Substitute HB49 As Passed by the House

prepared by Joan Platz

May 9, 2017

 

On May 2, 2017 the Ohio House approved Sub. HB49 (R. Smith) Operating Budget, making significant changes in Governor Kasich’s executive budget request.

Sub. HB49 was approved by the House 58 to 37, with several Republicans voting against the measure along with most Democrats. Some lawmakers are concerned that the House budget isn’t really balanced, because it did not fully address a possible $800 million gap in revenue projections for FY18-19. The Office of Budget and Management’s preliminary revenue report for April, for example, shows that state revenue is below estimates by $773 million so far this fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2017.

To adjust for the projected revenue shortfall, the House cut about $632 million from the executive budget by reducing some line items by 1.5 percent; eliminating the governor’s income tax cuts and other tax changes; adjusting plans to expand managed care for Medicaid recipients; reducing funds in rotary accounts; expanding gambling and increasing funds from the lottery; and making other policy changes.

For the proposed budget to fit into the lower revenue projections for the next fiscal years, the Ohio Senate will have to find another $168 million to cut, which could affect funding for Republican priorities, including $170 million to address the opioid crisis in Ohio and additional funding for K-12 education.

Hearings on Sub. HB49 are now being held in the Ohio Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Oelslager, and several Senate Finance subcommittees. The biennial budget bill must be signed into law by July 1, 2017.

 

Highlights of Sub. HB49 (R. Smith) Operating Budget As Passed by the Ohio House

Allocations in the House version of Sub. HB49 are lower than the proposed budget introduced by Governor Kasich, and lower than estimates for the current FY17 budget. The House proposed General Revenue Fund is $3.17 billion less than the executive budget.


Total Appropriations for All Fund Groups and the General Revenue Fund
Comparison of Executive Budget and House Passed Sub. HB49 for FY18 and FY19

Type of Fund

Estimated Budget FY17

Executive Budget FY18

House Budget

FY18

$ and % Change

Executive Budget FY19

House Budget

FY19

$ and % Change

All Fund Groups

$64.13 B

$67.162 B

$61.065 B

($6.097 B)

-9.08 %

$68.59 B

$61.882 B

($6.7 B) 

- 9.78%

General Revenue Fund

$35.06 B

$33.09 B

$31.647 B

($1.45 B)

-4.38%

$33,82 B

$32.098 B

($1.72 B)

-5.10%

 

Changes Included in Sub. HB49 As Passed by the House

Tax Changes

The House eliminated the $3.1 billion in tax cuts and tax shifts proposed by Governor Kasich in the executive budget. The substitute bill also reduces the number of tax brackets from nine to seven. The new lowest bracket would begin at $10,000.

Ohio Arts Council (OAC) Budget

House passed HB49 includes a 1.31 percent reduction in the General Revenue Fund for the Ohio Arts Council in both fiscal years in response to lower than expected revenue projections for FY18-19. The House also restored about $54,000 over the biennium in operating expenses, which had been reduced in an earlier version of the bill in the House Finance Committee. The bill includes $14.603 million for the OAC in each fiscal year, which is a decrease of $194,250 in each fiscal year, when compared to the executive budget and the current budget for FY17.

The OAC’s All Fund Groups budget is $16.403 million in both fiscal years, which is $194,250 less than the executive budget in both fiscal years, but $80,000 more than the OAC’s FY17 All Fund Groups budget.

OAC Appropriations for All Fund Groups and the General Revenue Fund
Comparison of Executive Budget and House Passed HB49 for FY18 and FY19

Type of Fund

Estimated Budget FY17

Executive Budget FY18

House Budget

FY18

$ and % Change

Executive Budget FY19

House Budget

FY19

$ and % Change

All Fund Groups

$16.323 M

$16.598 M

$16.403 M

($194,250)

-1.17 %

$16.598 M

$16.403 M

($194,250) 

- 1.17%

General Revenue Fund

$14.798 M

$14.798 M

$14.603 M

($194,250)

-1.31%

$14,798 M

$14.603 M

($194,250)

-1.31%

 

Ohio Department of Education (ODE)

In spite of reductions in almost every line item in the Ohio Department of Education’s budget compared to the executive budget, Sub. HB49 includes an increase of $195.6 million over the biennium in total Foundation Aid and Tangible Personal Property Tax Replacement for schools. The only line items that are not reduced are Education Technology Resources, Pupil Transportation, which was already reduced in the executive budget, Auxiliary Services and Nonpublic Administrative Cost Reimbursements for nonpublic schools, Special Education Enhancements, Career-Technical Enhancements, and Education Program Support.

There is also an increase of $58 million in the Foundation Funding line item in the State Lottery Fund Group (SLF Fund 7017) compared to current levels. The increase can be used to bolster GRF appropriations in Foundation Aid (GRF200550). To increase revenue in this fund, the House budget also expands gambling, adding video poker to Ohio’s seven racinos and the Lucky One game. 

ODE Appropriations for All Fund Groups and the General Revenue Fund
Comparison of Executive Budget and House Passed Budget for FY18 and FY19

Type of Fund

Estimated Budget FY17

Executive Budget FY18

House Budget

FY18

$ and % Change

Executive Budget FY19

House Budget

FY19

$ and % Change

All Fund Groups

$11.08 B

$11.21 B

$11.228 B

$17.872 M

0.16 %

$11.37 B

$11.396 B

$25.139 M

0.22%

General Revenue Fund

$7.9 09 B

$8.053 B

$8.045 B

($7.589 M)

-0.09%

$8.19 B

$8.175 B

($14.8 M)

-0.18%

 

Funding Formula Changes

The school funding formula in the House passed budget includes the basic structure of the current formula (FY16 and 17), with some changes. According to preliminary estimates by Dr. Howard Fleeter, economist at the Ohio Education Policy Institute, about 300 districts would receive less foundation funding in both FY18 and FY19 compared to FY17; between 270-280 school districts in FY18 and between 275-285 school districts in FY19 would be on the guarantee; and about 130 districts in FY18 and 100 school districts in FY19 would be on the gain cap.

When compared to the executive budget, the House-passed budget results in fewer school districts experiencing decreases in state aid over the biennium; fewer districts on the guarantee; and about the same number of school districts on the gain cap. Here are some of the other formula changes in the House budget:

  • Increases the per pupil amount (Core Opportunity Aid) from $6,000 per pupil in FY17 to $6,020 in both FY18 and FY19.
  • Retains at FY17 levels the per pupil amounts for special education, career technical education, limited English proficient (LEP), K-3 literacy funding, economically disadvantaged aid, and funding for gifted education programs.
  • Updates the State Share Index (SSI) so that it is based on Tax year 2014, 2015, and 2016 property values, and updates median Income and Federal Adjusted Gross Income per pupil.
  • Adjusts Targeted Assistance and Capacity Aid, and increases the Capacity Aid base millage from 3.5 mills in FY17 to 4 mills in FY18 and FY19.
  • Increases the Gain Cap, which limits state funding for school districts, from 5 percent in the executive budget to 5.5 percent in FY18 and FY19 in the House budget. Currently the gain cap is 7.5 percent.
  • Guarantees that school districts will receive at least the same amount of state aid in FY18 and FY19 as received in FY17 with exceptions. For districts on the Transitional Aid Guarantee, Sub. HB49 reduces state aid if a district has had more than a 5 percent reduction in enrollment from 2011 through 2016. The House budget also clarifies what it means by total ADM. The bill also exempts career-technical education funds, career technical education associated services funds, the third grade reading bonus, and the graduation bonus from the guarantee.
  • Slows down the phase-out of TPP reimbursement payments beginning in FY20.
  • Provides a cap offset payment in FY18 for districts subject to the cap that year and experiencing a decrease in "combined state aid" from foundation aid and fixed rate operating direct reimbursements between FY17 and FY18.
  • Changes the formula for school districts with 10 percent or more of their property wealth attributed to decommissioned power plants.
  • Modifies the pupil transportation formula by decreasing the minimum state share applied to a district's calculated transportation cost from 50 percent, as under current law, to 37.5 percent in FY18 and 25 percent in FY19.
  • Increases the allocation for Joint Vocational School Districts to $293.0 million in both FY18 and FY19.
  • Eliminates changes to the earned income tax base for the school district income tax. 
  • Permits a district with a segmented School Facilities plan, to recalculate their local share for each segment.
  • Requires the collection and publication of Current Agricultural Use Values by school districts. 
  • Requires the Department of Education (ODE) to request fingerprints from licensed educators and license applicants not enrolled in the Retained Applicant Fingerprint Database, and to inactivate a license or reject an application for noncompliance. 

Earmarks

  • Restores funding to Education Technology Centers. 
  • Re-appropriates $7,989,174 in unspent capital appropriations for the Community School Classroom Facilities Grant Program to provide grants to “high performing” community schools. 
  • Earmarks $500,000 per year from the Straight A Fund for the Bright New Leaders of Ohio program. 
  • Earmarks the following through GRF 200-597 Education Program Support: $2 million in each fiscal year to support Teach for America; $500,000 in each fiscal year to be used as matching funds for the Accelerate Great Schools public private partnership; $250,000 in each fiscal year to support various activities of The Childhood League Center; $150,000 in each fiscal year to support a pilot program to demonstrate that cognitive artificial intelligence can create a comprehensive learning solution to improve student performance; $50,000 in each fiscal year to support the Ohio ProStart school restaurant program; $100,000 in each fiscal year to support the Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) program in Ohio.
  • Increases GRF 200-545, Career Tech Education Enhancements by $162,000 per year for Vo-Ag programs in Cincinnati and Cleveland.


Charter Schools

  • Requires student progress in charter schools to count 60 percent of the academic evaluation score for charter school sponsors.
  • Allows the state to match SSID numbers of students attending charter schools to personally identifiable data to determine charter school enrollment and funding.
  • Requires ODE to notify each charter school sponsor in writing of its preliminary ratings and determinations for each component of the sponsor evaluation system no later than 45 days prior to ODE’s publication of the final ratings. and permits a charter school to request a hearing to dispute the rating.
  • Allows an educational service center (ESC) with an effective or higher sponsor rating to sponsor a charter school anywhere in the state, and sponsor an online without having previous experience. The bill also allows an ESC to continue to sponsor any community schools with which it has an agreement under division (B)(7)(d) regardless of whether the entity later receives an overall rating lower than effective. According to The Akron Beacon Journal and The Columbus Dispatch, this provision was included in Sub. HB49 by the Legislative Service Commission (LSC) in error.
  • Changes the charter school Sponsor Performance Reviews (SPR), which could increase the number of sponsors rated effective.

The charter school SPRs became controversial in July 2015, when former director of the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Quality School Choice, David Hansen, admitted that he omitted poor-performing e-schools from charter school sponsor evaluations.

Hansen later resigned, but the controversy led then State Superintendent of Instruction Dick Ross to appoint a three-member independent panel to revamp the charter school sponsor evaluation. The new SPR was adopted in December 2015, but because of some issues with the rule making process, wasn’t implemented until October 2016.

Currently charter school sponsors are rated in three categories: student academic performance; compliance with rules and laws; and following best practices. If a charter school sponsor receives a zero in any of these categories, the sponsor cannot receive a rating higher than ineffective, and cannot sponsor any new charter schools.

The results of 65 charter school sponsors evaluations were released in October 2016. No charter school sponsors received an exemplary rating; five received an effective rating; 39 were rated ineffective; and 21 were rated poor.

As a result of the poor ratings, charter school advocates have questioned the fairness of the evaluation, and have called for changes.

The substitute bill specifies that a community school’s overall rating is a cumulative score of the individual components unless a sponsor receives a “0” on the academic performance component, blocks sponsors from receiving an automatic ineffective rating for scoring a zero in compliance with rules and laws or following quality practices.

College Credit Plus (CCP)

  • Limits participation in CCP to students who demonstrate college preparedness.
  • Requires rules that would determine the criteria for courses funded through CCP.
  • Requires the Chancellor of Higher Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction to submit an annual report on outcomes of the CCP program, supported by empirical evidence.
  • Requires the annual report to include a number of measures that are disaggregated by students who participated in CCP and, upon graduation, enroll in an Ohio college during the same academic year.
  • Requires each report to be submitted annually by December 31st from 2018 to 2023.
  • Requires the Chancellor of Higher Education, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to adopt rules specifying which courses under the CCP program are eligible for funding from ODE.
  • Restricts awarding College Credit Plus (CCP) credit unless the student receives a C grade or higher. Currently 95 percent of CCP participants maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
  • Allows Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to pay for one assessment to determine eligibility for the CCP program. All additional assessments are the responsibility of the student.
  • Modifies the CCP textbook requirements by requiring school districts to pay colleges 50 percent of the cost of required textbooks, rather than $10 per credit hour per participant, or pay an agreed upon amount. Home-schooled students would be required to pay 50 percent of the cost of the textbooks.
  • Maintains current law in relation to an alternative CCP payment structure, as long as it complies with the rest of the program.
  • Changes to whom a student may appeal a principal's decision, with regard to the student's participation in the CCP Program, from the State Board of Education to the district superintendent (if enrolled in a school district) or the applicable governing entity (if enrolled in other types of public schools). Specifies that the district superintendent's or governing entity's decision on the appeal is final.
  • Changes to whom a participant may appeal a dispute, with regard to the granting of credit for CCP courses, from the State Board to ODE.
  • Requires the Chancellor of Higher Education, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, to adopt rules specifying conditions under which participants determined to be underperforming may continue participating in CCP.
  • States that only data available through the Higher Education Information System may be included in the biennial College Credit Plus (CCP) report. 
  • Directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish a workgroup on related services personnel, for the purposes of improving coordination of state, school and provider efforts to address the related services needs of students with disabilities.

Current Agricultural Use Value Added Formula

Also affecting school districts, Sub. HB49 adjusts the Current Agricultural Use Value formula, (CAUV) which provides a property tax break for farmers. Property tax values have been increasing for farm property, and so the amendment would adjust values for agricultural property by adding two new factors to be considered in calculating the CAUV. Schools and local governments will lose property tax revenue due to the change in CAUV, but the changes will be phased-in over six years. The changes will also shift the tax burden to residential taxpayers. The Legislative Service Commission estimates that schools will lose $4 million in 2017 and up to $14 million by 2022.

Educational Service Centers (ESCs)

  • Increases funding for educational service centers from $31 million in the executive budget to $39 million, and increases the per student amount from $20 in the executive budget to $25 for high performing ESCs, and from $18 in the executive budget to $23 per student for all other ESCs. The level of funding in the substitute bill is still lower than current funding of $41.6 million.
  • Removes a provision requiring the Superintendent of Public Instruction to establish funding criteria and guidelines for ESCs to follow.
  • Permits an ESC that has a rating of effective or higher to sponsor an e-school, without previous experience, and a community school regardless of the community school’s location.
  • Establishes a moratorium on additional school districts joining ESCs during FY18-19.
  • Allows a portion of funding for Accountability and Report Cards to be provided to educational service centers to support training and professional development, rather than directing the funding to a “credible nonprofit organization with expertise in value-added progress dimensions.”

Higher Education Budget

  • Directs trustees rather than IHE to review and update tenure policies.
  • Reduces the number of sick days for university employees from 15 to 10.
  • Abolishes the State Board of Career Colleges and Schools and transfers the duties to the Department of Higher Education.
  • Removes the tuition freeze for IHEs that guarantee no increase in tuition for students for up to four years.
  • Eliminates the textbook provision included in the executive budget, but requires institutions of higher education to study and report textbook costs to the Chancellor, and determine ways to reduce textbook costs.
  • Increases the appropriation 235-563, Ohio College Opportunity Grant, by $1 million in FY18 and $2 million in FY19 and revises the internal earmark. 

Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC)

  • Requires the JEOC to annually review the Ohio Department of Education’s manual for conducting charter school enrollment reviews, and hold at least one public hearing about the manual.
  • Changes the way members of the JEOC are appointed. The substitute bill requires appointments to be made by the House Speaker and Senate President rather than the chair of the committee.
  • Requires JEOC to develop legislative recommendations for creating a Joint Transportation Pilot Program where at least two districts share transportation services.

Chartered Nonpublic Schools

  • Requires each chartered nonpublic school to publish on its website all of the following: the number of enrolled students as of the last day of October, its policy regarding background checks for employees and for volunteers who have direct contact with students, and its curricula and reading lists for each grade.
  • Requires each chartered nonpublic school to make its curricula and reading lists for each grade available to parents, guardians, and custodians.
  • Eliminates a provision that prohibited auxiliary service payments to nonpublic schools from exceeding $862 per student for each school year.
  • Prohibits nonpublic school administrative cost reimbursements to exceed $405 per student for each year, rather than $399 per student per year.
  • Eliminates the specific application window for the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship program in lieu of a rolling application process, and requires the ODE to determine the availability of funds by May 31st of each year for the income-based Ed Choice Scholarship Program.
  • Increases the appropriation for 200-511, Auxiliary Services, and 200-532, Non-public Cost Administration, by a combined total of $1 million each year. Increases the permissible uses of auxiliary service funds.
  • Exempts a student who is attending a chartered nonpublic school that is accredited through the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) and attending the school with a voucher from the requirement that he/she complete one of three high school graduation pathways and take assessments under the College and Work Ready Assessment System.
  • Maintains the graduation and testing requirements for scholarship students and non-scholarship students who are enrolled in a non-ISACS chartered nonpublic school, which requires the completion of one graduation pathway and to take the assessments under the College and Work Ready Assessment System.
  • Directs each chartered nonpublic school to publish on its website the number of enrolled students and its policy regarding employee and volunteer background checks. They must also publish on the website and make available to parents the curricula and reading list for each grade.

Teachers

  • Eliminates the governor’s proposals to require the appointment of representatives from the business community to boards of education, and the requirement that teachers complete business internships for recertification. 
  • Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction in consultation the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board to establish standards for the operation of business advisory councils.
  • Eliminates the teacher in residence program, but maintains the resident educator license and the alternative resident educator license. Individuals currently participating in the program are not required to complete the program or its components. The ODE is expected to save $5 million a year due to the elimination of the Resident Educator Summative Assessment (RESA).
  • Allows a public school or school district (including a community school and STEM school) to enter into an agreement to provide an early retirement incentive, severance pay, or both, to a teacher to retire, but only if the school or district determines that the agreement is financially sound, and in the case of a school district, the district complies with continuing law's tax levy provisions concerning any wage or salary schedule increase made during the school year.
  • Creates two new educator licenses for Career-Technical Educator Levels I and II.
  • Makes changes to the membership of the Bright New Leaders for Ohio Schools program. Requires the Governor, the Superintendent, and the Chancellor to serve as nonvoting members of the board of directors. Allows an alternate principal licensure for an individual who has completed an MBA and the Bright New Leaders program. Removes language requiring OSU’s Fisher College of Business to oversee the nonprofit corporation that implements the program, but requires the College to provide the corporation with working space. Requires ODE to secure principal positions for individuals who receive alternative principal licenses upon successful completion of the Program in low-performing public schools that have a high percentage of their students living in poverty. Permits the Governor, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives each to select an individual to be a participant in the Bright New Leaders for Ohio Schools Program.

Miscellaneous Provisions

  • Retains the provisions related to STEAM schools, which are types of STEM schools that integrate the arts with other courses.
  • Ends the Constitutional Modernization Commission on July 1, 2017.
  • Requires the ODE to study appropriate funding levels and methods for gifted education, and report recommendations by May 1, 2018.
  • Permits public and chartered nonpublic schools to integrate academic content in subject areas for which the State Board of Education has adopted standards into a course in a different subject area, including a career technical education course.
  • Requires ODE to develop a framework for school districts and community schools to use in granting units of high school credit to students who demonstrate subject area competency through work-based learning experiences, internships, or cooperative education, and requires each district and community school to comply with the framework beginning with the 2018-2019 school year.
  • Allows public and chartered non-public schools the option of using paper for state tests.
  • Directs ODE to use any unused portion of the new Title IV, Part A federal block grant funds to pay for the cost of Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams for low-income students
  • Adds nonvoting legislators to the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.
  • Makes a variety of changes in provisions regarding early childhood education, and reduces the allocation from $70.3 million in FY18 and 19 to $67.8 million in each fiscal year. Qualifies for the program a child who is at least three years of age, if funds are available after serving eligible four-year-olds.
  • Allows the ODE to establish a pilot program that employs one or more parent choice models to deliver services to eligible children.
  • Requires that at least 40 percent of questions from each elementary state assessment and high school end-of course exam become public records beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. Current law requires all questions and preferred answers on an assessment to become public record in phases over a two-year period following the administration. Makes other changes to releasing test questions.
  • Makes a variety of changes in the Straight A Grant Program. Specifies that under the Straight A Program institutions of higher education may be part of, including the lead applicant for, education consortia that receive grants. Decreases the appropriation to $5 million in each fiscal year from the Lottery Fund Group.
  • Creates the Lottery Profits Education Reserve Fund. Requires the Lottery Commission Director to certify on July 15, 2017 the amount by which lottery profits exceeded $1.03 billion in FY17 and $1.092 billion in FY18.

 

Reactions to Sub. HB49 As Passed by the House

Office of Budget and Management

Tim Keen, director of the Office of Budget and Management, testified on May 3, 2017 before the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, and told committee members that the budget passed by the House (Sub. HB49) reduces funding, but not enough to compensate for reduced revenue projections for FY18-19. He also said that some of the policy decisions used by the House to reduce the budget are not fiscally sound. These include delaying Medicaid expansion, increasing state revenue through gambling, and raiding rotary funds.

 

Ohio Department of Education

Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria recommended several changes to the House-passed budget bill in his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on May 3, 2017.

Superintendent DeMaria said that a provision allowing voucher students attending private schools accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) to forego state testing should be removed. The provision would undermine the state’s accountability system for those nonpublic schools receiving public funds.

The Senate should also remove the changes that the House made in the charter school sponsor evaluations, including increasing to 60 percent the portion of the evaluation that measures student growth, and removing the consequences for sponsoring charter schools with poor performance.

He also opposed eliminating the Ohio Teacher Residency Program, which he said provides first year teachers valuable support, and allowing school districts to administer paper and pencil exams. Currently 94 percent of state exams are administered online. Changing the policy now might raise issues about the validity of the exam.

 

Education Organizations

Representatives from the Ohio School Boards Association, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, testified before the Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Cupp, on May 4, 2017 about Sub. HB49.

The organizations support the removal by the House of two mandates in the executive budget: the requirement that teachers complete business internships to renew their licenses, and the requirement that boards of education include nonvoting representatives from the business community.

But the organizations would like to see changes in the school funding formula and eliminate the disparities in educational opportunities for students in the state. The organizations recommended changes in the State Share Index (SSI) formula, which now uses valuation per pupil to determine district wealth. As a result, some large rural poor districts, with low enrollment, are perceived as wealthy, and receive less state aid.

The organizations also oppose reducing state funding for those districts losing enrollment and on the transitional aid guarantee; phasing-out reimbursements for the tangible personal property tax; reductions in the transportation budget; and decreases in funding for Educational Service Centers. They recommended that the phase-out of TPP reimbursements should be offset by increases in the state funding formula, or through a hold harmless provision.

 

CAUV Changes

School organizations and the County Auditors’ Association oppose the proposed changes in the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) formula. The formula changes would reduce property values for agricultural property, therefore reducing revenue for local governments and schools. The school organizations recommend an independent study to modernize the program.

The Ohio Farmers Union and the Ohio Farm Federation support the changes for the CAUV.

 

Charter School Sponsor Evaluations

The Akron Beacon Journal reported on April 27, 2017 that there is some concern about an amendment added to the substitute bill by Representative Andy Brenner, chair of the House Education and Career Readiness Committee, regarding charter school sponsor evaluations. The amendment would make it easier for more sponsors to be rated effective and qualify to sponsor more charter schools.

Questions have also been raised about the “mystery” amendment, which allows poor performing e-schools to switch to an effective ESC sponsor, without any consequence for the ESC. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Mark Flanders, director of the Legislative Service Commission, admitted that the amendment was a drafting error and was also mistakenly omitted from the Legislative Services Commission’s comparison document, which describes the changes that have been made in bills as they proceed through the legislative process. Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee, is expected to submit an amendment to remove this provision as the Senate considers Sub. HB49.

 

Changes in Graduation Requirements

No changes in Ohio’s graduation requirements were included in the substitute bill. Senator Peggy Lehner, chair of the Senate Education Committee, has said that she is drafting a bill to temporarily change the graduation requirements for the class of 2018, based on the recommendations approved by the State Board of Education in April 2017.

The State Board of Education requested in April that the legislature allow the State Board to develop alternative graduation requirements, after school officials reported that a significant number of juniors in high school were not on track to graduate in 2017-18 under the new graduation requirements. The current requirements offer students three pathways to graduate. In addition to completing required coursework, students must earn a total of 18 points and a minimum number of points on end of course exams in certain areas; or earn a remediation free score on the SAT or ACT exam; or demonstrate industry and workforce readiness.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria appointed a special committee to develop graduation options not based on tests. The committee recommended that students be allowed to graduate if they attend school regularly, or earn a 2.5 GPA, or demonstrate achievement through a capstone project, job, or community service.

 

Sources

The Legislative Service Commission’s Budget in Detail and Comparison Document 

Testimony of Dr. Howard Fleeter, Ohio Education Policy Institute, Senate Finance Committee, May 4, 2017 

Testimony of the Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, May 4, 2017

Testimony of Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, Senate Finance Committee, May 3, 2017

Testimony of Tim Keen, director of the Office of Budget and Management, Senate Finance Committee, May 3, 2017

Livingston, Doug, “House budget bill amendments water down Ohio’s charter school reform, critics say,” The Akron Beacon Journal, April 29, 2017

Siegel, Jim, “State agency takes fall for mystery e-school amendment,” The Columbus Dispatch, May 4, 2017

State Board of Education Recommended Ohio Lawmakers Create Additional Options for Earning a High School Diploma for Class of 2018, April 11,2017

Siegel, Jim, “Senators Question Balance of House Budget and Revenues Slide Again,” The Columbus Dispatch, May 3, 2017