128th General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week. (See #2 below for details.)
*The Ohio House failed to concur on June 10, 2009 with the Senate amendments to Am. Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 state budget bill, by a vote of 97 to one. A conference committee on HB 1 was appointed and met on June 11, 2009. The members of the conference committee from the House include Representative Sykes, chair, Representative Amstutz, Ranking Member, and Representative Goyal; the conference committee members from the Senate include Senator Carey, Senator Miller, Ranking Member, and Senator Wagner. The Office of Budget and Management and Legislative Services Commission testified before the HB 1 Conference Committee on June 11, 2009. (See # 3 below). A schedule of conference committee meetings has not been released.
*The House approved on June 10, 2009 SB 79 (Stewart), which removes the term “mental retardation” from state and local departments. This bill is similar to HB 118 (Newcomb).
*The House also approved on June 10, 2009 HB 165 (Ujvagi), which ratifies the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, and establishes the State Council on Education Opportunity for Military Children. This provision is also included in HB 1.
This Week at the Statehouse:
*The Thomas B. Fordham Institute will hold a news conference to release a new study called “Losing Ohio’s Future: Why college graduates flee the Buckeye State and what might be done about it” at 10:00 AM Monday, June 15, 2009 in the Ladies Gallery of the Statehouse, Columbus.
*The House Alternative Energy Committee, chaired by Representative Celeste (614-644-6005), will meet on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 3:00 PM in hearing room 114. The committee will consider amendments and vote on HB 113 (Foley), School Energy Measures.
*The Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee, chaired by Senator Gibbs (614-466-7505), will meet on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 10:15 AM in the North Hearing Room. The committee will hear testimony on SB 109 (Gibbs), Real Property Tax. This bill will exempt 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 House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Letson (614-466-5358), will meet on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 3:00 PM in hearing room 114. The committee will hear testimony on HB 218 (Winburn), which modifies the tax valuation of public utility tangible personal property used to generate electricity from renewable resources. (Pending referral)
Conference Committee Hears Budget Update: The Conference Committee on HB 1, chaired by Representative Sykes, met on June 11, 2009 to organize and hear an update on state revenue and spending projections from the Office of Budget and Management/Ohio Department of Taxation, and the Legislative Service Commission.
Before the committee began its work Chairman Sykes recognized a group of African-American pastors who were in the audience. Reverend E.T. Caviness, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Cleveland Chapter, and Bishop F.E. Perry of the Church of God in Christ, addressed the committee on behalf of the pastors, who had come to the Statehouse to urge lawmakers to restore funding in HB 1 for several programs that affect minorities. One of the programs that has been cut in the Senate version of HB 1 is the Closing the Achievement Gap Program, which is part of Governor Strickland’s Initiative for Increasing the Graduation Rate led by former Ohio Senator C.J. Prentiss.
The committee then began its work on reconciling the House and Senate versions by selecting the Senate version of HB 1 as its starting point. Senator Dale Miller raised questions, however, about that choice, and asked whether or not it would become the conference committee’s budget by default if the conference committee was unable to come to consensus on all provisions. In response, Chairman Sykes and Senator Carey stated that two members of the conference committee from each chamber needed to vote in the affirmative to approve the provisions and the final report of the conference committee.
J. Pari Sabety, director of the Office of Budget and Management, then presented an update on the state of Ohio’s economy. According to her report, the $53.6 billion budget passed by the Senate may be as much as $3.2 billion out of balance compared to the introduced version of HB 1, due in part to the “….spectacular deterioration in the economy and the corresponding decline in the state’s revenues.” Lawmakers also need to fill a projected $912 billion funding gap in the FY09 budget, which ends on June 30, 2009. This gap was announced in May, and is now expected to be filled by budget reductions and use of the budget stabilization fund.
Director Sabety then went on to explain that the Office and Budget and Management worked with the Ohio Department of Taxation to develop three scenarios (A, B, & C) to use to update the FY10 and FY11 revenue and spending forecasts for the conference committee. After explaining the differences among the scenarios, Director Sabety explained that Scenario A was selected because it forecasts a deeper decline in the economy and slower recovery, especially suited for Ohio’s economy, which generally lags other states during recovery, but includes an economic rebound in FY11. Scenario A is more optimistic than the two other scenarios, but is a “valid budget planning framework” during these uncertain budget times.
Chairman Sykes, Representative Amstutz, and Senator Carey stated that they hoped Governor Strickland would present some leadership to address the budget shortfall. Director Sabety thanked lawmakers for “opening to the executive” this process, which, she also noted is a legislative process.
State Board of Education Meeting: The State Board of Education, Jennifer Sheets president, met on June 8, 2009 at the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus. During the meeting on May 11, 2009 Jennifer Sheets announced that she would be resigning from the Board effective June 30, 2009. At the June meeting the Board elected Deborah Cain as president and Ann Womer Benjamin as vice president. Carl Wick is also resigning from the Board effective July 31, 2009. Both Mrs. Sheets and Mr. Wick are appointed members of the State Board, and replacements will be made by Governor Strickland.
The Board announced that the November 9, 2009 meeting of the State Board of Education will be held at the Ohio School Boards Association’s conference, and that there will be a hearing on Rules 3301-20-01,-03 & 3301-83-23 – Employee/Applicant Rehabilitation Standards on June 18, 2009 at 11:00 AM at the Ohio School for the Deaf.
BOARD PRESENTATION ON RACIAL DIVERSITY AND SCHOOLS
The Board then heard a presentation called “Maintaining Diversity and Equal Opportunity in Ohio’s Schools” presented by Professor john a. powell, Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute and Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Michael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University.
Professor powell was invited to speak to the Board to provide information and guidance about the PICS decision and how it affects the Board’s Equal Educational Opportunity Policy, which was adopted in 1978 after several Ohio school districts were found to be segregated and ordered to implement desegregation plans. The policy directed the ODE to identify, monitor, and correct discriminatory practices that affect racial balance in Ohio’s school districts. The Ohio Department of Education collected data on race and ethnicity to comply with this policy.
The PICS decision was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2007 and found that the voluntary integration plans of the Seattle and Louisville school districts to be unconstitutional. The decision is called Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 (PICS) and McFarland v. Jefferson County Board of Education.
The U.S. Office of Civil Rights issued guidance on the PICS decision in August 2008, which confused the issue in some ways, especially in relationship to the State Board’s policy to monitor school districts for racial diversity.
At the Board’s December 2008 meeting, members approved a resolution to immediately review the Board’s Equal Educational Opportunity Policy and to suspend pending that review the portion of the policy on monitoring school racial balance.
During his presentation to the Board, Professor powell summarized desegregation law starting with Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 and ending with PICS. The PICS decision was a very complicated one producing five different opinions. A majority of justices agreed that the voluntary integration plans in Seattle and Louisville were unconstitutional, but, a majority of the justices also recognized a compelling government interest to remedy racial isolation.
Justice Kennedy wrote for the majority, “Compelling interest exists in avoiding racial isolation, an interest that a school district, in its discretion and expertise, may choose to pursue. Likewise, a district may consider it a compelling interest to achieve a diverse student population.” He was joined in this opinion by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, and John Paul Stevens, providing a majority for this point.
Even though PICS limits how school districts may pursue voluntary integration, the decision protects the right of boards of education to develop integration plans for their local schools.
Professor powell therefore advised the State Board that using race alone for increasing the racial diversity of schools is unconstitutional, but addressing racial isolation through other strategies is not. These strategies include open enrollment and attendance policies; redrawing school boundaries; recruiting students to specific schools; creating regional schools; developing proxies for race such as economic segregation or academic achievement; selecting specific school sites, etc.
In addition, Professor powell told the Board that monitoring and tracking students to identify racial isolation would not be unconstitutional.
Professor powell also provided examples of school districts nationally that have developed other models to address racial isolation, including the Minneapolis plan; Raleigh, North Carolina; the Berkeley plan; Louisville; Nebraska, etc.
ACHIEVEMENT AND CAPACITY COMMITTEES
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Ann Womer Benjamin, discussed refiling Rule 3301-51-20, Standards for Admission, Transfer, Suspension and Expulsion – the Ohio State School for the Blind and the Ohio School for the Deaf, and Rule 3301-32-01 to -13, School Age Child Care. The School Age Child Care rules establish guidelines for public schools, county boards of developmental disabilities, and eligible chartered nonpublic schools to follow when operating a child care program, sometimes referred to as latchkey programs. The revisions reflect changes in the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services rules; changes in law; and consolidate the rule sections to make them more clear.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Rob Hovis, discussed Rule 3301-24-05, Licensure – Teacher Leader and Urban Principal Endorsement. The rule is scheduled for a public hearing at the September Board meeting and final adoption in October 2009.
BOARD BUSINESS MEETING
The Board convened its business meeting in the afternoon. The Board elected Deborah Cain as president and Ann Womer Benjamin as vice president. The Board then convened into executive session.
After returning from the executive session, the Board heard the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which included information about the following:
*Ohio participation in efforts led by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to create common academic standards in math and English language arts:
Forty-six states have agreed to participate, but are not required to adopt the standards, which will be drafted for release in September.
*Application for State Fiscal Stabilization Funds under ARRA and assurances for a longitudinal data system: Governor Strickland submitted the state’s application to the U.S. Department of Education on June 1, 2009, and school districts will submit their applications by June 12, 2009.
*Update on the Consortium on Racial Equity in south-west Ohio: The consortium of six school districts and the ODE are working with Glenn Singleton to develop racial equity teams to close the achievement gap and support cultural competency.
*Center for Early Childhood Development: The ODE, ODJFS, OD Health, and the MRDD are creating a transition team to establish the Center for Early Childhood Development, and SBE member Tracey Smith has been appointed to the team.
Carl Wick provided an update on federal legislative activity. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has testified before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee on the FY10 budget for the U.S.
Department of Education, and the ODE has updated information about the federal dollars available for education from the American Reinvestment and Reconstruction Act (ARRA) on its website.
Dr. Bender provided information about HB113 (Foley), energy savings, and HB 165 (Ujvagi) Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.
Kelly Weir, director of the Office of Budget and Planning, presented an overview of the changes between the House and Senate versions of Am. Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 state budget. Director Weir noted that one of the biggest differences is the removal of the evidence-based model and the return to funding charter school students as a deduct from school district funds rather than funding all students based on where they attend school.
Board members asked questions about funding for Post Secondary Enrollment Options, which is still included in the bill, and funding for Reading Recovery, which was removed from the bill.
The Board then took action on 16 personnel items and the resolutions included below. Resolution #27 was added to the agenda, and commends Jennifer L. Sheets for her service to the State Board of Education.
The Board then discussed old business, new business, Board member reports, committee reports, accepted public participation on non-agenda items, and adjourned.
The 21st Century Learning Subcommittee, chaired by Debbie Cain and Steve Millett, and the Advocacy and Outreach Subcommittee, chaired by John Bender and Carl Wick met following the Board meeting.
*#7 – Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-24-05, Licensure.
*#8 – Approved an Amended Resolution to refile Rule 3301-51-20, Standard for Admission, Transfer, Suspension, and Expulsion – the Ohio State School for the Blind and the Ohio State School for the Deaf. This resolution was amended by the Achievement Committee before coming to the full Board for a vote.
*#19 – Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-13-01 and 3301-13-02, Assessments.
*#20 – Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-37-01 to 3301-37-12, Preschool Program Standards.
*#21 – Approved a Resolution to Rescind Rule 3301-56-01, School Building and district Improvement Planning, Parent Notification, and Consequences Procedures, and to adopt Proposed New rule 3301-56-01, School districts and building Improvement Planning, Parent Notification, and Intervention.
*#22 – Approved a Resolution regarding public participation at the July 2009 State Board business meeting.
*#23 – Approved a Resolution to Adopt Academic Content Standards for Physical Education.
*#24 – Approved a Resolution to accept the recommendation of the hearing officer and to deny the request of the Not So Lonesome School to be registered for the 2007-2008 school year as a non-chartered, non-tax supported school under OAC Rule 3301-35-08.
*#25 – Approved a Resolution to accept the recommendation of the hearing officer and to deny the request of the Graff Academy to be registered for the 2007-2008 school year as a non-chartered, non-tax supported school under OAC Rule 3301-35-08.
*#26 – Approved a Resolution to accept the recommendation of the hearing officer and to deny the request of the Lamb Valley Christian Academy to be registered for the 2007-2008 school year as a non-chartered, non-tax supported school under OAC Rule 3301-35-08.
#27 – Approved a Resolution commending Jennifer L. Sheets for her service to the State Board of Education.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be a public hearing on Thursday, June 18, 2009, 11:00 AM at the Ohio School for the Deaf Conference Center, on the following rules: 3301-20-01,-03 & 3301-83-23 – Employee/Applicant Rehabilitation Standards.
Policy Matters Ohio Releases Reports: Policy Matters Ohio (PMO), Amy Hanauer Executive Director, recently released the following reports:
Ohio’s Initiative on Increasing the Graduation Rate: A Cost-Benefit Analysis by Tim Krueger (June 3, 2009): This study analyzes the success and cost benefits of a program called Ohio’s Initiative on Increasing the Graduation Rate, operating in 33 urban schools beginning in the 2007-2008 school year, and costing $10 million each year. The program provides individual support for ninth grade boys who meet certain criteria and are at risk of dropping out of school. The cost analysis is based on determining the number of these students who will graduate instead of dropping out in the future; the cost of the program; and the savings gained as a result of increased graduation rates. The report notes that some adjustments were made in the analysis to account for missing data from some of the participating schools.
The analysis shows that in its first year of operation, the program provided programming for about 5,500 boys at target schools. 2,796 of those students were identified as at-risk. At the end of the school year, 1,883 (67.3 percent) of the 2,796 at-risk boys were promoted to tenth grade. The study estimates an overall savings of more than $28.45 million, and estimates that “….the state will recoup more than $3.3 for each dollar spent on this program…”
According to the study, “Although Ohio’s Initiative on Increasing the Graduation Rate is in its early stages, it seems clear that this approach to expanding graduation has much potential.”
PMO recommends continued funding for the initiative, which has been eliminated in the Senate’s version of Am. Sub. HB 1 (Sykes), the FY10-11 state budget.
Spending by Another Name: The 2009 Ohio Tax Expenditure Report by Zach Schiller (6/09): This report recommends that the Ohio General Assembly examine the state tax expenditure report prepared by the Ohio Department of Taxation, to identify additional revenue needed to balance the FY10-11 budget proposal, Am. Sub. HB 1 (Sykes). Tax expenditures for FY10-11 amount to more than $7 billion in foregone revenue to state government.
The report states, “The General Assembly’s conference committee should look to limit or eliminate unnecessary credits and exemptions. It should reexamine new or expanded tax credits and exemptions approved by the House and the Senate in their versions of the budget bill. If the full General Assembly approves any such measures, it should include sunset provisions so they expire in two years unless renewed. The legislature should set a phase-out date for all existing tax expenditures, and create a committee to make recommendations on which should be renewed.”
Both reports are available at http://www.policymattersohio.org/
Graduation Report Released: Education Week released on June 9, 2009 the 4th annual “Diplomas Count 2009: Broader Horizons: The Challenge of College Readiness for All Students” funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The report, produced by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, examines the number of students graduating from high schools in the 2005-2006 school year based on a methodology using the Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI).
The report also provides information on a number of related topics, including developing a common graduation rate among the states; identifying college readiness and common standards; building data systems to track student progress; and preventing high school students from dropping out.
According to the report, high school graduation rates nationally have increased over the last ten years from 66.4 percent in 1996 to 69.2 percent in 2006, and 34 states have improved their rates. However, the 2006 graduation rate was actually lower than 2005. Using the CPI the report projects that approximately 1.3 million students will not graduate in 2009.
Graduation rates for Native Americans, Hispanic, and African American students in 2006 reached 55 percent.
New Jersey posted the highest graduation rate, while Nevada the lowest. The graduation rates of New Jersey, Iowa, and Wisconsin were more than 80 percent, while under half of the students finish high school in the District of Columbia and Nevada.
The report also notes the following:
-College and work readiness: Twenty states define what students should know and be able to do to be prepared for credit-bearing courses in college, while 28 states have a definition of work readiness.
-Advanced diplomas: Twenty-four states award advanced diplomas or some type of formal recognition to students who exceed standard graduation requirements.
-Exit exams: Twenty-four states require exit exams for the class of 2009, with 20 of those states basing exit exams on standards at the 10th grade level or higher.
The report also includes information on the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Ohio ranks seventh nationally in the percentage increase in students graduating from high schools over the past decade. Ohio posted a 74.3 percent graduation rate during the 2005-2006 school year. According to the report, Ohio’s graduation rate increased by seven percent between 1996 and 2006, and several individual school districts including Cincinnati, Warren, Euclid, and Steubenville City Schools, were recognized for higher than average increases in graduation rates.
However, Ohio’s graduation rate among African Americans in 2006 was 47.3 percent, and Ohio also ranked low for the number of academic credits needed to graduate. Ohio requires 20, while some states, such as Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia, require 24 credits.
7) U.S. Secretary of Education on NPR: U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, was a guest on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” hosted by Neal Conan on June 9, 2009. Secretary Duncan talked about what he thinks needs to happen to improve student achievement in our nation’s schools and how education is an important component in turning around the national economy.
Secretary Duncan emphasized the one-time resources provided by Congress to support P-16 education (over $100 billion through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), and how those resources will be used to “stave off an education catastrophe” and also push forward a reform agenda for education. Secretary Duncan identified the following three areas where additional resources for education can be effectively used:
-Early Childhood Education: Access for all children to high quality early childhood education is the best investment that we can make in education.
-K-12: Because of retirements, there will be a need to recruit over one million qualified teachers over the next few years. Great teachers and principals make a difference in student’s lives, and we need to recruit the best and brightest to educate our children. We also need to increase expectations for learning and drive-up graduation rates.
-Higher Education: Over $30 billion is being invested to increase access to higher education. This is the biggest investment since the GI bill.
The key issues that policy makers and educators must resolve is developing a comprehensive longitudinal data system to track student progress preK-16; raising expectations so that students are prepared for higher education; recruiting talented and bright individuals into the teaching profession; and developing strategies to turn-around under performing schools.
One of the listeners in Ohio asked Secretary Duncan to comment on his support for charter schools, which in Ohio, according to the listener, “…have a rather poor record of achievement in northeastern Ohio compared to most of the public schools in terms of standardized testing”.
Secretary Duncan replied that he is very familiar with the situation in Ohio, and although a fan of charter schools, certain things must happen in a state to ensure charter schools are successful, and “….some of these things haven’t happened there in Ohio, Jim, and I think that is part of the challenge.”
He goes on to identify the components that must be in place for successful charter schools, and concludes, “And so when those three things happen: a high bar to entry, real autonomy coupled with real accountability, then you have success, and some of those conditions haven’t been met in Ohio and other places.”
An email from a listener also asked about what was being done to address the loss of art and music classes in schools.
Secretary Duncan responded, “That is a great question, and part of what I worry about. We were going to try to build on what worked with No Child Left Behind, and try to fix what didn’t work. One of the things I am really struggling with, Neal, is I fear that the huge emphasis on testing particularly in math and reading and English, really led to a narrowing of the curriculum. So whether it’s art, or dance, or drama, or music, or sports, these things that aren’t tested I think many districts and many schools walked away from them. And this narrowing of the curriculum more broadly I think really hurts children. Whether it’s before school, whether it’s during the school day, whether it’s after school, I think we have to bring these things back, and give our children these opportunities. And there’s all kinds of data. The reason to do it is for their own benefit in and of themselves, but there is all kinds of data that talk about the link between music and math, and so if you want to really drive up math scores, you know, expose students to music.
And so I think as we go forward we really want to find ways to broaden the curriculum to give every child a chance to find their passion, to find their interest, and get away from what I see is a real narrowing of opportunities, way too much so over the past few years.”
The entire interview is available at
*HB218 (Winburn) Modifies the tax valuation of public utility tangible personal property used to generate electricity from renewable resources.
*HB210 (Morgan) Decreases by 5 percent the salaries of General Assembly members and of the statewide elected executive officers until certain increases occur in the Gross Domestic Product of Ohio.
*Webposium for Teaching Artists: The Dana Foundation is hosting a free Webposium for Teaching Artists on Friday, June 19, 2009 at 10:00-11:30AM (PST) and 1:00-2:30PM (EST).
The Webposium will feature a panel discussion about the evolving issues in the Teaching Artist profession, including:
-What is the role of the teaching artist in public education?
-How can schools maximize a partnership with an outside artist?
-What is the artist’s role in the classroom, in the art room, in the school?
-How can artists help build a culture in a school where creativity, innovation, and imagination are at the core of teaching and learning?
Panelists include: Nick Rabkin, Lead Researcher, Teaching Artist Research Project, NORC at the University of Chicago; Lisa Fitzhugh, Founder, Former Executive Director, Arts Corps; Sarah Johnson, Director, Weill Music Institute, Carnegie Hall; and Naho Shioya, Teaching Artist. The Moderator will be Russell Granet, Founder, Arts Education Resource. The event will be streamed live, and viewers will be able to join in the Q and A at the end of the session.
Registration ends June 18th at 5:00 PM.
The Dana Foundation is a private, philanthropic organization with principle interests in brain science, immunology, and arts education. For more information about the Dana Foundation, please visit <http://www.dana.org/
*Congratulation to the Cleveland School of the Arts: The Ohio Department of Education announced on June 9, 2009 that the Cleveland School of the Arts Lower Campus is the recipient of the 10th Annual Panasonic National School Change Award. The award is presented to six schools from across the country for having significantly changed based on meeting at least ten out of sixteen criteria. This is the first time that a school from Ohio has received this recognition! A national panel of judges selected CSA among 24 competing finalists.
The Award to each of the six schools will include:
-A ceremony conducted at their school in May/June 2009 -$5,000 including Panasonic products -National recognition and coverage by the media -Subsidized participation of the school’s principal in the Twelfth Annual National Principals Leadership Institute to be conducted in New York City -An awards presentation by the United States Department of Education at a special ceremony in July 2009 -Participation in a major national research project focusing on school change
The other 2009 winners of the Panasonic National School Change Awards are, -Bergen County Technical, Paramus, NJ -Dr. Freddie Thomas High School, Rochester, NY -Frankie Woods McCullough Girls’ Academy, Gary, IN -George W. Carver Middle School, Chester, VA -Jackson Via Elementary School, Charlottesville,VA