128th General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold committee hearings and sessions this week.
*Robin Belcher took the oath of office in the Ohio House last week to become the representative for the 10th House District, replacing former Representative Eugene Miller, who resigned on May 4, 2009.
*The Campaign to Protect Ohio’s Future will hold a rally, “A Reality
Check: It’s Time for Leadership”, on June 4, 2009 on the West Lawn of the Statehouse in Columbus from noon until 2:00 PM. Ohio’s faith leaders, families, health and human service organizations, and community members from across the state will attend to urge state leaders to focus resources on local services that keep Ohio’s workforce, families, and communities strong. The rally will urge lawmakers also to “…solve the state’s fiscal crisis using a balanced approach that includes increasing revenues to fully fund health and human services that support individuals and the Ohio economy.”
For more information please visit http://www.protectohio.org/ or contact the Campaign at 614-222.8501.
Senate Committee Accepts Sub. HB1: The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey, accepted on May 29, 2009 a substitute version of Sub. HB1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 state budget for July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011. The House approved Sub. HB 1 on April 29, 2009.
The Senate Committee version of HB1 cuts the proposed $53.58 billion two year General Revenue Fund budget by $650 million by eliminating
139 earmarks ($150 million); reducing further or flat funding 103 out of 105 state agencies ($417 million); codifying $200 million in reductions already identified by the Strickland administration; identifying $42 million in medicaid cost savings; and making other adjustments in Sub. HB1. Primary and secondary, higher education, and programs for children and seniors were sparred cuts compared to other state agencies.
Total General Revenue Fund:
$26.930 billion in FY09;
$25.657 billion in FY10;
$27.923 billion in FY11.
Total All Funds:
$54.354 billion in FY09;
$55.863 billion in FY10;
$57.451 billion in FY11.
Ohio Department of Education
General Revenue Fund
$8.03 billion in FY09;
$7.88 billion in FY10;
$7.939 billion in FY11.
The Senate Committee version also establishes a new budget planning commission to increase transparency in budget decisions, manage one-time funds, and find ways to restructure government spending so that Ohio can avoid a tax increase in the future.
The Senate Committee version increases funding for all school districts by at least .25 percent in FY10 and a .5 percent increase in FY11. Districts that are experiencing two percent or more growth in enrollment in a year will receive a two percent increase in FY10 and FY11. According to the Legislative Service Commission’s document “Budget in Detail”, the line items for the Department of Education that were increased by the Senate committee include STEM schools
($5.7 million) and Foundation Funding. Most of the other line items were either flat-funded or cut.
The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee is expected to vote on the Senate committee version on June 2 or 3, 2009, so that the full Senate can take action on the bill as soon as possible. The Ohio House will then vote to accept or reject Sub. HB1 (Sykes) as amended by the Senate. If the House rejects the Senate version, a conference committee will be appointed to work-out a compromise version. Once approved by the House and Senate, the bill then goes to Governor Strickland to sign into law by July 1, 2009, the start of the new fiscal year. The governor can also veto provisions of the bill.
Senate Committee Revamps School Reform and Funding: The version of the proposed budget, Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), accepted by the Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee eliminates many, but not all, education and school funding reform provisions referred to as the Evidence-Based Model (EBM), proposed by Governor Strickland and supported by the Ohio House in their version of the budget bill.
Still included in the Senate Committee version are reforms for teacher standards, licensure, tenure, and dismissal; support for educational service centers, early childhood education, higher education, and the conversion levy option; payments for National Board Certification; and more. Other provisions, including those related to revising standards, changing assessments, extending the school year or day, or changing the state’s accountability system, will be considered by a council also created in the bill.
The following are just SOME of the provisions that are included in the Senate Finance Committee version of the FY10-11 budget bill, Sub.
HB 1 (Sykes), prepared from the Legislative Service Commission’s “Comparison Document”. A more complete analysis of Sub. HB1 will be available once the Senate approves its version of HB1 (Sykes).
HIGHLIGHTS OF SUB. HB1 PENDING IN THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE
NEW*Eliminates or changes many of the provisions regarding primary and secondary education proposed by Governor Strickland and included in the Executive and House versions of Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), including NEW Section 3306 of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), which included the funding components for the proposed Evidence Based System. Also eliminates approximately $138 million from the Department of Education’s budget.
NEW*Allocates $6.86 billion in FY10 and $6.91 billion in FY11 for formula aid for school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and joint vocational school districts.
Defines transitional aid base for FY09 as base-cost funding, special education and related services weighted funding, speech services funding, vocational education additional weighted funding, GRADS funding, adjustments for classroom teachers and educational service personnel, gifted education units, transportation, the excess cost supplement, the charge-off supplement, and transitional aid.
Adds $128 million in enhancement payments for school districts in FY10 to support either a 0.25 percent increase of the FY09 transitional aid base, or a 2 percent increase of the base if the district’s formula ADM for the year is at least 2 percent greater than the previous year.
Adds $156 million in enhancement payments for school districts in FY11, to support either a 0.5 percent increase of the sum of the FY09 transitional aid base plus the FY10 enhancement payment, or a 2 percent increase of that sum if the district’s formula ADM for the year is at least 2 percent greater than the previous year.
SAME*Extends the tangible personal property tax “hold-harmless”
provision for school districts and local government through the next biennium.
REMOVES*Eliminates a phase-down of the charge-off from 23 to 20 mills to address one type of phantom revenue.
SAME*Preserves funding for 129 school districts that provide all day Kindergarten.
NEW*Provides an all-day kindergarten expansion payment to districts that did not receive an all-day kindergarten poverty-based assistance payment in FY09 and have a poverty index of at least 0.80 in FY10 and a poverty index of at least 0.75 in FY11. 32 districts qualify for this payment.
NEW*Prescribes formula amounts of $5,745 for FY10 and $5,775 for FY11 to be used for payments to community schools, payments to STEM schools, payments for open enrollment students, and other continuing payments using the “formula amount” as a factor.
NEW*Calculates a per pupil amount to be deducted from each community school student’s district of residence using the prescribed formula amount of $5,745 in FY10 and $5,775 in FY11, and the FY09 per pupil amounts for poverty-based assistance and parity aid.
CHANGE*Specifies $90 million in each fiscal year for the state education aid offset due to the change in public utility valuation as a result of Am. Sub. S.B. 3 and Am. Sub. S.B. 287, both of the 123rd G.A.
CHANGE*Specifies $119 million in each fiscal year for the state education aid offset due to the changes in tangible personal property valuation as a result of Am. Sub. H.B. 66 of the 126th G.A.
CHANGE*Specifies that GRF appropriation items 200521 Gifted Education; 200502, Pupil Transportation; 200540, Special Education Enhancements; 200550, Foundation Funding; 200551, Foundation Funding
– Federal Stimulus; and other specific set-asides are to fund state formula aid obligations. Provides that ODE seek Controlling Board approval to transfer funds among these items, or other GRF appropriation items in which there are excess appropriation, in order to meet these obligations.
SAME*Specifies that each JVSD receive funding equal to the amount received in the previous year inflated by 1.9 percent.
NEW*Creates the Student-Centered Evidence-Based Funding Council to establish a “per pupil level of funding that will follow the student to the school that best meets the student’s individual learning needs” and report its recommendations by September 7, 2010.
Designates the governor as chair of the Council, and changes the make-up of the council compared to the House version of HB1. Requires the Council to examine an extended school day or year, universal versus targeted class size reduction, alternatives to class size reduction, effective services for disadvantaged students, universal versus targeted all-day kindergarten, other early learning services, local flexibility to tailor services differently than the model’s specifications, the effects of alternative local share requirements on the equity of the funding system, local funding capacity above the adequacy level. Also, requires that the Council recommend supplemental funding for disadvantaged students and an appropriate level of enhancement funding for low property wealth schools.
NEW*Requires the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction to review and make recommendations, a timeline, and estimated cost to the General Assembly regarding the following:
adoption of new statewide academic standards and model curricula for language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies; the development of new achievement tests; development new high school assessments; extending the school year; and the formation of innovation zones.
NEW*Requires traditional public schools to close if they are not demonstrating academic gains. Requires the State Board of Education to revoke the charter of a school operated by a school district that meets the following criteria:
-Offers grades K-3 and has been in academic emergency for three of the four most recent school years; -Offers grades 4-8 but no grade higher than nine, and has been in academic emergency for two of the three most recent school years, and has shown less than one year of academic growth in reading or mathematics for at least two of the three most recent school years; -Offers any of grades 10 to 12 and has been in academic emergency for three of the four most recent school years.
Requires that if the revocation of a school’s charter causes a school district to no longer maintain all grades K to 12, the district must enter into a contract with another school district. Specifies that if the district fails to do so, the State Board must take action to dissolve the district.
Exempts from the charter revocation provision district-operated schools in which a majority of the students are enrolled in a dropout program operated by the school, if the program has obtained a waiver from ODE.
NEW*Revises the requirement to lower the excellent or effective rating of a school district or building that fails to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) for three or more consecutive years, by specifying that the failure must involve two or more of the same student subgroups each year and that an excellent rating may be lowered only one level, to effective (instead of two levels, to continuous improvement, as in current law).
Reduces the lowest performance rating a school district or building that makes AYP may receive to academic watch (rather than continuous improvement, as in current law).
CHANGE*Replaces the House provision with a provision that requires the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction, by July 1, 2010, to study and make recommendations regarding establishing new performance indicators.
REMOVES*Establishes the Office of School Resource Management.
REMOVES*Creates the Office of Urban and Rural Student Success at the ODE.
REMOVES*Creates the Center for Creativity and Innovation at the ODE.
SAME*Exempts from automatic closure community schools in which a majority of the enrolled students are children with disabilities receiving special education and related services.
CHANGE*Specifies that if a community school closes, the chief administrative officer must transmit all educational records to the student’s resident district within seven business days.
NEW*Requires the Department of Education to waive the number of hours a community school is closed for a public calamity as long as the school provides the required minimum number of learning opportunities to students in the school year.
CHANGE*Adds to the qualifications for a continuing contract (tenure) for regular classroom teachers who becomes licensed for the first time on or after January 1, 2011, a requirement that the teacher has held an educator license for at least nine years. (Included in the Executive version of HB1.)
SAME*Stipulates that tenure requirements override any conflicting collective bargaining agreement entered into on or after the provision’s effective date.
SAME*Clarifies that classroom teachers first licensed prior to January 1, 2011, are eligible for tenure if they have completed current continuing education requirements since the initial receipt of an educator license, unless that license was a substitute teaching license.
CHANGE*Eliminates “gross inefficiency or immorality” and “willful and persistent violations of reasonable regulations of the board of education” as statutory grounds for termination of a school district teacher employment contract.
CHANGE*Changes the “good and just cause” added to the Executive budget as statutory grounds for termination of a school district teacher employment contract, and adds “violation of written rules and regulations [of] the board of education” or “incompetency, inefficiency, dishonesty, drunkenness, immoral conduct, insubordination, discourteous treatment of the public, neglect of duty, or any other acts of misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance” as statutory grounds for termination.
CHANGE*Retains in current law the phrase “for financial reasons” from the list of statutory reasons a school district or educational service center may make reductions in force in its teaching and non-teaching staff.
CHANGE*Retains the current law specifying that statutory standards for reductions in force of teaching and non-teaching employees prevail over conflicting provisions of collective bargaining agreements entered into after September 29, 2005.
CHANGE*Requires the State Board of Education to establish qualifications a residential, professional, senior, or lead educator license, and permits the resident educator license to be renewed.
CHANGE*Renames the alternative educator license as the “alternative resident educator license” and makes it a four-year renewable license for teaching in grades 4-12, instead of a two-year license limited to grades 7-12. Requires applicants for the license to complete an intensive pedagogical training institute to be developed by the Superintendent and the Chancellor of the Board of Regents. Requires a holder of the license to participate in the Ohio Teacher Residency Program.
CHANGE*Requires that new teacher and principal standards developed by the Educator Standards Board include a value added component to determine teacher performance based on student success.
CHANGE*Requires criminal records checks of persons applying for issuance of an educator license or for employment with a public or chartered nonpublic school or educational service center (ESC) to include only an FBI check if the person has previously had a Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) check for licensure or employment purposes, and the person provides proof of continuous Ohio residency for the previous five-year period.
REMOVES*Requires ODE, in consultation with the Educator Standards Board and by December 31, 2010, to develop a model peer assistance and review program and to make recommendations to expand the use of peer assistance and review programs in school districts.
STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS
REMOVES*Requires the State Board of Education to revise Operating Standards.
REMOVES*Requires school districts, community schools, and STEM schools to add “life and career-ready skills” to the schools’ curriculum, to be offered in the seventh or eighth grade.
CHANGE*Replaces the Executive provision with a provision that requires the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction, by July 1, 2010, to study and make recommendations regarding changes to the state assessments; reducing the levels of achievement on the assessments; administering each assessment; and developing a new high school assessment system to replace the Ohio Graduation and diagnostic assessment.
NEW*Requires the State Board of Education to adopt standards for business education by July 1, 2010.
NEW*Removes the community service project as a graduation requirement.
CHANGE*Removes a provision that repeals the current law prohibiting the adoption or revision of health standards and curriculum without approval by concurrent resolution of the General Assembly.
CHANGE*Provides up to $3.5 million in each fiscal year to support existing early college high schools, to be distributed according to guidelines established by ODE and BOR, and specifies that the program serves those not traditionally college-bound.
SAME*Authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents jointly to adopt rules allowing school districts, community schools, STEM schools, and nonpublic schools to enter into alternative funding agreements to pay colleges and universities for high school students taking college courses through PSEO programs, including Seniors to Sophomores.
CHANGE*Replaces the House provision with provisions specifying that GRF appropriation item 200457, STEM Initiatives, be used to enhance STEM teacher preparation, professional development, and STEM curricular approaches with funds distributed on a competitive basis by a panel established and managed by the STEM Learning Network, and overseen by an Ohio-based nonprofit enterprise. Directs the Ohio STEM Learning Network to work in collaboration with the Chancellor of the Board of Regents, the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Director of Development. Makes the following earmarks of GRF appropriation item 200457, STEM Initiatives: Up to $3 million in each fiscal year for grants to STEM schools; Up to $3 million in each fiscal year to support STEM Programs of Excellence.
CHANGE*Eliminates provisions to support gifted education included in the House version of HB1, and reverts to the current system with changes. Reduces from $48 million to $42.5 million state General Revenue support for gifted education and the identification of gifted students.
CHANGE*Removes a provision for the development of a performance indicator for gifted education on the local report card, and a provision requiring districts to spend gifted funds in transitional aid on services to gifted children.
CHANGE*Makes the following earmarks to GRF appropriation item 200521, Gifted Pupil Program: Up to $1,026,017 in each fiscal year for the Summer Honors Institute, including funding for the Martin Essex Program, to be awarded through a request for proposal process; Up to $8,100,000 in each fiscal year to fund gifted education units at educational service centers (ESCs). Specifies that the remainder of the appropriation be used to fund gifted education units included in the state funding base.
NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS/VOUCHER/SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
NEW*Requires school districts to spend portions of their federal stimulus funds on services to students in nonpublic schools as prescribed by federal law.
NEW* Specifies that chartered nonpublic schools must be allowed to satisfy the minimum school year requirement based on the number of hours of learning opportunities they offer.
SAME*Increases from $300 to $325 the maximum amount per pupil for reimbursement of chartered nonpublic school administrative costs.
NEW*Creates the Special Education Scholarship Pilot Program to provide scholarships for disabled children in grades K through 12 to attend alternative public or private special education programs in fiscal years 2012 through 2017. Requires ODE to develop a document that compares rights under state and federal special education law and rights under the pilot program, and requires school districts to distribute that document to the parents of all special education students. Requires ODE to conduct a formative evaluation of the pilot program by December 31, 2013.
CHANGE*Eliminates a provision in the House version of HB1 that disqualifies from eligibility for the scholarship pilot program any student enrolled in a nonpublic school for any portion of the school year in which an application for a scholarship is submitted.
NEW*Qualifies for the Educational Choice Scholarship students who are enrolled in, are eligible to enroll in kindergarten in the school year for which the scholarship is sought and would otherwise be assigned to, or are enrolled in a community school, but would otherwise be assigned to, a new school building that is operated by the student’s resident district, if all of the following apply:
-The new building is open for instruction for its second or third school year. For the first year the building is open for instruction, at least 75 percent of the enrolled students had transferred directly from two or more school buildings that closed; and the closed buildings were operated by the same district that operates the new building, offered at least some of the grade levels offered by the new building, and were declared, on at least two of their last three report cards, to be in a state of academic emergency or watch, and not declared excellent on their last report card. If the new building is in its second year of instruction, the building was declared to be in a state of academic emergency or watch in its first year of instruction. If the new building is in its third year of instruction, the building was declared in either its first or second year to be in a state of academic emergency or watch, but not excellent or effective in its second year of instruction.
CHANGE*Removes the provision that requires testing of scholarship students enrolled in nonpublic schools under the Cleveland Scholarship Program; requires the ODE to post disaggregated assessment data for voucher students on its web site and provide parents of students eligible for vouchers with that information; and that requires the ODE to provide the parent of each voucher student with information comparing the student’s performance on the assessments with the performance of similar students enrolled in the school district building the student would otherwise attend.
EDUCATIONAL SERVICE CENTERS (ESC)
SAME*Earmarks up to $47 million in each fiscal year to fund the state reimbursement of educational service centers.
CHANGE*Requires that if the amount appropriated is not enough to cover the total amount calculated under law, ODE use the same methodology it used in FY 2009 to allocate funding.
CHANGE*Removes the provision that requires a performance review of each ESC every five years and requires ODE to review the final report of each ESC performance review and, if necessary, to provide technical assistance to the service center.
CHANGE*Restores $8.1 million in gifted unit funding to ESCs.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
CHANGE*Funds the Help Me Grow program at $36.5 million/year, using 50 percent TANF funds and 50 percent GRF.
*Preserves the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program up to 300 percent of poverty, and maintains the current eligibility levels for the Children’s Buy-In Program.
*Preserves $100 million over the biennium for child, family and adult protective services, which was added in the House version of HB1.
SAME*Funds GRF appropriations for Early Childhood Education in the budget of the Ohio Department of Education at $23.3 million in each fiscal year.
Continues the GRF-funded early childhood education program at school districts, joint vocational school districts, or educational service centers for children at least three years old as of the district entry date for kindergarten (except that children with an IEP where the early childhood education program is the least restrictive environment may be enrolled on their third birthday), not eligible for kindergarten, and whose families earn not more than 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
SAME*Creates the Center for Early Childhood Development, comprised of staff from ODE, and the departments of Job and Family Services and Health, to research and make recommendations regarding the transfer from various state agencies to ODE of the authority and responsibility to implement and coordinate early childhood programs and services for children, beginning with prenatal care until entry into kindergarten.
SAME*Creates the Early Childhood Advisory Council to serve as the federally mandated state advisory council on early childhood education and care, and advise the state regarding the creation and duties of the Center for Early Childhood Development in ODE.
NEW* Requires the Center to promote family-centered programs and services that acknowledge and support the social, emotional, cognitive, intellectual, and physical development of children and the vital role of families in ensuring the well-being and success of children.
SAME*Directs the Early Childhood Advisory Council to establish an Early Childhood Financing Workgroup, to be chaired by the chairperson of the Early Childhood Advisory Council, to develop recommendations for a single financing system for early care and education programs. Requires the Council to submit its recommendations to the Governor by December 31, 2009.
REMOVES*Requires the Early Childhood Advisory Council to establish a Family Child Care Licensing Workgroup.
SAME*Reauthorizes the Early Learning Initiative (ELI), jointly administered by ODE and the Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to provide early learning services on a full-day and part-day basis to TANF-eligible children. Requires early learning programs licensed by ODE under the Preschool Law to participate in the quality-rating program established under the Child Care Law.
REMOVES*Defines “full-time” for publicly funded child care providers as being at least 32.5 hours and not more than 60 hours per week for licensed child care centers and licensed TypeA homes, and at least 32.5 hours and not more than 50 hours per week for certified Type B providers. HB1 as introduced defined full time week as 35 hours, compared to the current definition of 25 hours.
REMOVES*Permits the Director of ODJFS to adopt rules that establish a different system for the payment of publicly funded child care.
SAME*Provides that a school-based health center may furnish health assistance services covered under the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Part I, II, or III if it meets the requirements applicable to other providers of those services.
REMOVES*Makes the following earmarks of GRF line item 600535, Early
Care and Education:
-$1 million in each fiscal year for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio for child mentoring programs.
-$1.5 million in each fiscal year for the Children’s Hunger Alliance.
-$10 million in each fiscal year for the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association to distribute funds to organizations that provide summer and after-school programs to TANF-eligible youth.
SAME*Maintains tuition freeze in FY10 for in-state, under graduate tuition at four year public institutions and limits university tuition increases to 3.5 percent in FY11.
CHANGE*Removes the provision that would have allowed the Chancellor to adjust instructional and general fees for associate degrees at public higher education institutions.
CHANGE*Adds $19 million in instructional subsidies over the House-passed version.
NEW*Includes “Grants for Grads” program to provide down-payment assistance to help Ohio grads purchase a home in the state.
CHANGE*Removes a provision to move the Ohio Tuition Trust Authority (OTTA) under the authority of the chancellor, at least temporarily.
CHANGE*Directs the Board of Regents (not the Chancellor) to develop plans for the distribution of line item 235-519 Family Practice; line item 235-525 Geriatric Medicine; and 235-526, Primary Care Residencies.
CHANGE*Removes Entrepreneurship Education Program.
CHANGE*Removes the Co-Op Internship Program.
CHANGE*Increases the number of National Guard Scholarship Program slots from 1000 to 1200, and aligns the program with the GI Promise.
CHANGE*Allows private college students to participate in the Ohio College Opportunity Grants programs, and adds $70 million per year to the program to service independent colleges and proprietary schools.
NEW*Requires the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction, by July 1, 2010, to study and make recommendations regarding designating school districts as innovation zones. Requires the recommendations to address the necessity of implementing the proposal, a timeline that would be required for implementation, estimated implementation costs, and necessary legislative changes.
NEW*Requires the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction, by July 1, 2010, to study and make recommendations regarding extending the length of the minimum school year. Requires the recommendations to address the necessity of implementing the proposal, a timeline that would be required for implementation, estimated implementation costs, and necessary legislative changes.
NEW*Requires the State Board of Education and Superintendent of Public Instruction, by July 1, 2010, to study and make recommendations regarding allocating school hours more effectively.
CHANGE*Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to develop a ten year strategic plan, but removes the provision that requires the Superintendent to consult with the Chancellor of the Board of Regents.
CHANGE*Retains current law regarding corporal punishment.
CHANGE*Requires school districts to review policies and procedures to ensure student safety and comply with applicable federal standards.
NEW*Requires the State Board of Education to broadcast board meetings on the internet by June 1, 2010.
NEW*Permits the ODE to administer funding for programs to provide technical support, maintenance, consulting, and group purchasing for information tech centers, schools, ESCs, and other entities, and deliver to schools programs operated by the InfoOhio Network.
NEW*Ratifies the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children. Establishes the Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children within the Department of Veterans Services. Directs the Governor to appoint a Compact Commissioner who is responsible for administering the state’s participation in the compact. Directs the State Council established by the bill to appoint a Military Education Family Education Liaison to assist families in implementing the compact.
NEW*Raises the threshold for school districts and educational service centers (ESCs) to use competitive bidding when awarding contracts for public improvements and school bus purchases from $25,000 to $50,000. Requires school districts and ESCs to competitively bid contracts for the purchase of maintenance services for buildings or grounds or for school buses or other transportation equipment if the cost will exceed $50,000.
NEW*Requires school districts and schools to establish policies regarding food allergies including peanuts.
NEW*Requires the State Board of Education to develop a list of best practices for improving parental involvement in schools.
4) Provisions Regarding Charter Schools: Several provisions included in Governor Strickland’s Executive Budget and the House version of Sub. HB1 (Sykes) regarding charter schools have been removed or changed in the Senate Committee version of the budget bill. Some of these provisions have been recommended by the State Board of Education and groups like the Coalition for Public Education for several years. The following list includes some of the provisions in HB1 as passed by the Ohio House regarding charter schools that were removed from the Senate committee version:
ADDED BACK-Requires a school district to first offer property suitable for classroom space for sale to start-up community schools in the district before otherwise disposing of it, and requires a school district to offer property suitable for classroom space for sale to start-up community schools in the district when the district has not used the property for educational purposes for one year, and has not adopted a plan to use that property within the next three years.
ADDED BACK-Requires that a community school must be in operation for two full school years before the ODE may issue a report card for that community school.
REMOVED-Clarifies that ODE’s authority to oversee and monitor community school sponsors applies to all sponsors, regardless of whether they must initially be approved by ODE for sponsorship.
REMOVED-Requires ODE annually to prepare a funding and expenditure accountability report for each community school and STEM school as it currently does for all school districts.
REMOVED-Permits ODE to place a sponsor in probationary status or to suspend or restrict the sponsor’s authority to sponsor community schools for failure to intervene to correct problems at a school.
REMOVED-Prescribes graduated sanctions that ODE must take if the sponsor fails to take certain oversight actions or if one or more of the sponsor’s community schools fails to meet certain criteria.
REMOVED-Requires a sponsor to provide annual assurances to ODE that each community school it sponsors is in compliance with criminal records check and supervision requirements for private contractor employees working in the school.
REMOVED-Requires ODE’s annual report on community schools to include the performance of community school sponsors.
REMOVED-Prohibits a sponsor from initially entering into a sponsorship contract with a community school if more than 33 percent of the sponsor’s existing schools in Ohio are in academic watch or academic emergency.
REMOVED-Revises the exception to the cap on new start-up community schools by prohibiting contracts with operators that manage other schools in Ohio, unless at least one of those schools has a report card rating higher than academic watch.
REMOVED-Requires that contracts between a community school and an operator be selected through a competitive bidding process established by ODE.
ADDED BACK-Permits a community school operator whose contract will be terminated or not renewed by the school’s governing authority to appeal the decision to the school’s sponsor, or in some cases, to the State Board of Education. Requires the OPERATOR TO REPLACE the school’s governing authority if the operator prevails in the appeal.
REMOVED-Removes the opening date exception for community schools that serve dropouts, and requires those schools to open not later than September 30 of each school year as required of other community schools.
REMOVED-Requires the governing authority of each community school to submit to the school’s sponsor a copy of any corrective action plan for the school required by ODE.
REMOVED-Specifies that community schools are educational institutions to which student records may be released for a legitimate educational purpose without the consent of the student or the student’s parent.
REMOVED-Requires that teachers hired on or after the provision’s effective date to teach core academic subjects in community schools that receive federal Title I funds MEET the definition of highly qualified teacher as defined in section 3319.074 of the Revised Code.
REMOVED-Revises the current performance criteria that trigger automatic closure of a community school effective July 1, 2009.
REMOVED-Requires the ODE to include community schools in a pilot program to evaluate school operations and conduct site visits of schools.
5) This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2009
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Williams, will meet at 2:00 PM in hearing room 017. The Committee will hear testimony on HB161 (Koziura) Undergraduate Studies; HB178 (Wagner) District Boards of Education; and HB165 (Ujvagi) Education for Military Children.
The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey, will meet at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to consider amendments to HB1 (Sykes V), which makes appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2009, and ending June 30, 2011 for the operation of state programs.
WEDNESDAY, June 3, 2009
The Senate Finance and Financial Institutions Committee, chaired by Senator Carey, will meet at 9:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to consider amendments to HB1 (Sykes V), which makes appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2009, and ending June 30, 2011 for the operation of state programs. IF NEEDED.
The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Letson, will meet at 3:00 PM in hearing room 114. The Committee will hear a presentation from the Ohio Department of Taxation on the tax reform changes included in 126-HB66.
TTR Reviews RAND Report on Charter Schools: The Think Tank Review (TTR) released on May 27, 2009 a review of the Rand report called “Charter Schools in Eight States: Effects on Achievement, Attainment, Integration and Competition” written by a team led by Ron Zimmer.
The TTR was conducted by Derek Briggs of the University of Colorado. It concluded that the RAND report makes important contributions to research on charter school effectiveness, but also found some weaknesses in the data and analysis regarding the findings for integration and competition.
According to a summary of the review, the RAND study found the following:
*Insignificant effects on reading and math achievement in five jurisdictions and small negative effects in two others.
*Positive effects for graduation rates and matriculation in college, but only for two jurisdictions for which there were data.
*No evidence that charter schools skim higher-achieving students from traditional public schools, and no evidence that charters lead to increased racial or ethnic stratification.*No evidence of a “competition effect” leading to an improvement or decline in the scores of local traditional public school students when charters enter a particular educational marketplace.
The TTR notes, however, the weaknesses in the data and analysis to support the finding of no evidence for charter schools skimming high achieving students away from public schools or leading to increased racial/ethnic stratification. According to the reviewer, the use of aggregated data could mask the stratification or segregation happening in an individual school.
The review also noted that some data regarding student achievement in charter schools was based on students who switched to charter schools in middle or high school after attending traditional public schools. Use of this data may limit the study’s external validity.
For more information about the review please visit http://epicpolicy.org/thinktank/review-Charter-Schools-Eight-States
The Think Tank Review Project is a collaborative project of the Arizona State University Education Policy Research Unit (EPRU) and Colorado University-Boulder’s Education and the Public Interest Center (EPIC), and 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. For more information please visit http://thinktankreview.org.
EBM vs. Funding the Child: School Funding Matters and The KnowledgeWorks Foundation released on May 27, 2009 a report called “Models for Ohio School Funding: Comparing the Evidence-Based Approach with Weighted Student Funding”. The report notes that weighted student funding (WSF) is not designed to direct resources to support successful educational strategies.
Weighted Student Funding is now being promoted by some Ohio lawmakers and supporters of charter schools and vouchers as a method to fund public schools in Ohio. The approach is the focus of a report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute called “Fund the Child: Bringing Equity, Autonomy, and Portability to Ohio School Finance” released on March 13, 2008. The model is usually used to distribute funding within a district to increase equity and autonomy among schools, but is also being promoted as a way to decentralize governance of public schools at the state level. According to some, the WSF model could be used to provide individual students with state funds to attend any school, including charter or private schools.
Unlike the Evidence Based Model (EBM), proposed by Governor Strickland as the approach used to reform Ohio’s education and school funding system in Sub. HB1, the weighted student approach, provides a mechanism to distribute funds, but does not determine the funding levels that will lead to higher student achievement or an adequate level of funding for schools. There is also no research to back the approach as a way to increase student achievement.
According to the KnowledgeWorks review, “The comparison finds no clear evidence exists to determine if weighted student funding can achieve its goals of increasing equity and improving results by giving schools more control over finances. No location has yet enacted the model without substantial modifications and some that adopted or considered the approach have since abandoned it, including Seattle and Charlotte schools.”
For more information please visit the School Funding Matters website at
*Senate Committee Budget Cuts OAC Funding: The Senate Finance Committee released its version of the 2010-2011 budget, Sub. HB 1 (Sykes) on May 29, 2009. The proposed budget reduces General Revenue funding for the Ohio Arts Council by $6 million over FY09 levels for FY10-11. This reduction will severely limit the ability of the Ohio Arts Council to carry out its mandate and mission to provide financial assistance to artists, arts organizations, schools and other entities engaged in cultural programming to strengthen Ohio culturally, educationally, and economically. Here are the numbers:
Proposed For the Biennium FY 2010-2011:
Executive Budget Recommendation (Governor):
Subsidies/$14,695,736 Admin/$4,145,090 TOTAL: $18,840,826
House Budget Recommendation:
Subsidies/$17,945,737 Admin/$4,145,090 TOTAL: $22,090,827
Senate Finance Committee Recommendation:
Subsidies/$10,000,000 Admin/$4,145,090 TOTAL: $14,145,090
For more information about the budget cuts for the arts, and advocacy efforts in support of the arts, please visit Ohio Citizens for the Arts at http://www.ohiocitizensforthearts.org/.
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 (<http://www.omea-ohio.org/>www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association (<http://www.oaea.org/>www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (<http://www.ohioedta.org/>www.Ohioedta.org); OhioDance (<http://www.ohiodance.org/>www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (<http://www.oaae.net/>www.OAAE.net).