explanations of how each measure and component is calculated.

 

Appendix A

Comparison of FY18 Appropriations for the U.S. Department of Education and Other Agencies Proposed by the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee; the U.S. House of Representative; and the Trump Administration

Information about some of the appropriation levels was not available for some of the programs. This document will be updated when the information is available. 

 

 

 

Appendix B: Status of Selected Education-Related Bills

 

House Bills

-HB58 (Brenner, Slaby) Cursive Handwriting Instruction: To require instruction in cursive handwriting
Status: Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee – Reported out

-HB102 (Brenner) School Funding Reform: To replace locally levied school district property taxes with a statewide property tax and require recipients of certain tax exemptions to reimburse the state for such levy revenue lost due to those exemptions; to increase the state sales and use tax rates and allocate additional revenue to state education purposes; to repeal school district income taxes; to require the Treasurer of State to issue general obligation bonds to refund certain school district debt obligations; to create a new system of funding schools where the state pays a specified amount per student that each student may use to attend the public or chartered nonpublic school of the student’s choice, without the requirement of a local contribution; to eliminate the School Facilities Commission; to eliminate the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program, Pilot Project Scholarship Program, Autism Scholarship Program, and Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program; to eliminate interdistrict open enrollment; to require educational service centers to transport students on a countywide basis; and to permit school districts to enter into a memoranda of understanding for one district to manage another
Status: House Finance Committee

-HB108 (C. Hagan, McColley) Informed Student Document: To require one-half unit of financial literacy in the high school curriculum, to require the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each institution of higher education, to require the State Board of Education to include information on the informed student document in the standards and model curricula it creates for financial literacy and entrepreneurship, and to entitle the act the “Informed Student Document Act”
Status: House Education & Career Readiness Committee

-HB124 (Brenner, Carfagna) Vocational School Tax Levy: To authorize a joint vocational school district to submit the question of a renewal tax levy to voters who did not have an opportunity to vote on the levy at an election held in November of 2015 because the levy was only placed on the ballot in one of several counties in which the district has territory
Status: Signed by Governor – Effective immediately

-HB200 (Koehler, K) Opportunity Scholarship Program: To eliminate the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program and Pilot Project Scholarship Program and to create the Opportunity Scholarship Program
Status: House Education & Career Readiness Committee

-HB21 (Hambley) Community School Enrollment Verification: Regarding verification of community school enrollments.
Status: House Education & Career Readiness Committee

-HB235 (Gavarone) Legislative Approval of Ohio’s Every Student Succeeds Act Plan
Status: Approved by the House

Senate Bills

-SB8 (Gardner, Terhar) School Infrastructure and Technology: To require the Ohio School Facilities Commission to establish a program assisting school districts in purchasing technology and making physical alterations to improve technology infrastructure and school safety and security.
Status: (Passed by Senate) Passed by House as amended on Floor, Vote 97-0; Senate refused to concur with House amendments.

-SB39 (Joe Schiavoni) Community School Operations: Regarding community school operator contracts, the operation of Internet- and computer-based community schools, and performance metrics for blended learning schools
Status: Senate Education Committee

-SB82 (Williams, Lehner) School Absences-Parental Notification: To require a public school to place a telephone call within one hour of the start of the school day to a parent whose child is absent without legitimate excuse
Status: Senate Education Committee

-SB85 (Huffman) Opportunity Scholarship Program Creation: To eliminate the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program and Pilot Project Scholarship Program and to create the Opportunity Scholarship Program
Status: Senate Education Committee

-SB175 (Schiavoni) Recovered Funds-School Audit Regarding public moneys returned to the state as a result of a finding for recovery issued pursuant to an audit of a community school
Status: Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee