Arts On Line Update – 3.7.2011

Take Action:  Ask Congress to Restore Funding for Arts in Education and the NEA!

Another short-term continuing resolution was signed into law on March 2, 2011 to fund the federal government through March 18, 2011. The new funding bill immediately cuts $4 billion in domestic spending, including the elimination of $40 million in the U.S. Department of Education’s Arts in Education program.  This program provides funds for the Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination and Professional Development competitive grants, VSA, and Kennedy Center arts education programs.

The elimination of these funds in FY 2011 jeopardizes funding for multi-year projects already in place by terminating funding for the 2011-2012 school year and beyond.

Last month the U.S. House of Representatives passed a full-year FY 2011 continuing resolution (H.R. 1) which includes a $43 million reduction in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and elimination of funding for the Arts in Education program. The Senate has not yet acted upon this resolution, but lawmakers are running out of options, and the current continuing resolution expires on March 18, 2011.

Your help is needed to ensure that federal funding is reinstated for the Arts in Education program and that the proposed cuts in H,R. 1 for the National Endowment for the Arts are restored.

As debate continues over the next week or two, your advocacy is essential. Please speak up for saving arts funding in the final FY 2011 appropriations bill.

Contact your members of Congress NOW to ask for restoration of FY 2011 funding for the NEA and the Arts in Education program:

  • Reinstate the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education, which provides vital federal leadership and funding that improve schools, teaching and student learning. Cuts to this program will eliminate funding for multi-year programs that are already in progress!
  • Restore FY 2011 funding for the National Endowment for the Arts to ensure that NEA funding for the current year is not reduced to the level passed by the House, with its cut of funding from the 2010 level of $167.5 million down to a proposed level of $124.5 million.

To take action please contact the American for the Arts Action Center.

Thank you for your support.

129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate are scheduled to meet this week.  The House and Senate Education committees will also meet.

The Ohio House and Senate will meet in joint session on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at noon to receive the State of the State address presented by Governor John Kasich.

Governor John Kasich announced on February 28, 2011 the appointment of Jim Petro as Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, effective March 14, 2011.  Mr. Petro replaces Eric Fingerhut, who recently announced his resignation.

Christina Hagan took the oath of office on March 2, 2011 in the Ohio House to become the representative of the 50th House District.  She replaces Representative Todd Snitchler who resigned from the House to chair the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, reported out favorably SB9 (Manning), which would eliminate the requirement that school districts offer all-day kindergarten, and allows public school districts to continue to charge tuition for all-day kindergarten.

The committee also reported out favorably SCR5 (Widener), which designates February 2011 as Career & Technical Education Month.

The committee amended SB65 (Cates) Educational Choice Scholarships, to permit charter schools in operation less than two years to participate in the Educational Choice Scholarship program.

Ohio Senate Approves SB5:  The Ohio Senate approved by one vote (17 to 16) SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform after three hours of floor debate.  Six Republicans (Senators Manning, Seitz, Grendell, Hughes, Oleslager, and Patton) joined all Democrats to vote against the bill. SB5 now goes to the House Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Representative Uecker.  The following is a summary of just some of the provisions included in SB5, prepared from an analysis of the bill available from the Legislative Service Commission.

Strikes

  • Prohibits public employees from striking.
  • Allows a public employer to enjoin a strike.
  • Requires  the  public employer to deduct from the compensation of a striking employee an amount equal to twice the employees daily rate of pay for each day or part thereof that the employee engaged in a strike.
  • Provides that an employee who strikes in violation of an injunction can be fined no more than $1,000 or imprisoned for no longer than 30 days.

SERB

Makes changes that affect the operations of the State Employment Relations Board

Collective Bargaining

  • Bans the following subjects from collective bargaining:  (1) employer paid contributions to any of the five public employee retirement systems, (2) health care benefits for which the employer is required to pay more than 85 percent of the cost, (3) the privatization of a public employer’s services or contracting out of the public employers work, and (4) the number of employees required to be on duty or employed in any department, division, or facility of the public employer.
  • Permits public employers to not bargain on any subject reserved to the management and direction of the governmental unit, even if the subject affects wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment.
  • Prohibits an existing provision of a collective bargaining agreement that was modified, renewed, or extended that does not concern wages, hours, and terms and conditions from being a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.
  • Specifies the responsibilities of an employer to hire, discharge, transfer, suspend, or discipline employees; determine starting and quitting times and the number of hours to be worked; determine the selection, retention, and promotion of employees; determine work standards; transfer or subcontract work, etc.
  • Establishes limitations on the collective bargaining agreement in cases of fiscal emergency and other circumstances.
  • Prohibits a public employer from agreeing to a provision in a collective bargaining agreement that requires the public employer, when a reduction in force is necessary, to use employee length of service as the only factor when making layoffs.
  • Prohibits a public employer from agreeing to a provision in a collective bargaining agreement that requires the employer to pay more than 85 percent of the cost paid for benefits.
  • Prohibits a public employer that is a school district, educational service center, community  school, or STEM school from entering into a collective bargaining agreement that specifies requirements, such as establishing a maximum number of students who may be assigned to a classroom or teacher.
  • Requires collective bargaining agreements between such an education-related public employer and public employees to comply with all applicable state or local laws or ordinances regarding wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment, unless the conflicting provision establishes benefits that are less than provided in the law or ordinance.
  • Removes continuation, modification, or deletion of an existing collective bargaining agreement from the subject of collective bargaining.
  • Removes  a  provision  granting  specific authority to public school employees to collectively bargain for health care benefits.

Dispute Resolution

  • Revises collective bargaining dispute resolution procedures.
  • If either party rejects a fact finding panels recommendations, permits the public employer to implement, in whole or in part, any of those recommendations that have been approved by the appropriate legislative authority.
  • Removes the mandatory final offer settlement conciliation procedure for public employees who do not have the right to strike.
  • Requires a public employer to report certain information about compensation paid to public employees under a collective bargaining agreement.

Unfair Labor Practices

  • Specifies that expressions of views, opinions, and arguments are not unfair labor practices, and cannot be used as evidence of such, without a threat.
  • Revises what constitutes an unfair labor practice. *Revises the procedures for hearing an unfair labor practice complaint. *Repeals the provision requiring the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law to be liberally construed.

Evaluations

  • Requires merit-based pay for most public employees, including board and commission members, and makes other, related changes.
  • Requires performance-based pay for teachers and non-teaching school employees. Requires a school board to measure performance by considering the level of license the teacher holds, whether the teacher is a highly qualified teacher, the value-added measure the board uses to determine the performance of the students assigned to the teachers classroom, the results of the teachers performance evaluations or peer reviews.

Contracts and Benefits

  • Creates salary ranges by removing the steps from the salary schedules.
  • Makes changes in public employee benefits for vacation leave, sick leave, health care contributions, and policies for leave with pay.
  • Abolishes continuing contracts for teachers, except for those continuing contracts in existence prior to the effective date of the bill, and revises the law relating to limited contracts.
  • Prohibits a public employer from paying employee contributions to the five public employee retirement systems.
  • Requires health care benefits provided through a jointly administered trust fund to be the same as the health care benefits provided to other public employees.
  • Removes consideration of seniority and of length of service, by itself, from decisions regarding a reduction in work force of certain public employees.
  • Makes  changes  to  retention  point  provisions, including changes concerning the calculation of retention points and the layoff procedures when retention points for two employees are the same.
  • Prohibits a public employer from violating Ohio or federal civil rights law when conducting a reduction in force.

Who Can Bargain

  • Reduces the number of employees who can collective bargain.
  • Allows the governing authority of a conversion community school to opt out of collectively bargaining with the community school’s employees.
  • Prohibits employees of community schools from collectively bargaining, except for conversion community schools.

Read the bill.

This Week at the Statehouse

TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2011

The Ohio House and Senate will meet in joint session on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at noon to receive the State of the State address presented by Governor John Kasich.

Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room.  The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

  • SB81 (Cates) Teach for America/Educator License:  Qualifies Teach for America participants for a resident educator license.
  • HB30 School Funding (Gardner) Eliminates spending and reporting requirements related to the school funding system; abolishes the School Funding Advisory Council, eliminates the requirement that school districts offer all-day kindergarten.

House Commerce and Labor
The House Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Representative Uecker, will meet on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM in hearing room 121.  The committee will receive testimony on SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform.

House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee
The House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Kirk Schuring, will meet on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 7:00 PM in room 018 to receive testimony on HB69 (Wachtmann) Pension Reform. Testimony will be accepted on provisions of the bill related to Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund.

WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2011

House Commerce and Labor
The House Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Representative Uecker, will meet on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 313.  The committee will receive testimony on SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform.

House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee
The House Health and Aging Retirement and Pensions Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Kirk Schuring, will meet on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 2:30 PM in room 313 to receive testimony on HB69 (Wachtmann) Pension Reform.

The House Education Committee
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton will meet on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 5:00 PM in Hearing Room 017. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

  • HB135 (Burke) Free School Meal Benefits:  Requires direct certification of students for free school meal benefits at least five times each school year.
  • HB136 (Huffman) Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program: Replaces the Educational Choice and the Cleveland scholarship program with the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program and establishes the Special Education Scholarship Program.

THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2011

Joint Meeting of the House and Senate Education Committees:  The House and Senate committees will meet on Tuesday, March 10, 2011 at 8:30 AM in room 313 to receive a presentation by Eric Hanushek, the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University.

House Commerce and Labor
The House Commerce and Labor Committee, chaired by Representative Uecker, will meet on Thursday, March 9, 2011 at 1:15 PM in hearing room 313.  The committee will receive testimony on SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform.

News from Washington, D.C.

Arts Are Cut in CR:  President Obama signed a continuing resolution (CR) on March 2, 2011 to provide funds for FY 2011 (current year) through March 18, 2011 to avoid a federal government shutdown on March 4, 2011.  The CR also included $4 billion in cuts to domestic discretionary spending programs.  Among the programs designated for cuts is the $40 million Arts in Education program, which supports over 33 active three-year grants; the Kennedy Center’s arts education programs; and VSA. (Please see Action Alert above.)

President Obama and Congressional leaders are continuing to work on a way to fund the federal government beyond March 18, 2011. The U.S. House has already approved a FY11 funding plan (H.R. 1) that includes $61 billion in cuts, while President Obama is offering a plan that reduces spending by $6.5 billion.  The details of the plan are not available at this writing, but the plan is expected to be introduced on the Senate floor next week.

ESEA Reauthorization:  Several Democratic senators signed on March 2, 2011 a set of principles for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind), which was due for reauthorization in 2007.  Included in the group are Senators Bennet (Colorado) and Kay Hagan (North Carolina), who leading this effort, and Senators Mark Begich, of Alaska; Thomas Carper, of Delaware; Chris Coons, of Delaware; Dianne Feinstein, of California; Herb Kohl, of Wisconsin; Mary Landrieu, of Louisiana; Joe Manchin, of West Virginia; Mark Warner, of Virginia; and Connecticut’s Joseph Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

The principles reflect many of the recommendations proposed by President Obama in “ESEA Reauthorization:  A Blueprint for Reform”, which was released about a year ago, and focuses on the following:

“Accountability Structure: Reward growth and progress. The No Child Left Behind Act treated all schools that failed to make adequate yearly progress the same and did not tailor interventions to meet the specific needs of schools. The old accountability system fails to recognize growth and constantly labels failure. A new accountability structure needs to provide more flexibility for schools to determine the best way to meet the needs of their students, instead of a one-size-fits all approach from Washington.”

“School Turnaround: Support bold, aggressive action to change the odds for students in schools that persistently fail to provide them with a quality education. Under current law, states and districts frequently choose the least intensive option for reform.”

“Teachers and Leaders: Dramatically improve our system for recruiting, training, supporting, retaining and paying teachers and leaders. Competitive funds to create and replicate effective teacher and leader preparation programs is an essential element. Require better teacher and leader evaluation systems that include examination of student learning gains and provide extra compensation for those who take on additional responsibilities.”

“Foster Innovation: Create opportunities for states, districts and schools that want to push beyond the status quo through innovative and promising new approaches.”

“Equity in Resources (Close the Title I Comparability Loophole): Closing the loophole to require school districts to report actual expenditures at the school-level, including those devoted to salaries for teachers, when applying for Title I funding. Title I, the largest program in ESEA provides grants to districts with children living in concentrated poverty. Closing this loophole will result in more equitable funding between schools.”

For more information please visit here and here.

Report shows how Ohio schools can save $1.37 billion:  Ohio Education Matters, Andy Benson executive director, released on March 1, 2011 a report entitled “Benchmarking Ohio’s School Districts: Identifying districts that get more for their money in non-instructional spending”.

The report is based on a study of the operational costs of Ohio school districts in the areas of maintenance, central administration, food services, transportation, school-level administration, etc.  The study found 135 school districts that are more efficient than other school districts in these operations.  For example, Akron Public Schools and Canton City Schools are ranked most efficient in funding non-instructional services. The potential savings for school districts, if all met the quality indicators for non-instructional operations in the study, is $1.370 billion, or $787 per student.

This report is part of an initiative of Ohio Education Matters called Ohio Smart Schools, to identify ways for school districts to become more efficient as lawmakers debate how to close an $8 billion or more budget deficit in FY12-13. Two other reports have been released. The first report, “A Check-up on School Employee Health Care:  A Proposal to Reduce Costs Without Reducing Quality” (February 11, 2011) recommended that school districts pool together to save $138 million in employee health care and provide lower-cost health care plans to their employees.  The second report, “Toward a New Model of Educational Governance for Ohio” (February 24, 2011) recommended that Regional Service Agencies be formed to provide shared services for school districts, such as transporting students enrolled in charter schools.

Ohio Education Matters is a subsidiary of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation.  The three reports are available at http://www.ohiosmartschools.org/.

News from the ODE: A revamped Education Management Information System (EMIS) will be launched for the October 2011 reporting period.  EMIS collects data from school districts on demographics, discipline, attendance, staff and course information, financial data, test results, etc. for schools and school districts, and has been in operation since 1989. The new EMIS system will enable local education agencies (LEAs) to report information multiple times weekly rather than once per week. It also incorporates the School Interoperability Framework, an internationally recognized standard that makes it possible to share K-12 data among the many different applications; incorporates modern data standards to implement new services, such as the electronic exchange of student records among LEAs and the digital sharing of school transcripts with higher education institutions; enables the automated assignment of Statewide Student Identifiers (SSIDs) when a new student enrolls; and will provide a powerful new database allowing for better analysis of key operational trends.

Summit 2.0 in April:  The Partnership for 21st Century Skills and ODE are presenting “Summit 2.0” on April 5 to 6, 2011 in Columbus. This is the second annual conference dedicated to transforming classrooms into learning environments that prepare students for the future. This two-day conference will encourage disciplined inquiry, collaboration, and creativity. Keynote speakers include Tony Wagner, the first innovation education fellow at Harvard University’s Technology and Entrepreneurship Center and author of “The Global Achievement Gap”; Karl Fisch, creator of “The Fischbowl” and the “Did You Know” video; Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, founder of Chicago’s Academy for Global Citizenship; Ewan McIntosh, a European expert on digital media; and a live stream video of Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind” and “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us”.  For more information please visit http://21stcenturyskillsohio.org/.

Bills Introduced:

  • HB135 (Burke) Free School Meal Benefits: Requires direct certification of students for free school meal benefits at least five times each school year.
  • HB136 (Huffman) Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program:  Replaces the Educational Choice and the Cleveland scholarship program with the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program and to establish the Special Education Scholarship Program.

FYI ARTS

Invitation for Submission of Works:  The Dublin Arts Council (DAC) & OhioDance, in collaboration with The Ohio State University Department of Dance & Ohio Department of Education Division of the Arts, is seeking submissions for “Gravity’s Ripple III”, which will be held on September 12-17, 2011.

“Gravity’s Ripple III” is a unique opportunity for the planning, development, and performance of a site-specific outdoor contemporary dance work and a residency that incorporates individual educational opportunities. This contemporary dance project is part of DAC’s ongoing program, “Ripple Effect: Artistic Impact of the Scioto River.”

Submission portfolios for “Gravity’s Ripple III” must be postmarked by March 21, 2011 and include the information found in the pdf.

For full details and to download the pdf please go to: http://ohiodance.org/resource_auditions.php

Please submit all “Gravity’s Ripple III” applications and direct all correspondence and questions to:
Jane D’Angelo, Executive Director
OhioDance
77 S. High St., 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 224-2913
jane@ohiodance.org
www.ohiodance.org

UC Conservatory Receives First Center of Excellence in Arts: Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut and University of Cincinnati (UC) President Gregory H. Williams announced on March 3, 2011 the selection of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) as Ohio’s first Center of Excellence in Music and the Performing Arts, as part of the category Cultural and Societal Transformation Centers of Excellence.

According to the press release, Cultural and Societal Transformation Centers of Excellence recognize programs that study factors that affect the human condition and community welfare, and offer solutions leading to the greater social and economic prosperity of individuals and communities. The designation also recognizes the impact of the arts and culture on job creation and business development in Ohio.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music has an international reputation for the high quality of its graduates over the past 130 years, and for its commitment to the arts in local communities.

Ohio’s Centers of Excellence are outlined in the state’s ten year “Strategic Plan for Higher Education”.  Their purpose is to position the University System of Ohio to attract talented leaders of innovation and entrepreneurs.

More information is available.

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to Visit the Statehouse: As part of the Sesquicentennial celebration of the Ohio Statehouse, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will present a program marking the 150th anniversary of the Ohio Statehouse and the beginning of the American Civil War at the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday, April 6, 2011 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM.

The program will be streamed-live at http://www.ohiochannel.org. Educators are encouraged to use this program to help students learn about the history of the Ohio Statehouse, Ohio’s participation in the American Civil War, and the leadership of Abraham Lincoln during the war. Students can submit questions to Doris Kearns Goodwin via email at statehouse@csrab.state.oh.us by 5:00 PM on April 5, 2011. Questions should include the student’s name; school; grade; city; county.

For more information please visit http://OhioStatehouse.org.

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About OAAE

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