Arts On Line Update 04.11.2011

129th Ohio General Assembly:  The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week.  The House Education and Senate Education committees will also meet, and the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will be accepting testimony on the budget as the committee wraps up work and starts the amendment process.

HB36 Update:  Lawmakers concurred on HB36 (Kozlowski) as emergency legislation on April 6,2011 after the Senate agreed to remove amendments opposed by House Democrats, who had refused to provide the votes needed to pass the bill as emergency legislation so that it could go into effect immediately and benefit school districts this year.  The bill increases the number of calamity days from three to five, immediately. House Democrats had opposed amendments added by the Senate that required public school districts to provide transportation for charter school students making up calamity days, and expanded the use of online classes to replace missed school days.

Governor Kasich appointed former state Representative Bryan Williams to the District 7 seat on the State Board of Education, until recently held by Tammy OBrien.  Ms. O’Brien was recently appointed by Governor Kasich to the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.

This Week at the Statehouse

TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2011

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

  • HB21 Teach for America (Combs): Qualifies Teach for America participants for a resident educator license.
  • SB127 (Schiavoni) School Bullying:  Enacts the “Jessica Logan Act” to require that public school bullying policies prohibit bullying by electronic means and address certain acts that occur off school property, and requires staff training on the bullying policy.
  • SB116 (Seitz) School Transportation Employees: Permits non-Civil Service school district boards to terminate positions of district transportation employees for reasons of economy and contract with independent agents to provide transportation services.
  • SB118 (Cates) Body Mass Screenings – Schools: Makes schools’ implementation of body mass index screenings optional.

House Finance and Appropriations Committee The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet at 1:00 PM in hearing room 313 to receive testimony on HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget.

Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, will meet at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to receive a presentation from the Ohio Student Education Policy Institute.

The committee will also consider HB139 (McKenney) Northeastern Ohio Universities, which renames the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy as the Northeast Ohio Medical University and to declare an emergency.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2011

House Finance and Appropriations: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet at 9:00 AM in hearing room 313 and reconvene at 6:30 if needed.  The committee will receive public testimony on primary and secondary education and higher education.

House Education Committee: The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet at 5:00 PM in hearing room 017. The committee will receive testimony on the following bills:

  • SB81 Teach for America (Cates) Qualifies Teach for America participants for a resident educator license.
  • HB157 Teacher Development on Dyslexia (Schuring, Letson):  Authorizes educational service centers to provide teacher professional development on dyslexia.
  • HB96 Dyslexia (Celeste, Brenner) Specifies dyslexia as a specific learning disability and requires a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with dyslexia.
  • HB136 (Huffman) Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program:  Replaces the Educational Choice and Cleveland scholarship program with the Parental Choice and Taxpayer Savings Scholarship Program, and establishes the Special Education Scholarship Program.

THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2011

House Finance and Appropriations: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet at 9:00 AM in hearing room 313 and reconvene.  The committee will receive public testimony on health and human services issues.

FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 2011

House Finance and Appropriations: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet at 9:00 AM in hearing room 313 to consider HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget.

Update from Washington, D.C.
Government Shutdown Averted: The U.S. House and Senate agreed late Friday night to a FY11 budget plan that averted a government shutdown.  The plan includes temporary funding of government programs (H.R. 1363) until the details can be worked-out for a final FY11 budget through September 30, 2011.  The details are to be developed this week, and among other provisions will include $37.8 billion in cuts; reinstate a voucher program for the District of Columbia; and prohibit federal funding of abortions in the District of Columbia. Congress has already reduced spending this fiscal year by $10 billion in several continuing resolutions that have been passed to keep government operating while lawmakers negotiate a final FY11 budget.

Earlier in the week the House Budget Committee, chaired by Representative Paul Ryan, approved a FY12 budget plan that reduces spending over ten years by $6.2 trillion.  The budget would convert federal support for Medicaid into a block grant program and reforms Medicare, so that in 2022 new Medicare beneficiaries would choose a private insurance plan and receive a voucher to subsidize medical costs. The proposal also eliminates duplicative programs; caps spending; lowers the top tax rate to 25 percent; eliminates deductions and tax loopholes, and more.  The House is expected to vote on this budget this week.

Approximately $891 million has already been cut from several education programs, including Arts in Education, through previous continuing resolutions. The reductions include funding for Striving Readers ($250 million), Even Start ($66 million), and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards ($10 million), and more.

Supreme Court Issues Decision on Arizona Tax Credit Case: The U.S. Supreme Court issued on April 4, 2011 a decision in the case “Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn,”. The 5 to 4 decision finds that taxpayers do not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of an Arizona state law that provides tax credits to those who donate to non-profits called school tuition organizations, that award scholarships to students to attend private and religious schools. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion, which determined that the plaintiffs lacked standing because they were challenging a tax credit rather than a government expenditure.

Plaintiffs challenged an Arizona law that allows taxpayers to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their state income taxes for donations to school tuition organizations. The limit is $500 per individual and up to $1,000 for married couples. These organizations then award scholarships to qualifying students. Over $350 million in state tax revenue has been diverted to private schools, mostly religious, since the program was created in 1997.

According to some experts, the decision might make it more difficult to defend the separation of church and state (The Establishment Clause) of the U.S. Constitution, and some experts believe that more states will now establish programs that divert tax dollars to support religious schools, because tax payers, without standing in the case, cannot dissent or challenge these actions. The decision seems to rest on the definition of tax credits, and whether or not foregone tax revenue is considered real dollars or “never collected dollars”.

More information about this decision is available.

State Board of Education to Meet:  The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will meet on April 11-12, 2011 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus.

The Executive Committee, chaired by Debe Terhar, will meet at 9:00 AM to discuss the June State Board of Education Retreat and review the March 29, 2011 Executive Committee meeting, which selected Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment, Stan Heffner, as interim superintendent, and established the Executive Committee as a search committee for a new superintendent of public instruction.

The Achievement, Capacity, and Urban Education committees will meet at 9:45 AM.  (Please note, as a result of the election of Debe Terhar, who replaced Rob Hovis as president last month, the chairs of all committees have been replaced. )

The Achievement Committee, previously chaired by Mike Collins and now chaired by Governor Kasich appointee Angela Thi Bennett, will discuss dropout prevention and recovery program waivers and Ohio State Perkins Plan regarding Technical Content Standards and Assessments.

The Capacity Committee, formerly chaired by Kristen McKinney, and now chaired by Governor Kasich appointee Tom Gunlock, will discuss the model policy for Tobacco Free Schools, and receive updates on the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System; the Ohio Resident Educator Program; and Anti-Bullying Policy.

The Select Committee on Urban Education, formerly chaired by Rob Hovis and now chaired by Governor Kasich appointee Joe Farmer, will continue the discussion about performance data of urban schools and characteristics of high performing schools, and discuss the committee’s charge.

Also note, the chair of the Legislative Committee is now C. Todd Jones, who replaces Mary Rose Oakar, and the Next Generations Committee has been renamed Technology and Education Systems, and is now chaired by Dennis Shelton, who replaces Dennis Reardon as chair.

At 11:15 AM the Board will recognize 18 Blue Ribbon Schools and two National Title 1 Distinguished Schools.

Following lunch at 12:00 PM, the Board will receive ethics training from the Ohio Ethics Commission. At 3:15 PM Board will receive reports from the Executive, Achievement, and Capacity, and Urban Education committees. The Board will then receive an update on the construction project at the OSD/OSSB.  At 4:00 PM the Board will review written reports and items for vote, and then adjourn.

TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2011

The Board will convene its business meeting at 8:45 AM and immediately proceed into executive session. At 10:00 AM the Board will receive an update on budget and legislative issues and recess for lunch. Following lunch the Board will reconvene at 1:00 PM.

The Board will continue its business meeting with the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction and public participation on agenda items.  The Board will then take action on 18 personnel items and the resolutions included below. The Board will then consider old, new business, and miscellaneous business, receive public participation on non-agenda items, and adjourn.

Resolutions to be Considered by the State Board of Education at their April 2011 Meeting

#9  Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-104-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) entitled Expenditures for Pupil Instruction for Internet-or Computer Based Community Schools.

#10 Approve a Resolution to Accept the Recommendations of the Hearing Officer and to Approve the Transfer of School District Territory from the Miami Trace Local School District, Fayette County, to the Washington Court House City School District, Fayette County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.

#11 Approve a Resolution to Accept the Recommendations of the Hearing Officer and to Deny the Transfer of School District Territory from the Cincinnati City School District, Hamilton County, to either the Madeira City School District or the Indian Hills Exempted Village School District, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.

#12 Approve a Resolution to Accept the Recommendations of the Hearing Officer and to Deny the Transfer of School District Territory from the Jefferson Local School District, Madison County, to the Jonathan Alder Local School District, Madison County, pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.

#23  Approve a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-44-01 to 03, 06, 09 of the Ohio Administrative Code regarding post-secondary enrollment options program.

#24 Approve a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-92-01 and 3301-92-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code regarding school district budgeting.

#25 Approve a Resolution to Adopt the Diversity Strategy Recommendations included in the OSU Kirwan Institute’s Report and Recommendations on Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools and to Direct the Development of an Implementation Plan.

#26 Approve a Resolution to Adopt the Preschool Content Standards and Their Successors in Mathematics and English Language Arts.

Policy Matters Ohio Testifies on the Budget: Piet van Lier, Senior Researcher for Policy Matters Ohio, testified on April 7, 2011 before the House Finance and Appropriations Subcommittee on Primary Education, chaired by Representative Carey, on the impact of HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget on public education.

According to the written testimony, the proposed budget will cause “…great harm to our schools and greatly reduce our ability to provide high quality education to Ohio children” and “shift more of the burden of funding education to local taxpayers.”

In the testimony, Mr. van Lier argues that Ohio’s current budget crisis is due in part to tax changes in 2005 that reduced state revenue by $2 billion, and tax breaks, deductions, and exemptions that amount to more than $7 billion in foregone revenue in this biennium. The proposed budget (HB153) decreases revenue for education by approximately $900 million compared to FY11. This decrease will magnify the loss of $1.4 billion in federal stimulus funds, and “drop state funding of public schools below 2003 levels.”

Mr. van Lier also notes that the deductions made from school district state aid for students attending charter schools and private schools, which totaled $798 million in FY11, “has outstripped increases in state funding for districts”. The proposed increase in EdChoice vouchers to 60,000 would mean an estimated $205 million in additional funding for the EdChoice program, which is not backed up by any conclusive data about student achievement.  According to ODE data, students enrolled in the EdChoice program scored better than district counterparts in Columbus, but not as well in Cincinnati and Toledo.  A research study of student achievement of students participating in the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program conducted by Indiana University in 2006 found no significant advantage for voucher students, but did find that overall students in the program were wealthier than overall students enrolled in the Cleveland school district. A study of the Cleveland Scholarship Program conducted by Policy Matters in 2001 also found that many families that accepted the voucher would have sent their children to nonpublic schools anyway. Other bills before the General Assembly, including HB136 and HB128, would expand voucher programs without limits and regardless of families’ ability to pay.  Mr. van Lier suggests that if any of these bills are approved, eventually students already attending nonpublic schools will be able to apply for a voucher.  He states, these programs “would inflict great harm on public education in Ohio”
and create new costs for taxpayers. Policy Matters recommends that state resources be better spent “improving public schools, particularly in the context of the current budget shortfall.”

Regarding community schools, the testimony supports reforms to increase the accountability of charter schools. Research conducted by Policy Matters has found “weak oversight and questionable business and governance practices in the charter sector, particularly among the 60 percent of Ohio schools run by management companies.” The testimony also notes that if a provision is enacted to prohibit sponsors currently overseeing charter schools rated in academic emergency or academic watch from authorizing new schools, it would mean that only a handful of school districts, Educational Service Centers, and universities, would be able to sponsor new schools.

The testimony cautions about the “Parent Trigger” provision included in HB153, noting its unintended consequences in the Compton school district in California, and recommends fostering constructive parent and community involvement in existing schools.

The testimony also notes the benefits of two provisions included in HB153 regarding the creation of Innovation Schools and Zones within school districts, and components included in HB153 to facilitate and encourage opportunities for parents, community organizations, and schools to work together to provide holistic services for students and families.  However, the testimony also cautions that adequate funding must be provided to initiate and sustain these partnerships.

Regarding other HB 153 provisions that would require low-performing schools to close or restructure, the testimony cautions against relying on ineffective school improvement strategies such as firing the staff or converting to charter schools as ways to improve student achievement. Mr. van Lier notes that these strategies ignore the connection between socioeconomic disadvantage and low student achievement, and rely on the idea that “schools alone can offset the full impact of low socioeconomic status.”

The testimony requests that the subcommittee “take a step back and consider all the ramifications” of the proposed spending cuts that will affect 90 percent of students in Ohio, and work to provide an adequate and equitable funding system, that includes a holistic and community-centered approach to improving schools.

E & A Coalition Testifies on HB153:  Bill Phillis, director of the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding, presented on April 7, 2011 testimony that focused on the constitutional provisions for a thorough and efficient system of public schools; Supreme Court decisions that “put the onus on the state to establish, without excuse, a thorough and efficient system that guarantees high quality educational opportunities for every young person in Ohio”; and principles developed by the education community that, if followed, would support a fair and adequate funding system that would ensure the availability of high quality educational opportunities for all students.

The testimony explained the interaction of three provisions in the Ohio Constitution, §6.02 School Funds; §6.03 Public school system, board of education; and §6.04 State board of education, and how they reinforce the “proposition that the state is responsible for a topnotch, first class system of public schools.”  Delegates at the 1850-51 Constitutional Convention, for example, were concerned that there was no system of public education in the Ohio, but rather an “array” of tax supported schools, private academies, charity schools, and literary societies.  The delegates agreed to language requiring the state to “secure a thorough and efficient system” of public schools. Other changes were made to the constitution in 1912 and 1953 that supported more organization, administration, and control of public education and the creation of a state board of education and position of superintendent of public instruction.

A review in the testimony of Supreme Court decisions related to education includes the decision Miller v. Korns, in which the court stated, “But the sovereign people have not considered the giving of education to be a private purpose. The existence of an intelligent and enlightened people is the basis of national prosperity and political integrity, and the system by which we endeavor to educate and enlighten the coming generations is rightly made by law a matter of supreme public concern.”  The decision is also known for its discussion of the coveted concept of “local control”, and states that local control “does not relieve the state of its responsibility of guaranteeing educational opportunities throughout the entire state.”

The DeRolph school funding decisions I, II, and IV addressed how to make the system constitutional, and reinforced the concept that public education is a state responsibility and that there is but one system of public education.

The testimony also reviews the components of HB153, and notes that the proposed budget would diminish educational opportunities, possibly increase property taxes, have a negative impact on local economies, and states that rather than fixing public education, HB153 abandons it by “farming out students to private providers without any evidence that students will be better served.”

The following recommendations were presented in the testimony:

  • Enact into permanent law a preamble to the public school funding statutes that states and thus emphasizes, at least, the provision for a thorough and efficient system of public common schools is a state responsibility; each student has the fundamental right to share equally in the educational opportunities inherent in the state’s thorough and efficient system and the state will enforce that right; the state will establish a methodology to objectively identify the components of high quality educational opportunities to which all students are entitled, and will ensure that those opportunities are available to all students.
  • Establish one or more commissions that are charged with the responsibility to: define and cost out the components of a thorough and efficient system and update such each biennium; formulate strategies to ensure that high quality educational opportunities are delivered to all students, including those enrolled in “failing school” districts. (Fix the parts of the system that need fixed); conduct research on best practices, cost-effectiveness of various programs and services and any other matter that may be appropriate;
  • Establish one or more commissions to conduct research regarding the level of effectiveness or ineffectiveness of education choice programs and the relationship between these choice programs and the traditional public school system for the purpose of making recommendations that will ensure the availability of high quality educational opportunities for all Ohio students.
  • Commission a state tax equity and adequacy study.  For purposes of FY 2012 and FY 2013, however, the state should seek additional state revenue to help the state meet its constitutional responsibility to secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools.
  • Hold up on, or at least slow down, the expansion of education choice programs until research verifies the need for expansion.
  • Establish a requirement that, over time, all gifted and talented students be provided appropriate programs and provide funding for that purpose.  In the short term, restore gifted funding to, at least, the FY 2011 level.
  • Hold funding for ESCs to at least the FY 2011 level.

Effects on HB153 on Gifted Education: Several parents, students, and teachers testified last week before the House Finance and Appropriations Subcommittee on Primary Education, chaired by Representative Carey, about the impact of HB153(Amstutz) Biennial Budget on gifted education. The following is a summary of the written testimony presented on April 6, 2011 by Ann Sheldon, executive director of the Ohio Association for Gifted Education.

According to the testimony, funding for gifted education in the proposed FY12-13 budget has for all practical purposes been eliminated, because it has been folded into basic aid (GRF200550) without any spending rules and accountability measures to ensure that school districts maintain services for students identified as gifted.

Although a new funding model for gifted education was included in 128-HB1, the previous biennial budget, the lack of sufficient funds and postponement of spending rules has led to a 22 percent reduction in gifted programs in 350 school districts, and currently 110 school districts do not provide any services to gifted students.  In 1998 43 percent of students identified as gifted were served.  The percent of identified gifted students being served is now less than 20 percent.

The testimony notes, “Past research in the state of Ohio found that the single most important factor for the continuation of gifted services in districts is the presence of state funding. This is probably more true today than when the study was conducted. OAGC survey results over the past two weeks paint a grim picture for the future of gifted education in this state. Almost 40% of the 285 district survey respondents indicated that gifted services will be cut or completely eliminated if the executive budget goes forward unchanged. This is on top of the services already cut over the past two years.”

The testimony goes on to say that one of the key challenges faced by advocates for gifted education is the lack of a state policy  and will to require school district to be accountable for the achievement of students identified as gifted through the state’s accountability system for schools.  In fact, the standard for the excellence rating for school districts is rather low, when 90 school districts rated as excellent reported average ACT scores below the state average; 116 excellent school districts had college remediation levels higher than the state average; 179 excellent school districts served fewer than 20 percent of the identified gifted population; and 65 excellent districts had overall negative value added scores.

The testimony includes the following recommendations:

  • Establish a new funding infrastructure for gifted education that includes a separate line item for gifted education with unit funding and supplemental funding for the identification of gifted students, and an accountability system that includes assessments and reporting requirements for student achievement.
  • Allow gifted vouchers to students if districts choose not to offer services.
  • Allow the start up of gifted community schools in districts that do not offer services.
  • Expand open enrollment to allow gifted students to enroll in districts that provide gifted services.
  • Ensure that the performance of gifted students and other high achieving students is included in the new ranking system.
  • Develop regional gifted schools across the state.
  • Revamp the state’s accountability system to ensure that districts are responsible for the performance of gifted students.
  • Adjust the assessment system to allow students to take Ohio Achievement Assessments when they are ready to take them so they can move on.
  • Develop state cut scores on nationally accepted assessments to allow gifted students to test out of course content without having to pay districts to do so under the credit flexibility policy.
  • Encourage students to finish high school courses early by embracing some of the reform movements in other states that allow funding to flow to early graduates for post secondary work.

OEA testimony on HB153:  Matthew Dotson, Ohio Education Association (OEA), Governmental Services Division, presented testimony on HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget on April 7, 2011.  The testimony examined the following results if HB153 is enacted:

State Aid to School Districts:  HB153 decreases state funding for school districts.  The loss of $3.1 billion in state funding to school districts, including the accelerated phase-out of reimbursed tangible personal property  and utility tax revenues to schools, will lead to larger class sizes, reduced course offerings, less individual attention for students, and increased local taxes to maintain education programs.  The testimony also notes that estimates about the impact of HB66 tax reforms back in 2005 predicted a shortfall of just about $3 billion.

Expansion of Vouchers:  The expansion of the EdChoice voucher program will transfer over $320 million of public funds to private schools even though there is no compelling evidence that the Ed Choice program improves student achievement. The testimony requests that a thorough study of the program be conducted and eligibility requirements be changed in the following ways:

  • Requires that participants in the program be reviewed each year, so that only students who would attend a school in academic watch or emergency, receive vouchers each year. Currently, once in the program, participants receive the voucher each year, even if the school that they would be assigned to improves, or never was in academic emergency or watch status:
  • Require participants to be enrolled in public school for a full year prior to receiving the voucher; *Require participants to meet income eligibility requirements.

Charter Schools: The removal of charter school and e-school caps will enable charter schools to expand at a time when traditional public schools are facing budget cuts and reductions already. According to the testimony, ODE data for September 2010 shows that $266 million in state aid payments were diverted to 45 percent of graded charter schools rated in academic emergency or academic watch. The increased accountability requirements for charter school sponsors and operators are encouraging and supported by OEA.

Parental Takeover of Schools:  Parental involvement in schools is critical to the success of students, but allowing parents to take over schools is a strategy that has no precedent in the nation, and the one school district in California in which the parent trigger has been used, has become embroiled in lawsuits.

Health Care Pooling:  OEA supports regional pooling of health care, but believes that any pooling arrangement should offer a choice of plans; retain collective bargaining rights around health care plans and premiums; and formally involve employee representation in the development, evaluation, and oversight of health plans, rather than be developed by the Department of Administrative Services.

Teacher Salaries Removed from Collective Bargaining: The OEA opposes the replacement of teacher salary negotiations through collective bargaining with the provision in HB153. According to the language in the bill, the local board of education will be required to annually adopt a teacher’s salary schedule with a minimum and maximum salary level for each category of licensure, and designate salary placement based on evaluations and other factors that are yet to be determined.  The testimony suggests that without clear and specific criteria for evaluating teachers, the door will be open to “favoritism, nepotism, and arbitrary and capricious treatment”, and the numerous legal challenges that will ensue will drain human and financial resources from school districts.

Bills Introduced

HB191 (Hayes/Patmon) Minimum School Year: Establishes a minimum school year for school districts based on hours, rather than days, of instruction and prohibits schools from being open for instruction prior to Labor Day or after Memorial Day except in specified circumstances.

HB188 (Batchelder) Ohio Constitution Modernization Commission: Establishes the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission and makes an appropriation.

FYI ARTS
The National Symphony Orchestra Committee recently announced the selection of young musicians who have been invited to participate in the 2011 Summer Music Institute, Congratulation to the students selected to participate from Ohio, Molly Jones- Cello and Kanako Shimasaki- Violin.

The Summer Music Institute is held every summer in Washington D.C. for selected students ages 15-20. The Institute offers four weeks of private lessons, rehearsals, coaching by National Symphony Orchestra members, classes, and lectures to prepare aspiring musicians for their futures in music.  In addition to their many lessons and training sessions, the students also perform a series of free Kennedy Center Millennium Stage concerts that are open to the public.

The Summer Music Institute is coordinated by the National Symphony Orchestra Education Program, which is a component of the Kennedy Center Education Department.

Dance Community Supports Relief Effort in Japan: The Columbus Ohio Performance Endeavor for Japan (COPE:  Japan), founded by Columbus native Ricky Morant, is partnering with OhioDance, Jane D’Angelo executive director; the Kristina Isabelle Dance Company; and BalletMet to raise money for relief efforts for Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

These organizations are hosting on Sunday, April 17, 2011, an evening of three minute dance works created by eleven choreographers in eleven hours of rehearsal.  The performance will be held at the BalletMet Performance Space, 322 Mt. Vernon Ave, Columbus from 6:00-8:00 PM. The evening will start with a food expo featuring local restaurants, and the performance will begin at 7:00 PM.

Suggested minimum donation of $10 will be collected at the door. (Checks can be made payable to OhioDance with Copejapan in the memo).

All proceeds will benefit The American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Fund. http://www.redcross.org

MetLife Foundation Grants: The MetLife Foundation Partners in Arts Education Program grants enhance arts learning in K-12 public schools by supporting exemplary community school/public school partnerships that serve large numbers of public school students during the school day; exemplify best practices in creating and sustaining effective partnerships; provide pedagogically sound arts education experiences; prioritize student learning and achievement; and address national, state, and/or local arts education standards.

The maximum award is $20,000. Organizations that are full members in good standing of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts are eligible. The deadline is May 20, 2011.

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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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