Arts on Line Update May 4, 2009

128th General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week.
*Last week the House Finance and Appropriations Committee completed its work on Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the biennial budget bill, and favorably reported it out of committee with a number of amendments. The full House took up action on Sub. HB 1 (Sykes) on April 29, 2009, and after several hours of debate approved the bill by a vote of 53 to 46.  The Ohio Senate, which has been conducting informal hearings on Sub. HB1, will continue to hold hearings this week on HB1 in the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey, and the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Cates. For more information about Sub. HB1 please see #4 & 5 below.

*The education and school funding reform plan outlined in Am. Sub. HB1 has now been endorsed by several statewide education organizations.  These include the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Ohio School Boards Association, the Ohio Association of Rural and Appalachian Schools, and the Ohio School Employees Association.  The Governor’s plan was previously endorsed by the Ohio Business Roundtable. The State Board of Education approved a resolution commending Governor Strickland for his recommendations for reforming Ohio’s education system for the 21st century.

*Also last week (April 28, 2009), Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle, presented several hours of testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Carey. Superintendent Delisle outlined the changes in HB 1 as approved by the House Finance Committee related to primary and secondary education, and explained that she has recommended a plan that would provide more flexibility for schools and school districts in meeting the new Evidence Based Model mandates based on their report card status.  Districts and schools meeting state standards would have more flexibility and choices, and those that did not meet standards would be required to implement specific strategies for improvement.

Superintendent Delisle also requested that the Senate increase funding for early childhood education, which was reduced by the House by $11.5 million.  This reduction eliminates preschool services for more than 2,300 children, who need this service to prepare them for school.

The ODE has available on its website testimony provided by Superintendent Delisle and other information about Am. Sub. HB1 (Sykes).
http://education.ohio.gov/GD/Templates/Pages/ODE/ODEDetail.aspx?Page=3&TopicRelationID=1599&Content=66977

This Week in Ohio
*Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 4 – 8. Tuesday, May 5th is National Teacher Day.

*May 5, 2009 Election:  According to the Secretary of State’s website, 66 counties will have questions and issues on the May 2009 Primary Election ballot.  The total number of issues appearing on the ballot this year is 390. Included in that total are 17 Bond Issues (14 are school issues); 283 Tax Issues (128 are school issues); and 82 Miscellaneous Questions, including 49 tax changes (29 are school issues). Tax changes & school issues can be the same issue.  For more information please visit http://www.sos.state.oh.us/SOS/elections/electResultsMain/2009ElectionResults/20090509LocalIssues.aspx

*Hundreds of students representing Ohio Youth Voices will meet at the Statehouse at 12:30 PM in Columbus on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 to present to state policy makers petitions with 10,000 signatures in support of the Ohio Youth Agenda. The students will gather for a ceremony, which will be attended by members of the Ohio General Assembly, C.J. Prentiss, Governor’s Strickland Close the Achievement Gap Director, and Sherry Maxfield, the Chief Counsel for the Ohio Attorney General, on the North Plaza of the Statehouse. The petitions include five priorities for education, such as changing the OGT, a full music and arts curriculum, internships for high schools students, older students helping younger students to prevent dropouts, and youth leadership to prevent violence through peer mediation. Students will be coming from schools in Cleveland, Lorain, Akron, Federal Hocking, New Lexington, Columbus, East Cleveland, Warrensville Heights, Shaker Heights, and more. The event will be hosted by the students, who will also present poetry and skits.

Ohio Youth Voices, Michael Charney Executive Director, is non-profit and non-partisan organization that organizes high school students to ensure that the voices of Ohio Youth are heard by policy makers in the areas of educational and economic opportunity, and empowers students to develop leadership and civic engagement skills.  To learn more about the Ohio Youth Agenda, please visit their website at http://ohioyouthvoices.org

*A School Funding Rally, “Ohio’s Revival: Reforming Education for the 21st Century Economy” will be held on May 8, 2009 at 11:45 AM at The Ohio State University, West Lawn of the Schottenstein Center, 555 Borror Road, Columbus, Oh 43210. US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Governor Ted Strickland, and other special guests will be in attendance.  To learn more about the rally please visit http://www.conversationoneducation.org

*Catalyst Ohio/Fordham Press Conference:  Catalyst Ohio and The Thomas B. Fordham Institute will hold a press conference on Monday, May 4, 2009 to release the results of a new statewide survey called “Checked-Out:  Ohioans’ View on Education 2009”. The press conference will be held in the Ladies’ Gallery at the Statehouse in Columbus at 11:30 AM.

On Tuesday, May 5, 2009 Catalyst Ohio and the The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation will present and discuss the findings of the survey at an event which will be held at 8:00 AM at Cleveland State University, Urban Affairs building, Dively room (1717 Euclid Avenue.

The survey was conducted by the FDR Group, which asked more than 1,000 Ohio residents what they think about school funding, school choice, and education reform. The results will soon be available on the Catalyst website at http://www.catalyst-cleveland.org/

This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2009
The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey (614-466-8156), will meet at 10:00 AM and at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance hearing room.  The committee will continue to hear invited testimony on Am. Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget.

The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Williams, (614-644-5085) will meet at 2:00 PM in hearing room 017.  The committee will hear a presentation from Scholastic Inc. on literacy programs for at-risk students, and testimony on HB41 (Gerberry), which requires that a portion of lottery profits be distributed annually on a per pupil basis to public and chartered nonpublic schools.  The committee will also hear testimony on HB19 (Harwood), which requires school districts to adopt a dating violence policy and to include dating violence education within the health education curriculum.

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Cates (614-466-8072), will meet at 2:30 PM in the North Hearing Room to hear testimony on Am. Sub. HB1 (Sykes).

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 2009
The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Gibbs (614-466-7505), will meet at 9:00 AM in the North Hearing Room.  The committee will hear a presentation by Mark Barbash, interim director of the Department of Development, on the department’s tax credit incentives and programs.  The committee will also hear testimony on SB111 (Stewart), which makes permanent the temporary reimbursements for local government and school district tangible personal property tax losses, and SB109 (Gibbs), which exempts from real property taxation the value of single-family residential property owned by a developer or builder until the developer or builder transfers possession or title.

The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey (614-466-8156), will meet at 9:30 AM and at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance hearing room, to hear invited testimony regarding Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget.

The House State Government Committee, chaired by Representative Gerberry, (614-466-6109), will meet at 2:30 PM, in hearing room 017 to hear testimony on several bills, among them HB116 (Uecker), which designates April as “Community Theater Month.”

THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2009
The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey (614-466-8156), will meet at 9:30 AM and at 1:30 PM in the Senate Finance hearing room, to hear invited testimony regarding Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 Budget.

Update on Biennial Budget: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Sykes, approved Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the biennial budget bill, on April 28, 2009 after approving several amendments. The Ohio House approved Sub. HB1 (Sykes), on April 29, 2009 by a vote of 53 to 46 after accepting additional amendments. The following are some of the comments made by members of the Ohio House regarding Sub.HB1 during the debate on the House floor, and by Governor Strickland after the House approved Am. Sub.
HB1:

Governor Strickland: “I want to thank House Speaker Armond Budish for his leadership, and I commend the House Democrats for their commitment to education. While today marks a step forward in the budget process, it marks a significant and historic leap toward the establishment of a thorough and efficient system of education. This is the first time since the Ohio Supreme Court declared Ohio’s education system unconstitutional that a legislative chamber has voted to support a transformational education reform plan that will ensure every Ohio child receives a world-class education, regardless of where they live.” (April 30, 2009 – Issued by Governor Strickland and obtained through the Jackson County Times – Journal).

Representative Vernon Sykes: “Substitute House Bill 1 will align Ohio’s investments with our priorities. It will also leverage federal resources to deliver a balanced and responsible budget during a time of economic crisis. It will cut government waste by preventing deeper service cuts at a dangerous time for many Ohioans. It will avoid reversing the course of tax reform, which promised increased economic activity and revenue in our future. Our priority in this budget is to spur economic growth in Ohio.”

Representative Coley:  “This program that is set forth in amended Substitute HB1 is a redistributionist plan.  I heard a number, I heard my colleagues from Akron and Columbus and a number of you talk of wanting to grow our economy.  You know how to do that.  You have seen it done time and time again. The way to grow the economy is to unleash the power of capitalism….unleash freedom….let people keep and spend their own money.  And when you let them do that the economy booms.”

Representative Ujvagi:  “The reason that I stand here today, and the reason I stand on this side of the aisle, is because my father, as a free-enterprise believer and my father as a capitalist also said there is a social obligation, and that you have to make sure that all the community is healthy and all the community is whole.”

Representative Morgan:  “While the Ohio economy is declining our government should be right-sizing, and this budget grows government and its milking of the people, growing the GRF by more than 2.4 percent, while the all funds picture proposes a more than 10 percent increase.”

“We have created a new class of unfundeds.  We have increased unfunded mandates and have now added a new category…the category of unfunded promises.”

Representative Garrison:  “What we are doing right now is investing in our economy so that we can increase economic activity and strengthen Ohio’s economy.  What we have outlined in this budget, and we have listened to both sides of the aisle, and we have listened to the people of Ohio who had much opportunity to come in and give us input, is to move Ohio forward.  We are investing in job creation, we are investing in education, we are investing in protecting those hurt by this tough economy.”

Representative Dyer:  “Today is a great day, an enormous day, a watershed in our history.  A chance to take a brave new step forward.  There is little question that our path to economic prosperity begins in the classroom.  That path begins in this chamber with your green buttons and the ringing of the bell.  Many in this state have waited generations for this moment.  Many greater that we have allowed us to stand on their shoulders and reach for the stars. Because of what we do this day, more of us will be able to reach previously unattainable heights, and even touch those winking lights in the sky.”

Representative Gardner:  “Many of us do not see this as a funding solution, This is not a commitment. This is a pied-piper wild-eyed plan that cannot be sustained in any objective analysis.”

Representative Williams:  “This Governor and this House have put together a proposal that will consolidate all of the preschool and early childhood education programs in the Department of Education with a goal toward improving them and coordinating them so they can comprehensively have a bigger impact on a large segment of our society that needs preschool adjustments and preschool considerations of all different kinds.”

Representative Phillips:  “What’s different here is the court ordered a complete systematic overhaul of our system of funding schools in Ohio, because it relies too heavily on local property taxes among other things.  So this is that structural reform.  According to Bill Phillis of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, this bill puts us on track for constitutional compliance.  That’s what’s different, and that’s what makes this feel like a historic moment for me.”

Representative Shannon Jones: “The only way to solve our budget problems is to start living within our means.  When we try to prioritize everything, we prioritize nothing, and I agree, if this state continues to budget as if there’s no tomorrow, with no planning or regard for the future, we will never escape this downward fiscal spiral of creative accounting, shell games, smoke and mirrors, without some bail-out [to] keep us from looking to what’s happening today, because we are always looking for the next round of easy money to feed the beast of big government.”

Amendments to Sub. HB 1: The biennial budget bill, Am. Sub; HB 1 (Sykes) as approved by the House, provides $56.41 billion in FY10 and $57.8 billion in FY11 in All Fund Groups (general revenue funds, federal funds, and fees, etc.). The House version increases state spending (All Funds) by $2 billion in FY10 over FY09 levels, and by $1.4 billion in FY11 over FY10 levels.

For the General Revenue Fund, the House version reduces funding compared to FY09 levels by $689 million in FY10 to $25.8 billion, and increases funding by $2 billion over FY10 levels in FY11 to $28.3 billion.

Funding for the Ohio Department of Education totals $12 billion in FY10 and $12.1 billion in FY11 for ALL FUNDS. The ODE receives a reduction in funds from the General Revenue Fund (GRF) compared to FY09 of $214 million in FY10, and an increase of $48.9 million in FY11 over FY10 levels. The GRF budget for the ODE is $7.816 billion in FY10 and $7.865 billion in FY11.

The changes included in Sub. HB 1 adjust the Evidence-Based Model (EBM) proposed by Governor Strickland to address several issues raised by education stakeholders and the public.  The EBM will be phased-in over ten years; the reduction in the charge-off will also be phased-in; some elements of the EBM, for example, counselors, nurses, non-instructional aids, will not be funded in FY10-11; and support for gifted education funding will be phased-in.  Poorer districts will receive more support, and the average state share for education will increase from 50 percent to 61 percent, when the plan is fully implemented in ten years. If fully funded in 2010, for example, funding for primary and secondary education would increase to $8.5 billion in FY10 and $8.6 billion in FY11.

When the new funding plan is fully phased-in, school districts in the lowest wealth quintile will receive 80 percent of their funding from the state, and school districts in the wealthiest quintile will receive 30.8 percent of their funding from the state.  The state average for state support would be 61.6 percent.

The House Finance and Appropriations Committee and the Ohio House added several amendments to Sub. HB1 before passage.  The following includes amendments related to education that were added by the Finance Committee, and those added by the full House:

Amendment added by the House Finance Committee Provisions Related to Primary and Secondary Education -Requires vaccinations for Tetanus; Diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis for all 7th Graders. Adds language allowing the Department of Health to conduct a pneumococcal disease vaccination program.
-Funds an after school program conducted by Perry High School College Medical Tech Prep that teaches low-income kids how to lead healthy lifestyles -Increases state funding to non-public and parochial schools (Auxiliary Services) by $1 million per year -Develops a model dating violence policy and dating violence prevention education standards -Includes Local Professional Development Committees (LPDCs) in the planning and design of the new professional development standards required by the education plan -Ensures that no public school district will receive less per pupil in state funding than private schools receive, when the education plan is fully implemented -Allows school districts currently charging tuition for all-day kindergarten to continue to charge tuition for only the next two years -Specifies that in order for districts to include the funding districts receive from open enrollment students in transitional aid, districts must keep their open enrollment policies in place -Allows districts to use funds from the new school funding model for capital expenditures to all day kindergarten and smaller classes in grades 3-K -Clarifies that enrichment funds can be used to provide enrichment activities for gifted students -Creates a performance indicator for students identified as gifted to be included on district academic report cards -Prohibits a district from charging fees to students whose families receive public assistance -Establishes a career technical study committee in place of the more restrictive joint vocational career technical study committee -Permits districts to combine the functions of family and community engagement teams with business advisory committees -Allows Early Learning Initiative providers who move from Title Di-A to GRF funding to keep start-up grants for Head Start -Requires the Director of the new Center of Early Childhood Development to report to the Superintendent as well as the Governor, and requires the Early Childhood Advisory Council to advise the Director of the Early Childhood Cabinet and the Superintendent in the development of the plan -Permits certain community schools serving gifted students to operate outside their sponsoring district.
-Reallocates an Attorney General Appropriation to fund the Ohio Center for Law Related Education.

Provisions Related to Higher Education Subcommittee -Removes language from sub bill transferring School Employees Health Care Board (SEHCB)- from DAS to EDU.
-Removes the increase in the OHS State Historical Grants line 360-508 by $200,000 in each year and earmarks to the Western Reserve Historical Society.
-Removes $125,000 in each year from the Choose Ohio First Scholarship line. This is to correct the amount spent on the Choose Ohio First and for support of University Circle Inc.
-Creates an internship program at Rookwood Pottery Company in Cincinnati for students at Ohio’s public Colleges and Universities.
The program will cover various disciplines. This earmarks $500,000 from Co-Op/Internship Program.
-Increases the appropriation to the Ohio State John Glenn School line
235 52L by $148,548 in each year of the biennium.
-Funds the OSU Dental Bus. This program provides dental service to under served communities. This is funded by a $25,000 earmark from Help Me Grow.
-Restores Advancing Up Youth Services Program at the University of Akron to FY09 from $6,630 in Sub bill to $10,199. ($3,569) in each year. This is part of the Urban University Program.
-Creates a study board to explore a reciprocity agreement between Youngstown State University and counties in Western Pennsylvania traditionally considered part of YSU’s service area.
-Strengthens education licensure requirements for teachers by requiring bachelor degrees from regionally accredited institutions.
-Allows the Chancellor the flexibility to shift funding to draw down federal funds as needed to serve disabled students.
-Encourages the Chancellor to consider ways of increasing the number of women participating in the Choose Ohio First Scholarship program when determining awardees.
-Reduces GRF appropriation item 195507, Travel and Tourism Grants, for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center by $100,000 in each fiscal year.
-Reduces GRF appropriation item for the Ohio Historical Society State Historical Grants by $100,000 rather than $200,000, and earmarks $100,000 from that line item for the Cincinnati Museum Center.
-Increases appropriations for Teacher Improvement Initiatives, by $320,000 in each fiscal year and earmarks the same amount in each fiscal year for the Ohio View consortium of research universities. Requires that the funds be used to train teachers, higher education students and faculty, and employees in the public and private sectors. Requires that Ohio View prepare K-12 teachers to instruct students in the uses of existing geospatial technology, especially through hands-on observations.

Early Childhood Education
-Allows ODJFS to expand the Step Up to Quality program to Early Learning Initiative providers.
-Changes the years that the reimbursement ceiling for providers of publicly funded child care is being codified in HC-2377, from FY 2009 and FY 2010 to FY 2010 and FY 2011.

Amendments on the House Floor:
-Earmarks $1 million a year for after-school programs run by the Ohio Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs.
-Adds $2.5 million a year to the state public library fund from money originally intended for the co-op/internship program).
-Earmarks $1 million within the Department of Health’s budget for behavioral health services for children (Harris).
-Restores the school-funding system adjustment for districts with more than 25 percent of their property under tax exemptions.
-Eliminates certain restrictions on the Exceptional Needs Program within the Ohio School Facilities Commission’s projects.

Think Tank Review (TTR) of Voucher Study: Clive Belfield, co-director of the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, released a review on April 29, 2009 of a study called “The Fiscal Impact of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program: 2009 Update” by Robert Costrell of the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas (April 10, 2009).  The review was conducted by the Think Tank Review Project (TTR) with the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

According to the review, the study of the Milwaukee voucher program prepared by Dr. Costrell provides important information about the impact of vouchers on the state and city, but omits factors that “are essential to a more complete analysis.”  The Costrell report estimates that the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) saves taxpayers $37 million a year, because the cost for tuition at private schools participating in MPCP is $6,607 per student, compared to the
$9,462 per pupil cost for students attending the Milwaukee public schools.  The report also notes that the $37 million is a net gain for the state, because Milwaukee taxpayers actually lose $45 million as a result of the interaction of the MPCP and the state school funding system. Some taxpayers win and some lose because of MPCP.

However, the reviewer notes that the Costrell report leaves out other factors and makes assumptions that could undermine the net savings of the MPCP for taxpayers.  These include transportation and administrative expenses that the Milwaukee public schools incur as a result of the voucher program, and the cost for the Milwaukee school district of educating higher cost students, such as special education students, who are more likely to stay in the district, rather than be accepted at a private voucher school. There is also an assumption that 90 percent of the students who use the voucher would have attended Milwaukee public schools if the voucher were not available.  That assumption, as the reviewer notes, is based on minimal data, and if 20 percent of the MPCP students would have attended private schools anyway, then the savings as a result of the program would be less.

The reviewer writes, “The issues raised by this report highlight some ways in which voucher policies are complex to design and implement and must be carefully evaluated on both efficiency and equity grounds.”

“The value is likely to be a poor guide to the efficiency of the voucher program. Advocates of vouchers have argued that such programs are vastly superior to the public school system. Their reasoning is as follows: even if voucher students only do as well as public school students, the voucher value is much less than the cost of a public school education. So, voucher programs advocates argue are more efficient: they cost less to produce (at least) the same amount of learning.”

“For several reasons, this argument is incomplete and therefore possibly wrong. One reason, which the new report makes clear, is that the funding of the voucher program significantly changes the resources available within the local public schools. Two other reasons, which the report does not address, are whether voucher students nonetheless draw on public school (or other public) resources for particular services; and whether voucher students are relatively low cost compared to the public school students who stay behind. As discussed above, these are important omissions.”

“Equally importantly, the value of the voucher is likely to be a poor guide to the equity of a voucher program. Advocates of vouchers argue that low-income families should be allowed to exercise the same educational choices that high-income families do. But this argument loses considerable power if voucher programs are found to deprive the remaining public schools-and residents of those communities-of sufficient educational resources.14  And from the other perspective, voucher families may perceive the program is unfair if, in order to resolve funding imbalances, the value of the voucher does not keep up with public school spending.”  The review is available at http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-fiscal-impact-Milwaukee.

The Think Tank Review Project http://thinktankreview.org, is a collaborative project of the ASU Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU) and CU-Boulder’s Education and the Public Interest Center (EPIC),  It provides the public, policy makers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected think tank publications. The project is made possible by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

New Policy Matters Report: Policy Matters Ohio released on April 14, 2009 a report called “Dollars that Make Sense 2009” by David Rothstein.  This report examines the benefits of an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is a refundable tax credit for families that make less than $42,000 a year, and recommends that the General Assembly adopt a state EITC.

According to this report, more than 800,000 Ohio families received the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the 2005 tax year.

“The average EITC in Ohio was $1,756, bringing more than $1.4 billion into Ohio communities. Adding a 5 percent Ohio EITC to supplement the federal credit, as 24 states have done, would cost Ohio $73 million, less than one percent of 2008 state expenditures. This measure would provide an average of $92 each to eligible working families. This report chronicles the EITC in Ohio and analyzes a possible state EITC program in Ohio.”

Policy Matters Ohio is a non-profit policy research organization founded in January 2000 to broaden the debate about economic policy in Ohio. Its mission is to conduct high-quality research promoting decisions which benefit our whole community. The report is available at http://www.policymattersohio.org/DollarsThatMakeSense2009.htm

Military Recruiters and NCLB: According to an article in the Boston Globe on April 24, 2009 entitled “Congress to debate role of recruiters in schools” by Kevin Freking, Congress may reconsider military recruiters’ access to students in the next round of revisions to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  The current provisions that require all federally funded high schools to provide student information and access to military recruiters may be debated in Congress later this year. Some educators and parents are urging lawmakers to reform the recruiting system, and want parental consent to be required before such information could be released.
School Improvement Institute: The Ohio Department of Education is requesting proposals to present at the Ohio School Improvement Institute, which will be held on November 19 and 20, 2009 in Columbus.  The proposals can be submitted by individuals or teams for 60 minute or 20 minute roundtable discussions.  Topics can include assessment, instructional strategies, college credit articulation, and data-driven decision making, etc.  Teachers, administrators, business/community representatives, college education administrators are encouraged to submit a proposal by the June 6, 2009 deadline. For more information please visit http://www.ohioschoolimprovementinstitute.org/

Bills Introduced

SB122 (Turner) Public School Law Enforcement Officers: Authorizes a board of education of a school district or governing board of an educational service center to employ public high school law enforcement officers; provides that public high school offers are members of the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System; prohibits the impersonation of a public high school law enforcement officer; and specifies the powers of arrest and citation of public high school law enforcement officers.
SB115 (Fedor) Education for Military Children: Ratifies the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and establishes the State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and other officers to implement the state’s participation in the compact.
SB118 (Fedor) Children’s Day: Designates April 30 as “Dia De Los Ninon” or “Children’s Day.”
SCR11 (Fedor) Teachers Week: Recognizing May 5, 2009 as Teachers Day and May 3-9, 2009 as Teachers Week in Ohio.
HB156 (Harris) Children’s Day: Designates April 30 as “Dia De Los Ninon” or “Children’s Day.”
HB160 (Koziura) Education Appropriations: Requires that an appropriation bill for education agencies be enacted separately from and prior to any other operating appropriations bills.
HB161 (Koziura) Undergraduate Studies: Requires state universities to guarantee that a full-time undergraduate student with a declared major field of study can complete coursework for the program of study in a specified time period.
HB164 (Miller, E) Public School Law Enforcement Officers: Authorizes a board of education of a school district or governing board of an educational service center to employ public high school law enforcement officers; provides that public high school offers are members of the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System; prohibits the impersonation of a public high school law enforcement officer; and specifies the powers of arrest and citation of public high school law enforcement officers.
HB165 (Ujvagi) Education for Military Children: Ratifies the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and establishes the State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and other officers to implement the state’s participation in the compact.

FYI ARTS
*National Arts Scene Bleak:  An article in the May 3, 2009 Washington Post entitled “Stage of Emergency: Cultural Groups Ask What to Mount Next. The Answer:  Increasingly Losses” by Paul Farhi and Jacqueline Trescott describes the impact of the current economic crisis on the arts and arts institutions in the U.S.

According to the article, this recession has hurt arts organizations from all sides….endowments, investments, corporate and individual donations, attendance, and public support through state revenue.  To survive arts institutions have had to layoff staff and artists, give furloughs, and cancel or truncate performances and tours. Some have even canceled annual fund-raising campaigns, because of the perception by some that contributing to the arts is “elitist and excessive” during these hard economic times. Some are offering free tickets to long-time subscribers who have lost their jobs. Arts advocacy messages now focus on how the arts create jobs for states and communities, and are part of the economic solution. The article includes the following examples:

-The J. Paul Getty foundation’s portfolio has decrease from $6.4 billion to $4.2 billion leading to a 22 percent budget reduction and increase in parking fees.
-New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has lost $800 million or 28 percent of its portfolio.
-The Smithsonian has had a 30 percent reduction in its endowment since 2007, but has received a seven percent increase in federal support and has managed to increase its donations to $120 million.
The Smithsonian administers 18 art and history museums and galleries in Washington and New York.
-The arts budgets for Maryland and Virginia will be cut next year.
-Unemployment among artists has increased 2.4 percent compared to last year. The National Endowment for the Arts reports that 74,000 artists have left the workforce during the 4th quarter of 2008.
-Musicians in several orchestras, including the Atlanta and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, have agreed to pay cuts.
-Some arts organizations have closed, including the Milwaukee Shakespeare theater company, the Connecticut Opera, the Las Vegas Art Museum, Opera Pacific in Orange County, California, the 58-year-old Baltimore Opera Company.  The Sacramento Ballet has canceled the rest of its season.

This crisis has led the Kennedy Center, Michael Kaiser president, to develop a mentoring tool called Arts in Crisis to counsel arts organizations about specific economic issues.  Since February 2009 when the program was initiated some 350 organizations have sought advice. (To learn more about Arts in Crisis please visit http://www.artsincrisis.org.)

The federal government has also provided $50 million for the NEA to distribute to state agencies and arts groups and $25 million for the Smithsonian Institution to upgrade its buildings. According to the article, the NEA reports that it has received 2,430 applications for the money. The article is available at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/01/AR2009050100218.html?wprss=rss_print/style

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This update is written weekly by Joan Platz, Information Coordinator for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.  The purpose of the update is to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.  The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association (www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.Ohioedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.OAAE.net).

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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