Arts on Line Update May 18, 2009

128th General Assembly: The Ohio Senate has canceled session for this week, but will hold some committee meetings.  The House will hold session on May 20, 2009 and will also hold several committee meetings.

*Amendments to Sub. HB 1 (Sykes) are to be submitted to the Senate Finance Committee office by Friday, May 22, 2009.

*The Ohio House approved on May 13, 2009 HB19 (Harwood) Dating Violence, by a vote of 63-56. The bill requires school districts to adopt a dating violence policy and to include dating violence education within the health education curriculum.  The Ohio House also approved HB150 (Ujvagi), which designates August as “Ohio Military Family Month.”

*Jennifer Sheets, president of the State Board of Education, announced that she will be resigning from the State Board effective June 30, 2009.  Governor Strickland will appoint a replacement.  The Board is expected to hold elections for president at their June 2009 meeting.

*According to the Springfield News Sun (May 11, 2009), J. Pari Sabety, director of the Office of Budget and Management, has told Governor Strickland that $98.8 million in agency savings and $52 million from restructuring some debt payments for FY09 for the Ohio Public Facilities Commission will be used to reduce the projected $600 – $900 million shortfall in the FY09 budget. The rainy day fund will be used to reduce the remainder of the deficit.  The savings are a result of Governor Strickland’s executive order issued on April 22, 2009.  As a result, the Office of Budget and Management found savings through encumbrances, limits on travel, allotment control, and procurement and contracting. On May 5, 2009 Director Sabety and Tax Commission Rich Levin announced the shortfall after April’s tax revenues came in under estimates. The article is available at

*Ohio Education Association and the State Board of Education approved resolutions regarding the education reform and funding plan included in Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget bill.

The Ohio Education Association’s (OEA) Representative Assembly approved a resolution of support for substitute HB1 (Sykes) and Gov. Ted Strickland’s school-funding/reform plan on May 9, 2009.

The State Board approved a resolution on May 12, 2009 that supports the Governor’s Education Reform Plan and its recommendations that advance a student-centered, 21st century education system, and urges the General Assembly to incorporate flexibility into the plan.

To read more about the OEA’s statement of support please visit

This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2009
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.  The committee will hear testimony on Am. Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget related to Medicaid.

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 testimony on HB83 (Boyd) Public School Assaults; HB139 (Dolan) Interscholastic Athletics; HB165 (Ujvagi) Education for Military Children; and HB41 (Gerberry) Lottery Profits.

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 public 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, including HB36 (Dyer) Legislative Committee Meetings, which requires expanded minutes for legislative committee meetings or a transcribed record of committee proceedings in lieu of minutes, and requires sworn testimony of all witnesses testifying before legislative committees.

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 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 public testimony regarding Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 Budget.

FRIDAY, MAY 22, 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 public testimony regarding Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 Budget, IF NEEDED.

State Board of Education Meeting: The State Board of Education, Jennifer Sheets president, met on May 11 & 12, 2009 at the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus. During the meeting on May 11, 2009 Jennifer Sheets announced that she will be resigning from the Board effective June 30, 2009.

MONDAY, MAY 11, 2009
The State Board of Education recognized the following three “Ohio Schools to Watch” at their meeting on May 10, 2009: Bellbrook Middle School Sugarcreek Local School District; New Albany Middle School, New Albany-Plain Local School District; Teays Valley Middle School, Teays Valley Local School District.

Ohio Schools to Watch “Reaching for the Stars” is a program that recognizes diverse, high-performing, middle schools that challenge all students to use their minds well; are sensitive to the unique developmental challenges of early adolescence; provide every student with high-quality teachers, resources and supports; and have the organizational structure in place to support high quality.

This program was developed from The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform (National Forum).  In Ohio it is supported in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Middle Level Association, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and Otterbein College.

Following lunch the Achievement Committee, chaired by Ann Womer Benjamin, and the Capacity Committee, chaired by Rob Hovis, met.

The Achievement Committee discussed the following topics:
*Physical Education Standards:  The committee approved a resolution of intent to adopt the benchmarks and indicators for physical education.  Lisa Henry, ODE consultant for physical education, presented the standards as revised per the last State Board of Education meeting.  The draft standards are posted on the ODE website.

*Committee for Arts and Innovative Thinking (CAIT):  Nancy Pistone, ODE consultant for visual arts and dance, provided an update of the work of CAIT, and asked committee members to support CAIT’s recommendations once finalized.  CAIT was convened to focus statewide attention on the role of arts education in the creative economy, and secure a position for the arts in the State Board’s 21st century education objectives, so that all students have access to quality arts education.

The committee has been working on recommendations that are aligned to the State Board of Education’s strategies for Teaching 21st Century Skills for Real World Success; Effectively Delivering Support for a High Quality Education; and Providing Sufficient Resources which are Effectively Managed. During CAIT discussions, three merging visions have been developed:
-Promote investment in arts education to ensure equity, access, and quality; -Bring visibility to what is working in arts education and how the arts can be integrated throughout the curriculum; and -Leverage resources and services for arts education, including collaborations with arts organizations and educational organizations, including Educational Service Centers.   Board members responded positively to the update.

Susan Haverkos, a member of CAIT for three years, said that the revised standards should include the arts throughout the curriculum through project-based learning, which allows students to experience learning in alternative ways.

Jeff Hardin said that he was a “big supporter of the arts”, and believes that the “Arts make us complete people”.

Ann Womer Benjamin said that she was pleased to hear that other Board members support the arts, because while she was at the Statehouse, she was determined to ensure that the arts were part of the graduation requirements. Mary Rose Oakar said that the arts should be integrated, but the arts do “exist for its own sake”.

Mike Collins was interested in the role of technology and the arts.  He sees the relationship and the overlap, especially for those in design, and how incorporating technology and the arts relate to the creative part of technology.

Tracey Smith reminded committee members of the requirements that students must meet for graduation. There should be a push to incorporate the arts in non-arts courses so that students are not so “bogged down”.

*Update on the Standards Revision Process: Stan Heffner, associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction, provided the committee with an update of the academic content standards revision process for English Language Arts, science, mathematics, and social studies.  The presentation included information about the status of the revision process; the plan for stakeholder and content expert involvement; and the timeline for completion of the revision process.

So far the ODE has benchmarked Ohio’s standards against international standards; asked national experts to review Ohio’s standards; and assessed Ohio’s standards for 21st century skills and college readiness (Board of Regents).  The ODE is also positioning Ohio to qualify for federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding under the Race to the Top competitive grant program.

The revised K-8 standards are expected to be web-based, will retain the vertical articulation, and will be accompanied by a model curriculum that will integrate technology, the arts, etc.

The revised 9-12 standards will also be web-based, but will be organized through courses with syllabi that align with end of course exams, which will be developed to ensure students are prepared for college course work.

The ODE will have a draft of the proposed revised standards to share with educators on June 18, 2009. On June 30th, education stakeholder organizations will be invited to review the revised standards. National experts will also be invited to review the revised standards.  The first draft of the standards will be available on the ODE web site for public feedback around November 1, 2009, and presented to the State Board of Education on November 9, 2009.  The State Board will vote on the revised academic content standards on June 7, 2010.  The ODE will then work on developing the model curriculum, which will take nine months (June 2010), and assessments. The Board will vote on the recommended model curriculum on March 14, 2011.

Following the revision of the academic content standards in English language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies, the ODE will revise the standards and model curriculum for computer literacy, wellness literacy, financial literacy, world languages, and the fine arts. A timeline has not been developed for this work.

According to Associate Superintendent Heffner, the standards revision process has looked at Ohio’s academic content standards in a new way.  The standards are now organized by topics and themes; redundancy has been reduced across grade levels; the number of strands within each standard have been reduced; Ohio’s standards have been compared to standards in high performing nations and states, such as Massachusetts and Virginia; and 21st century skills have been incorporated.

*The Capacity Committee discussed and approved an intent to adopt Rule 3301-20-01, and NEW Rules 3301-20-03 and 3301-83-23, Standards of employment for individuals with certain criminal convictions. A board of education can employ an individual who has certain convictions if they have met standards of rehabilitation set by the State Board of Education. Currently Rule 3301-2-01 sets the rehabilitation standards for licensed applicants and employees, but the rule had to be revised to incorporate recent changes for criminal background checks. There were no standards for the rehabilitation of non licensed employees or school bus and school van drivers. New rules 3301-20-03 and 3301-83-23 provide the rehabilitation standards for non licensed individuals.

TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2009
The State Board of Education held its business meeting on May 12, 2009 starting at 8:30 AM, and immediately convened into executive session.

Superintendent’s Report
After reconvening at 10:15 the Board heard the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle, who noted that she has been on the job for just six months.  Superintendent Delisle first commented about the resignation of Jennifer Sheets from the State Board, and noted how Mrs. Sheets provided “strong leadership in moments of uncertainty”. She thanked Mrs. Sheets for her leadership, integrity, vision, and sincerity.

Superintendent Delisle then reviewed her activities over the past month, which included meetings with students, teachers, and parents throughout Ohio; participating in the Transformational Dialogue; testifying before the Ohio Senate on Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget; visiting the Metro School in Columbus; participating in the common core standards meeting with the Council of Chief State School Officers in Chicago; and meeting U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who came to Columbus last week for a rally for school reform.

Superintendent Delisle also shared with the Board two pages of a DRAFT of a document that was prepared for the Ohio Senate to explain her concept of flexibility and accountability regarding the implementation of the proposed evidence-based model, included in Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget. The draft describes the following goals of her proposed EBM Flexibility/Accountability Model:

*Merge a system of flexibility and accountability for state funds provided to districts *Identify flexible spending options for each of the EBM components *Design a system by which state funds can be tracked at individual district levels *Track the transition and development of each of the EBM components *Develop a system by which district spending choices will inform the EBM Advisory Committee about spending practices and potential impact on student achievement *Provide incentives and rewards for districts which demonstrate success *Ensure focus for districts which continue to be challenged *Potentially simplify the required spending and reporting plan *Respond to districts’ requests for flexibility and potential local decisions making.

The plan provides choices for districts for each component of the EBM based on districts’ report card’s ratings, so that districts in academic emergency/watch status have fewer options for spending state funds compared to excellent and effective districts.

This concept is not included in the current version of Sub. HB 1 bill, but the Superintendent has requested for it to be included in the Senate version.

Legislative Liaison Report: Dr. John Bender and Carl Wick then presented the Legislative Liaisons’ Report.  Dr. Bender told the Board that Senator Fedor had introduced SB126 (Fedor), which would require local boards to adopt a policy on electronic bullying, and that Representative Ujvagi had introduced HB165 (Ujvagi), which would have Ohio ratify an interstate compact regarding the education of students from military families.

Kelly Weir, director of the ODE Office of Budget and Planning, also provided the Board with an update of the changes in Sub. HB 1 (Sykes) as passed by the Ohio House. When asked how the House version compares with the budgets prepared by the State Board of Education last summer, Director Weir stated that this budget is closest to the flat plus budget proposal, although it differs component by component.

Mr. Wick provided an update of federal legislative actions, including information about the recently approved federal budget guidelines; discussions about the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act; and management of the stimulus package dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Public Participation
Five individuals spoke to the Board during public participation on agenda items. Melanie Elsey and Eric Price addressed the Board concerning Resolution 27, regarding the State Board of Education’s support for the education reform efforts included in HB1; Ellen Hughes spoke in support of the physical education standards; and Robert Jenkins and Randy Weston asked the Board to support Option B of the proposed rules for rehabilitation standards.

The Board then took action on 13 personnel items and the resolutions listed below. The Board then considered old business, new business, heard committee reports, and accepted public participation on non-agenda items.  The Board then adjourned.  The next meeting of the State Board of Education is June 8, 2009.

Resolution #17 regarding a personnel item was pulled from the agenda.
Resolution #6 was pulled from the consent agenda and voted on separately.
Resolutions #20 & 22 were corrected for a technical error.
Resolution #25 was voted on separately.
Resolutions #26, 27, and 28 were added to the agenda.

*#5 – Approved a Resolution of Indent to adopt content standards for physical education

*#6 – Approved a Resolution of Indent to adopt Rules 3301-20-01,
3301-20-03 and 3301-83-23 Standards of Employment for Licensed Applicants and Employees, Non-Licensed Applicants and Employees, and School Bus and School Van Driver Applicants and Employees with Certain Criminal Convictions. (Options B was approved for non-licensed applicants.)

*#7 – Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-27-01, Qualifications to Direct, Supervise, or Coach a Pupil Activity Program

*#18 – Approved a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-18-01, Calculation of Student Attendance to meet minimum performance standards

*#19 -Approved a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-29-01, Community School EMIS

*#20 – Approved a Resolution to Adopt Rule 3301-61-03, Criteria for Secondary Workforce Development Program

*#21 – Approved a Resolution to Rescind Rule 3301-61-18, criteria for career based intervention/family and consumer studies programs, and to adopt new Rules 3301-61-04, Criteria for Family and Consumer Sciences Programs and 3301-61-05, Criteria for Career Based Intervention

*#22 – Approved a Resolution to Adopt Rule 3301-68-01, Criteria for Career Development Programs

*#23 – Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-73-01 to -06, -08 to -10, -13, -16, -20 to -26, Professional Conduct of Educators

*#24 – Approved a Resolution to adopt Ohio Guidelines and Model Framework for the Evaluation of School Principals

*#25 – Approved a Resolution of appointment of eight individuals to the Educator Standards Board

*#26 – Approved a Resolution to commit to reducing State Board of Education expenditures

*#27 – Approved a Resolution by a vote of 15 to 3 to support the Governor’s Education Reform Plan and its recommendations that advance a student-centered, 21st century education system, and urge the General Assembly incorporate flexibility into the plan

*#28 – Approved a Resolution to ratify the partial settlement of the Dayton City School District ADM.

Education Organizations Present Testimony to the Senate: Several education organizations presented testimony last week to the Ohio Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Cates, and the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey, regarding the education provisions included in Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 budget bill.

The following is a summary of the written testimony from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials; and the Ohio School Boards Association:

*Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) Tom Ash, Director of Governmental Relations for BASA, addressed the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey, on May 14, 2009.  He thanked the General Assembly for their support of public education in the past, and especially for building and renovating Ohio’s school facilities, and addressing the inequities in the school funding system through equity aid, parity aid, and poverty based assistance.  He also thanked lawmakers for keeping education a priority through these difficult economic times.

According to the written testimony, BASA supports the following parts of the education reform and funding plan included in HB 1 (Sykes):
-Provisions that address phantom revenue caused by the difference between the 23 mill charge-off and 20 mill floor.  BASA will endorse any plan “….that eventually removes the challenge of phantom revenue for Ohio’s school districts.” HB 1 would gradually lower the 23 mills to 20 mills by fiscal year 2014, which will eliminate this type of phantom revenue for 380 school districts.

-Provisions that base funding on results-proven components included in the evidenced-based model, such as well-trained professional teachers; job imbedded, quality professional development and training; and trained and dedicated educational leadership. According to the testimony, “We feel that the Ohio evidenced-based model begins the process of accomplishing this ambitious goal.” (New paragraph) “The challenge is to accomplish this in such grave economic times.”

-The Ohio School Funding Research and Advisory Council, which will offer advice and recommendations “…to the Ohio General Assembly to fully fund the ambitious and yet attainable goals that we all seek for all of Ohio’s children.”

BASA requested that the Senate reinstate in Am. Sub. HB1 the current statutory authority for school districts to reduce in force for economic reasons.

*Ohio Education Association (OEA)  Russ Harris, economist and Governmental Services consultant for the Ohio Education Association (OEA) presented testimony to the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Cates, on May 12, 2009. He said that the OEA’s representative assembly unanimously endorsed substitute HB 1 (Sykes) on May 9, 2009, noting that Am. Sub. HB 1 “represents an historic opportunity to improve public education in Ohio”.

According to the testimony, research and studies show that investment in public education promotes a “good economy” by encouraging job growth, income growth, and increased income equality. The current school funding system does not provide the support for our schools, and represents “….a patchwork of band aids that is overly complex and unexplainable.  It relies far too much on the local property tax base to finance public education. The foundation formula base amount is unrelated to any measure of educational need.  The state’s system is so patently unfair in terms of the distribution of high quality educational opportunities that it is not widely supported by a large number of Ohioans.”

OEA believes that the proposed Ohio Evidence-Based Model is better because of the following:

-Establishes the components of a high-quality education system and costs them out in a easily understandable manner -Implements an Education Challenge Factor capable of leveling the opportunity field for students and providing essential professional development resources for educators and support staff -Establishes a School Funding Research Advisory Council to continually assess the adequacy of targeted resources -Provides for limited local revenue growth under certain conditions -Develops a systemic and comprehensive approach to school funding that includes a high level of school district accountability and transparency -Addresses phantom revenue by reducing the charge-off and establishing the conversion levy tool -Provides funding for universal all-day kindergarten.

OEA requests that the Ohio Senate do the following:
-Retain the funding levels and reform contained in the bill -Utilize the State Fiscal Stabilization Funds included in the Ohio Evidence Based Model (OEBM) -Examine current law regarding the Tangible Personal Property Tax reimbursements for school districts, and insert provisions of SB 111 to permanently replace lost revenue at 2004 levels to school districts.
-Include a study on how best to utilize the CAT to replace lost revenue.

*Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) (Testimony from OSBA was presented on May 13, 2009 by Damon Asbury, director of legislative services, to the Senate Education Committee, and on May 14, 2009 by Michelle Francis, legislative specialist, to the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee.)

Damon Asbury, director of legislative services, addressed the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Cates on May 13, 2009. He acknowledged and extended appreciation from OSBA for the General Assembly’s efforts to improve the funding of facilities across the state, and to increase the state’s share of school district operating funds.

According to the written testimony, OSBA believes that Am. Sub. HB1 builds upon past efforts to reform Ohio’s education system, and “…enhances that commitment by offering a comprehensive and systematic approach to school funding and reform.” The OSBA Board of Trustees, on behalf of the OSBA membership, unanimously approved a resolution of support for Am. Sub. HB 1. OSBA supports the following provisions in HB1:

-Provides a “more effective funding model – a model that will establish a foundation for delivering high quality education opportunities for all children, regardless of their geographical residence.”

-Provides a “new framework for evaluating and improving Ohio’s education funding system in the future” through the proposed Ohio School Funding Research Advisory Council.

-Includes the flexibility provisions that direct the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education to develop rules that will designate which components of the OEBM model are to be required for all districts and which are targeted only to districts requiring improvements.

OSBA requested that the Senate amend HB 1 to include the following:

-Restore the rights of school boards to reduce staffing levels (RIF) whenever financial factors make this action necessary.
-Address the financial impact on school districts that have lost revenue because of the elimination of the tangible personal property tax. The elimination of the tangible personal property tax continues to create economic hardships for local school districts.
-Recognize that there are a variety of ways to measure efficiency and that the final bill not limit the measurement methods that are outlined in the Fiscal Data Project.
-Request that the final bill contain language requiring that there be appropriate funding to accompany any mandates that are specified by the final bill.
-Utilize the State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) in the biennial budget.

*Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) David Varda, Executive Director for the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO), presented testimony on Am. Sub. HB 1 on May 14, 2009 before the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee. He began his comments by recognizing the work of the legislature to improve Ohio’s education system over the past decade, and extended his appreciation to the General Assembly for their commitment. He also recognized the commitment of Governor Strickland to public education and the work accomplished by the Ohio House to address many concerns with the original bill.

According to the written testimony, even though the legislature has made improvements in the school funding system there is still work to be done, and “….that is why we have supported the education reform and funding structure put forth in Amended Substitute HB 1.”

OASBO support the following provisions included in HB 1:

-Believes that the Ohio Evidence Based Model moves in the direction that will identify the needs of all students and then what it costs to deliver those educational opportunities. “The components of this new funding model will allow us to apply the best scientific knowledge available about what works, and apply it to a system that gives schools the resources they need to help their students achieve.”

-Establishes a process for improvement and making sure the OEBM continues to reflect what is best for Ohio’s children through the Ohio School Funding Research Advisory Council.

-Phases-down the local contribution (charge-off) from 23 to 20 mills, “…a rate that is in line with the level of mills being assessed in most districts in Ohio.  This eliminates the “charge-off phantom revenue” phenomenon and the need for Gap Aid.”

-Eliminates the separate local contribution for categorical funding components like special education, career technical education and transportation.  “This, along with the change in the charge-off amount will reduce the pressure on local property tax.”

-Provides a tool (the conversion levy) that districts can use to eliminate reappraisal phantom revenue, by giving voters in the district the option to decide whether or not they will allow growth with inflation on the first 20 mills of property tax levied.

-Creates an Education Challenge Factor (ECF) to direct additional resources to the students that need it most. “The ECF recognizes property wealth, educational attainment of the community and poverty as indicators of need and the challenges districts face with student achievement.  The ECF replaces the need for Parity Aid under the current system as it more thoroughly targets the disparities of need from district to district.”

-Addresses some of the concerns regarding mandates without funding that were included in the HB 1 as introduced. “The House version of the bill provides flexibility for school districts by directing the State Superintendent and State Board of Education to develop rules that designate which components of the OEBM model will be mandatory for all districts.” OASBO supports gifted education programs, special education, and all-day kindergarten as Core Factors”.

OASBO requested that the Senate do the following:
-Restore the authority for school districts to reduce staff for financial reasons.
-Maintain the use of the State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) from the federal stimulus package as part of the funding for the proposed OEBM.

News from the ODE:
*The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides more than $1 billion to Ohio schools through several funding streams.  ODE has developed a web page to provide an overview of the ARRA, and information about reporting requirements, potential use of funds, supplanting and maintenance of effort, and an overview of Ohio’s implementation.

There are still several areas where ODE is awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE). The ODE will update information about the ARRA as it becomes available.

The web site is available at

*The 2009 Ohio Early Care and Education Conference will be held May 28, 2009 – May 30, 2009 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  The conference is sponsored by the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children and the Ohio Department of Education.  This collaborative event is designed for educators and service providers who work with children from birth through grade three. Participants will explore the latest research, best practices and resources available in the field of early learning. For more information please visit

Bills Introduced:
HB177 (Huffman) STRS Investment Personnel:  Provides that investment personnel of the State Teachers Retirement System may not receive performance-based bonuses or premiums in years of negative investment returns and to declare an emergency.
HB178 (Wagner) District Boards of Education:  Eliminates certain requirements and prohibitions applying to school district boards of education.

*The White House announced on May 12, 2009 the nomination of Rocco Landesman for chairmanship of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  If confirmed by Congress, Mr. Landesman will be the tenth chairman of the NEA, which was created in 1965. Patrice Walker Powell has been serving as interim chairman since February 2, 2009. Former chairman Dana Gioia stepped down on Inauguration Day.

Rocco Landesman is currently the president of the Jujamcyn Theatres, and a well-known producer of the hits “Big River,” “Angels in America” and “The Producers” on Broadway.

He is expected to use his entrepreneurial skills to energize support for the NEA, which received $145 million from Congress this year.
The President has included $161 million for the NEA in 2010, which is still less than the 1992 high of $172 million.

Mr. Landesman was born in St. Louis and earned degrees at Colby College, the University of Wisconsin, and earned a doctorate in dramatic literature at the Yale School of Drama, where is also taught for four years as an assistant professor.

*International Photo Competition: Adobe Youth Voices and What Kids Kids Can Do invite youth around the world to submit photographs based on the theme of “Crisis and Hope”. Winning photographs will be showcased online, in a traveling exhibit, and in a book. All young people — anywhere in the world — between the ages of 12 and 19 are eligible to submit photos.  The deadline is July 31, 2009.

*Sogbety Diomande’s West African Celebration: Sogbety Diomande’s 3rd annual West African Celebration will be held this year at Templed Hills Camp and Conference Center, 5734 Durbin Rd., Bellville, OH 44813 on August 21-23, 2009.

On Friday night to kick off the weekend, Keshvar Project will perform with new dance numbers and costumes. There will be an African dance class after the performance. On Saturday there will be 2 African dance classes and 2 drum classes, a belly dance class, African food, vendors, kids classes, and activities all day.  At 9:00 PM there will be a West African performance with master dancers and drummers.  Sunday will start with a djembe class, kids crafts, brunch with African food, and will end with a large dance class led by Vado Diomande.
For more information please visit or call 419-522-5058 for information.

*Exhibition at Rhodes Tower:  Celebrating the Beauty and Splendor of “Lake Erie Shores & Islands”, a Watercolor Exhibit by Jim Siemer, will be shown in the lobby and concourse of the James A. Rhodes Tower on June 1 – 30, 2009 in Columbus.

Jim Siemer began to paint the Lake Erie area over twenty years ago from his family’s cottage on Middle Bass Island. He has teamed up with Lake Erie Shores & Islands to use his art to encourage Ohio residents to experience the beauty of Ohio.

Original Watercolors by Jim Siemer are also on exhibit in the Split Winds Gallery in Port Clinton, Ohio. This June, Jim will launch a website called which will feature his art as well as other artists who capture the beauty of the Lake Erie region.

Jim created the official art for the 1996 National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC; the 1997 official parade designs for President Clinton’s Second Inauguration; the 2000 holiday card for the Ohio State Representatives; the 2003 Taste of DC official poster design; official designs for the 2004 America Celebrates the Greatest Generation Word War II Memorial opening; the Paris on the Potomac official art for the Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation; the 2005 poster art for the Miller Boat Line Centennial; and the 2009 cover art for the Put-in-Bay Yacht Club Yearbook.

For Information on Lake Erie Shores & Islands, visit:  Jim Siemer can be contacted at or at 614-313-620.


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 (, Ohio Art Education Association (, Ohio Educational Theatre Association (; OhioDance (, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (

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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