Arts on Line Update December 22, 2010

News from the Statehouse:  The Ohio House and Senate are not meeting this week.

Speaker-elect Bill Batchelder announced last week that Laura Clemens, who now serves as deputy clerk, will be House Clerk when the 129th Ohio General Assembly convenes in January 2011.  The current House Clerk, Tom Sherman, will become deputy clerk.

SCORE Report:  Ohio Secretary of State (SOS) Jennifer Brunner released on December 16, 2010 the “SCORE Report” (Setting Criteria for Ohio to Realize Excellence) based on the “Better Lives, Better Ohio” data base created by the Secretary of State’s office in 2009.

According to the SOS’s press release, the report provides Ohio families and businesses with easy access to information about quality of life in their communities based on 26 indicators determined through an inclusive process.  The data was collected from over 18 federal and state agencies and organizations, the U.S. Census Bureau, and nonprofit organizations.  The indicators are organized in the following areas:  family; public safety; government/civic; health; education; natural resources; job-growth, recreation and leisure; and the economy.

Under the category of education, the report includes indicators for the following:

  • Number of people 25 years and older who have completed a bachelor’s degree
  • Public school expenditures per pupil -Public school pre-kindergarten student enrollment
  • Public school student/teacher ratio

The report does not include indicators related to the arts, arts education, or specifically about jobs related to the arts.

The report is available here.

News from Washington, D.C.: President Obama signed into law on December 13, 2010 the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  The law re-authorizes federal nutrition programs including the National School Lunch Program, which was first created in 1946; sets nutrition standards for all food sold in schools, including vending machines; increases the federal meal reimbursement rate; expands eligibility for federal food programs; and expands food safety requirements.  For more information about the law please visit this site.

NEA Grants Available:

The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation Student Achievement Grants provide funds to improve the academic achievement of students by engaging in critical thinking and problem solving skills that deepen knowledge of standards-based subject matter and improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. The maximum award is $5,000. Practicing U.S. public school teachers, public school education support professionals, or faculty or staff at public higher education institutions are eligible to submit applications.  The deadline is February 1, 2011. For more information please visit this site.

The NEA Foundation: Learning & Leadership Grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education through grants to individuals and grants to groups.  Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research.  Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment. The maximum award is $5,000. Public school teachers in grades K-12; public school education support professionals; or faculty and staff at public higher education institutions are eligible to submit an application.  The deadline is February 1, 2011.  For more information please visit this site.

News from the ODE

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle, announced on December 17, 2010 the selection of Timothy Dove, a seventh-grade teacher from Worthington City Schools, as Ohio’s 2011 Teacher of the Year.  Mr. Dove graduated from Miami University with an education degree and received a master’s degree from Ohio State University.  He has taught for 29 years, and now teaches social studies at Phoenix Middle School in Worthington.

The Ohio Teacher of the Year program was initiated in 1969 by the Ohio Department of Education to honor the teaching profession. Ohio school districts nominate teachers they feel have done an outstanding job in their field. For more information about the Ohio Teacher of Year, please visit this page.

ODE Issues List of 2010 School Improvement Grant Eligible Schools:

The U.S. Department of Education requires states to publish a list of schools that are rated the lowest achieving Title 1 schools and Title 1 eligible secondary schools.  These schools are eligible to apply, through a competitive process, for federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) in school year 2011-2012.

The ODE released a revised list of low achieving schools on December 10, 2010 based on the most recent achievement and graduation data and selection criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education.

The schools are categorized as Tier 1 (most in need), Tier 2, or Tier

3 schools based on their prioritized needs, and are eligible for SIG funding based on their tier.  For example, dropout recovery schools are eligible for SIG Tier 3 funding.

Schools that receive SIG are required to implement one of the following four school improvement intervention models:

  • Turnaround:  The principal and the staff are replaced.  A new principal can rehire up to 50 percent of the former staff, and has more flexibility to implement comprehensive school reform strategies.
  • Restart Model:  The school converts to a charter school and is operated by a management company.
  • School Closure Model:  The school closes and the students are enrolled in higher achieving schools within the school district.
  • The Transformation Model: The school adopts strategies to improve student achievement, including replacing the principal, extend the school day, create community-oriented schools, etc.

To see the list of eligible SIG schools in Ohio and learn more about SIG please visit this site.

SBM Focuses on TANF:  The Center for Community Solutions’ December 2010 issue of State Budgeting Matters (“Policymakers Face Additional Challenges in FY2012-2013 Budget:  The TANF Budget” by Susan Ackerman) focuses on the history of the federal TANF program and implications for Ohio’s FY12-13 state budget. This comprehensive report describes the challenges for Ohio as the number of families, and especially children, in poverty increases and Ohio’s safety net for these families collapses.

TANF, which stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is a federal block-grant program created during welfare reform in 1996, and is the largest source of funding for programs that help low-income families. Ohio’s TANF program has been flat-funded for years at $727.2 million, which was the funding level Ohio allocated for a number of  programs to help low income families in 1994.

TANF requires states to maintain state funding for state assisted programs for the poor in order to receive TANF funds.  This is know as “MOE”, maintenance of effort.  However, Ohio, along with most states, is struggling due to the recession, to meet the TANF job placement requirement and the  “maintenance of effort” requirement, which is 80 percent of what the state spent in FY94 ($416.9 million) on anti-poverty programs.

Until recently “child-only cases” were the largest group receiving TANF assistance. (In 2010 there were 46,000 child-only cases).  Now single-parent families are the largest group of TANF recipients, but two-parent families with two children, are the fastest growing group of recipients.

Although TANF and food stamps are the main sources of support for low income families, these programs do not raise family income levels to the federal poverty level. Ohio’s maximum monthly cash assistance payment is $434 for a family of three, and the maximum monthly food-stamp allocation is $526 for a family of three.

Ohio also has used TANF to subsidize child care for eligible low-income families and to support early childhood education programs, including Head Start. According to the report, Ohio was once recognized for its early care and education programs, but recently has had to reduce eligibility levels for subsidized child care and made other changes in early care and education programs to balance the budget. The report notes that these changes have marginalized the quality of the programs for young children that are available to low-income families in Ohio.

The report makes the following recommendations for policy-makers to consider as they develop the FY12-13 state budget:

  • Develop a comprehensive state strategy for reducing poverty that leverages Ohio’s strengths to address the challenges faced by low-income Ohioans.
  • Increase federal funding for TANF and Child Care and Development Fund grants, which have been flat-funded or reduced, to help meet the basic needs of families and restore support for child care and early child education programs, -Adopt clear goals and meaningful outcome measures for reducing poverty to more accurately gauge the progress of these programs.

“Current outcome measures are moving the system in the wrong direction as they are merely indicative of how well states control access to assistance, not how they are doing in the fight against poverty.”

“Stabilizing and then improving the economic situation of families should be the top policy goal for the state and federal government.

Children cannot succeed if they don’t have a stable home life. We must enable families to succeed.”

  • Administer the cash assistance program fairly and consistently across the state and within counties.
  • Eliminate the three year time limit for cash assistance and standardize and encourage the use of the hardship exemption, including the use of the domestic violence exemption.
  • Allow child support payments from non-custodial parents to go to children. Currently these payments are intercepted by the state to pay any outstanding costs for use of the criminal justice system and for the TANF program.
  • Develop policy goals for child-only cash assistance cases, such as work to reunite families or establish a permanent home for children in these situations.
  • Improve access to and promote use of family planning services to help reduce the number of unintended births.

The report is available here.

Budget Planning and Management Commission Releases Two Reports:

The Budget Planning and Management Commission (BPMC), co-chaired by Representative Vern Sykes and Senator Shannon Jones, released on December 15, 2010 a report from the Democrats and a report from the Republicans, with recommendations for the 129th General Assembly to consider as it develops a FY12-13 budget.

The Commission was established by the 128th Ohio General Assembly to develop options for balancing the FY12-13 state budget, and held its first meeting on June 29, 2010. The reports submitted by the Senate Majority and the House Minority Members (Republican report) and the House Majority and Senate Minority Members (Democrat report) include a number of cost savings options, but in most cases, do not provide enough information about the amount of dollars that could be saved if these options were implemented through the next budget.

The differences in “policy options” between Republican and Democrat members of the commission were evident from the start, when the commission members could not agree about the amount of one-time revenues that were used to balance the FY10-11 budget. According to the reports, the issue was somewhat settled when “the co-chairs publicly agreed to accept a range for estimates of one-time money, ranging from $4 billion to $8 billion.” (Democrat report.)

While the Republican report includes in bold letters, “The BPMC recommends that the budget be developed without any tax increases”, the Democrat report states, “The co-chairs agreed that the commission would focus on proposals where there was consensus that the proposal warranted further study and to avoid other obvious options, such as tax increases and other approaches. However, some independent groups and citizens did propose such options.  The commission does not take a position on or advocate for or against any proposals submitted to the commission that are not listed in this report.”

There are areas in which both the Republicans and Democrats agree.

For example, neither side believes that one-time funds such as federal stimulus dollars, tobacco settlement funds, or the rainy day fund, will be available to balance the state budget.  Both sides also agree on the following statement, “By planning appropriations within available resources, the pressure will be to reduce outlay.”  After the word outlay, the Democrats add “and improve efficiencies, while maintaining needed services”, while the Republicans say, “while improving efficiencies, just as taxpayers, households, and businesses have had to do throughout the economic downturn.”

The following are some areas of consensus and areas of difference between the Democrat and Republican recommendations:

Areas of consensus:

  • Methods to reduce state spending.  Both the Republican and Democrat reports agree that the state budget should be balanced by reducing funding for specific programs rather than implementing proportional reductions, or lowering the spending base of programs.  If more reductions are necessary, then both parties agree that some across the board reductions might be necessary, but the Democrats add, “…..however, care must be taken to maintain needed services, so as not to unduly harm Ohioans, particularly those who are most vulnerable.”
  • Medicaid Reforms.  Both parties agree that managed care should be expanded; long-term care spending should be aligned with national trends; the recommendations included in the Ohio Commission to Reform Medicaid report should be reviewed; and reimbursements should be sought for prisoner in-house health care.
  • Federal Assistance.  The federal government should pay for enrollees who enroll in Medicaid due to the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; the federal government should grant states the ability to limit eligibility requirements in some cases; Congress should extend the waiver of interest payments associated with the unemployment compensation fund; and Ohio should ensure that it receives every eligible matching federal dollar for certain programs.

The Republicans and Democrats also agree that the following options should be considered:

  • Securitization of Assets/Lease-Back Proposals.
  • Regulatory/mandate relief
  • Prison/Sentencing Reform
  • Purchasing consortia for public sector entities/procurement reform -Information technology sharing -Cross entity service agreements

Areas of Difference:

Republicans added the following options for reducing the budget to their report:

  • Review changing Ohio’s Medicaid program from matching funds to a block grant program
  • Consider privatizing services/administration -Reform collective bargaining
  • Continue furloughs
  • Consider mineral extraction/oil drilling on state-owned land
  • Reform Ohio’s pension systems
  • Study the creation of charter agencies
  • Study providing tax amnesty

Democrats added the following options to reduce spending to their report:

  • Medicaid — Capture third party payments to providers -Review child support guidelines to obtain increased federal child support -Revise the definition of independent contractor to ensure that workers are not mis-classified for tax purposes -Review investments in long-term energy savings

The reports are available on the Commission’s website.

Report on Nonprofit Education Management Organizations (EMOs) Released:  The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) housed at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Western Michigan University’s Study Group on Education Management Organizations published on December 15, 2010 a report entitled “Profiles of Nonprofit Education Management Organizations – 2009-2010,” by Gary Miron and Jessica Urschel, researchers at Western Michigan University.

Nonprofit Education Management Organizations receive public funds to operate charter schools or schools within school districts.  The number of students enrolled in schools operated by nonprofit EMOs is 237,591 during the 2009-10 school year, and enrollment has increased by 22.2 from last year.

The report identifies 137 nonprofit EMOs operating in 26 states and managing 813 schools. By comparison, for-profit EMOs operate 729 schools nationally. The states with the largest number of nonprofit EMOs are Texas, California, Arizona, and Ohio.  Nineteen nonprofit EMOs operate ten schools or more; 52 EMOs operate 4-9 schools, and 66 EMOs operate three or fewer schools. KIPP, Knowledge is Power Program, is the largest EMO and operates 82 schools nationally.

The report notes that the number of nonprofit education management organizations (EMOs) is increasing, and EMOs now operate more than 30 percent of the nation’s charter schools.

The report also notes that some of the more successful nonprofit EMOs have received a great deal of support from philanthropic organizations.  The report is available here.

Bills Introduced

  • HB610 (Jordan) Tax Credits-Scholarships-Chartered Nonpublic Schools: Authorizes non refundable tax credits for donations to nonprofit entities providing scholarships to low-income students enrolling in chartered nonpublic schools.
  • HB612 (Dyer) Ohio School Funding Advisory Council:  Reflects the recommendations of the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council.
  • HB614 (Morgan) Ohio Universal Scholarship Program:  Updates the Ohio Universal Scholarship Program.

FYI ARTS

Recipients of the 2011 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio Announced:  The Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation recently announced the recipients of the 2011 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. The recipients were selected from 73 nominations submitted by individuals and organizations throughout Ohio. The Awards will be presented at a luncheon ceremony honoring winners and members of the Ohio Legislature at noon on May 11, 2011 at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. The luncheon is hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. Winners will receive an original work of art by Dayton photographer Francis Schanberger.

The seven award categories and recipients are:Arts Administration, Art Falco, PlayhouseSquare (Cleveland); -Arts Education, Michael Lippert (Dayton); -Arts Patron, Mary Wolfe (Perrysburg); -Business Support of the Arts, Freund, Freeze & Arnold (Dayton); -Community Development & Participation, Lancaster Festival (Lancaster); -Individual Artist, James Friedman, photographer (Columbus); -Irma Lazarus Award, Dr. Wayne Lawson (Columbus)

For information about the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and the Arts Day Luncheon, please visit this site.

ARTS DAY May 11, 2011:  The 2011 Governor’s Awards ceremony and luncheon will be held in conjunction with Arts Day on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. This day-long event demonstrating public value and support for the arts is sponsored by the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation. Arts Day will include an arts advocacy briefing, legislative visits, Statehouse tours, and student exhibitions and performances.

Arts Day was created to foster a greater awareness of the value of the arts in Ohio. Citizens are encouraged to participate in Arts Day by visiting with state legislators and communicating the need for public support of the arts and arts education. Each year on Arts Day, Columbus is filled with arts supporters who share the importance of the arts in their communities. For more information or to learn how to participate, contact Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation by phone at 614.221-4064.

Tanzania art exhibit promotes peace through art education:  The IDES of ODE recently included information about a traveling exhibition which is being shown in the Ohio Department of Education’s Lobby, 25 South Front Street, Columbus.  The exhibition features artworks by four Tanzanian painters and a U.S.-Tanzanian Student Peace Mural created by students from Whitehouse, Ohio and Tanzania.  The exhibition runs through December 31, 2010 and is sponsored by the Arts Council Lake Erie West.

Martin Nagy, executive director of Arts Council Lake Erie West, coordinated this project to introduce arts education into the curriculum in selected Tanzanian Schools. The exhibition celebrates international exchange and peace education. The four Tanzanian painters include Pendael Naftal Mollel, Kaiza Khamis Mohammed, Seif Soud, and Tatu Ally Hussein. The four-foot by twelve foot mural was coordinated by Shari Densel, art instructor for the Anthony Wayne Local School Districts in Whitehouse, Ohio. Students from Shari’s junior high school and two Tanzanian schools painted additional images and words promoting worldwide peace.

For more information about the exhibition and to view Shari Densel’s related lesson plan suitable for grades 5 to 8, please visit this site.

Volunteer art education project continues in Tanzania this summer.

Art teachers who are interested in volunteering for two to six weeks during the second annual art education program in Tanzania next summer are invited to apply by April 15, 2011. Sponsored by the Arts Council Lake Erie West, the program will be held in three Tanzanian cities at primary and secondary schools serving students ages 7 through 17. Volunteers will be provided with guest housing, studio facilities, and hosts in each city. Participants will need to cover the costs of round-trip air transportation, preventative health medications, and other personal expenses. Graduate credit may be offered. For more information and the application please visit. Please direct any questions to Martin Nagy, executive director of Arts Council Lake Erie West, at (419) 290-0995 or martin.nagy@aol.com.

EdSteps Launches Work Collection for Creativity:  EdSteps, led by the Council of Chief State School Officers and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is seeking submissions to its “Work Collection for Creativity”.  This collection is a grassroots effort to provide educators with a practical means of appreciating, understanding, and assessing creativity in partnership with their students.

The collection is part of a larger project by EdSteps to develop a web-based resource for teaching and assessment in five skill areas that are typically difficult and costly to assess, including creativity. Ultimately, the site will present a public library of student work samples presented in a continuum from emerging to accomplished work.

For the Collection for Creativity, EdSteps welcomes work samples by teachers and other adults, as well as students of all ability levels from PreK through graduate school. Works may be in any form, genre or media – including writing, videos, images or graphics – in any subject area. An educator or student may submit works one at a time or in batches if a free online account is created. Work samples will not include author names or schools, but must be submitted with parental permission if the works were created by minors.

Please visit http://www.edsteps.org and select the submit work option to upload work samples online. If electronic submission is not feasible, please request mailing instructions from EdSteps at (202) 336-7032 or e-mailhelp@edsteps.org. Educators also may volunteer to review work samples for inclusion on the EdSteps website. For more information on EdSteps, please contact info@edsteps.org.

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

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, The John F. Kennedy Center, 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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