129th General Assembly: The House and Senate are on spring break April 18-29, 2011.
Governor Kasich signed into law HB36 (Kozlowski and Carey) School Calamity Days. This law allows schools to excuse up to five, instead of three, calamity days for the 2010-2011 school year, broadens schools’ authority to make up calamity days by lengthening remaining days in the school year, and declares an emergency.
The House concurred with Senate amendments to pass HB21 (Combs) Teach for America, which allows participants in the Teach for America program to work in Ohio.
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, reported out SB118 (Cates) Body Mass Screenings – Schools, which make schools’ implementation of body mass index screenings optional.
Secretary of State Jon Husted certified on April 15, 2011 that We Are Ohio, the group seeking a state referendum on Senate Bill 5, had met the initial 1,000 – signature requirement on each of the two petitions that they filed to qualify for the November 2011 ballot. The Secretary also approved the full text of the law submitted with the signatures.
The Ohio Constitution requires petitioners seeking to place a referendum on the ballot to first submit 1,000 valid signatures and the full text of the law, or section of the law, to the Secretary of State’s office for certification. Once the signatures and law text have been certified by the Secretary of State, and the petition summary has been certified by the Attorney General, petitioners may begin collecting the required 231,147 valid signatures to place the measure on the ballot.
Petitioners will have until June 30, 2011, to collect the required signatures.
The official roster of Ohio’s cities and villages based on the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau Report is now available on Secretary of State web site. Villages are defined as having populations of under 5000, and cities have populations of over 5,000. According to this report six communities formerly classified as villages are now cities, and nine cities are now villages. View the Secretary of State’s web site.
Update on HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, received public testimony on HB153 (Amstutz) last week, and amendments were due in the chairman’s office by April 15, 2011. The committee will convene the last week in April to consider a substitute bill and testimony will follow, with a vote expected in early May.
Several education organizations and individuals testified last week about the effects of HB 153 on school district budgets and on services for students who are gifted.
According to testimony from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, and the Ohio School Boards Association, the loss in revenue from state funding and federal stimulus dollars, which was available to school districts in FY11, will be $3.1 billion over the biennium. This loss will translate into a “loss of programs, people, and Ohio jobs”, and will shift funding for education even more to local tax payers, where tax payers approve additional levies to restore lost state funds to schools.
Testimony on gifted education described how many school districts will not continue serving gifted students if HB 153 is not changed. Currently in the bill state funds for gifted education are merged with Basic Aid without spending and maintenance of effort rules.
Update from Washington, D.C.: FY11 Appropriations Approved: The U.S. House and Senate approved H.R. 1473, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, on April 14, 2011. President Obama signed the measure into law on April 15, 2011, but added a statement pledging his administrations’s goal to repeal provisions related to prisoners at Guantanamo.
H.R. 1473 provides funding for government programs through September 30, 2011, but reduces the FY11 budget from by $37.6 billion compared to FY10 levels, and reduces all non-defence accounts across the Board by .2 percent. Previously approved continuing resolutions have reduced funding for government programs in FY11 by $12 billion.
The budget for the U.S. Department of Education decreases from $69.8 billion in FY10 to $68.5 billion in FY11 (excluding Pell Grants). According to a document from the National Education Association, cuts have been made to year-round Pell grant awards; Tech-Prep and Career Technical Education basic state grants; adult education; GEAR-Up; and TRIO/Upward Bound. Funding for key programs such as Title 1 grants to school districts and special education grants are maintained at current levels, and funding for two programs, Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation (i3), will be extended.
Because the language in the resolution is limited, departments will have discretion to determine the funding levels for programs that are not specifically cited in the bill. Departments are required to provide a spending plan for FY11 within 30 days of enactment. At that time more information will be available about final FY11 program levels for the U.S. Department of Education, but included below is a preliminary list of eliminated education programs based on the information included in the NEA document:
Striving Readers (ESEA I-E, section 1502) $200 million
Even Start (ESEA I-B-3) $66.5
Literacy through School Libraries (ESEA I-B-4) $19 million
Educational Technology State Grants (ESEA II-D-1 and 2) $100 million
Javits Gifted and Talented Education (ESEA V-D, subpart 6) $7.5
National Writing Project (ESEA II-C-2) $25.6 million
Teaching American History (ESEA II-C-4) $119 million
Teach for America (HEA VIII-F) $18 million
Close Up Fellowships (ESEA section 1504) $1.9 million
Ready to Learn Television (ESEA 11-D-3) $27 million
Reading is Fundamental/Inexpensive Book Distribution (ESEA V-D, subpart 5) $24.8 million
Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners (ESEA V-D, subpart 12) $8.8 million
Special Olympics Education Programs (Special Olympics Sport & Empowerment Act) $8.1 million
Tech Prep Education State Grants (CTEA Title II) $102.9 million
Smaller Learning Communities (ESEA V-D, subpart 4) $88 million
Transition Training for Incarcerated Individuals (HE Amendments of 1998, VIII-D) $17.2 million
Preliminary information about education program cuts is available.
Some Funding for Arts Education Restored: According to Americans for the Arts, the budgets of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities are reduced to $155 million (7.5 percent) in FY11. BUT, $25 million in funding for “Arts in Education” at the U.S. Department of Education is restored. $40 million in funding for this program was eliminated in a continuing resolution approved in February 2011. Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Smithsonian Institution was also saved.
The U.S. House also approved by a vote of 235 to 193 on April 15, 2011, House Concurrent Resolution 34, establishing the budget for FY12. The resolution was approved basically along party lines and includes a deficit reduction plan presented by Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin. President Obama submitted his budget plan in February and outlined his plan for reducing the deficit on April 13, 2011.
HCR 34 is based on the budget/deficit plan entitled “Pathway to Prosperity”, proposed by Representative Paul Ryan, chair of the House Budget Committee. The plan reduces federal spending by $5.8 trillion over the next ten years and cuts corporate and personal income tax rates by extending the tax cuts approved under the Bush administration. It also cuts funding for primary and secondary education programs, Head Start, Pell grants, and re-configures Medicare and Medicaid programs. The revamped Medicare Program would require seniors 65 and older to join private insurance plans which would be subsidized by the government. Medicaid would become a block grant program run by states. According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis, the plan for changing Medicare would increase costs to seniors for health care, and the plan to change Medicaid would reduce services to the poor, half of which are children.
U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee, chaired by Representative Kline, held hearings on April 7, 2011 to discuss the impact of federal rules and regulations on education and how to meet federal accountability measures with the fewest regulations and requirements. This hearing is one of several that have been held to discuss issues that should be addressed in the re-authorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind).
The witnesses included Terry Grier, superintendent of the Houston Independent School District; Janet Barresi, Oklahoma state schools superintendent; Yohance Maqubela, chief operating officer of a D.C. charter school; and Gary Amoroso, superintendent of the Lakeville Area Public Schools in Minnesota.
Chairman John Kline expressed his intent to introduce a series of education reform bills, rather than one bill to re-authorize ESEA, and stated that schools and states would have more flexibility to meet federal accountability requirements.
State Board of Education Meets: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on April 11-12, 2011 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus.
The Executive Committee, chaired by Debe Terhar, discussed changing the Board’s calendar and moving the Board Retreat from June to August to coincide with an event sponsored by the Grantmakers’ Forum in August (date TBA), which will be funded by the Gates Foundation and sponsored by Ohio State University. Several members voiced support for keeping the June Retreat, and a motion to amend the calendar with withdrawn. The June Retreat might also provide members with an opportunity to interview candidates for superintendent.
The committee then reviewed the March 29, 2011 Executive Committee meeting, in which the committee recommended Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Assessment, Stan Heffner, as interim superintendent, and recommended that the Executive Committee act as a search committee to find a new superintendent of public instruction to replace Deb Delisle, who resigned effective April 30, 2011. The decisions to select Stan Heffner as interim and for the executive committee to conduct a search for the superintendent were later debated at length by the full Board during the Tuesday business meeting.
The committee also discussed a resolution proposed by C. Todd Jones to support federal legislation (introduced by Representative Hunter) that directs the U.S. Armed Forces to treat all diplomas the same. Currently the Armed Forces treats students who graduate from charter schools and online schools at a lower tier (tier 2) than students who graduate with a diploma from traditional public schools.
The Achievement Committee, previously chaired by Mike Collins and now chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, discussed dropout prevention and recovery program waivers and Ohio State Perkins Plan regarding Technical Content Standards and Assessments. The dropout prevention and recovery programs allow students to graduate with a diploma based on a competency-based education program instead of the Ohio Core. Schools can apply for a waiver if they meet the criteria as a dropout prevention school. The presentation noted that the diploma that students receive through this option does not qualify them for admission into Ohio’s four year colleges or universities.
The Capacity Committee, formerly chaired by Kristen McKinney and now chaired by Tom Gunlock, discussed and approved the model policy for Tobacco Free Schools. The committee also received an update on the state’s anti-bullying policy and discussed the role of the Board and ODE in monitoring district compliance with this policy. The committee also reviewed a draft of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. The proposed new evaluation system will be implemented throughout the school year and fifty percent of a teacher’s evaluation will be based on student achievement. The evaluation component based on student achievement has not been developed as yet.
The Select Committee on Urban Education, formerly chaired by Rob Hovis and now chaired by Joe Farmer, discussed the charge of the committee and reviewed an overview document that Board members had received in March about performance data for urban schools and characteristics of high performing schools. During the discussion about the committee’s charge, members suggested that the committee discuss innovative and best practices already identified and being used in Ohio’s schools; performance-based measures; and funding and budget resources as they relate to urban districts and their schools. During the review of the overview document, the topic of Appalachian school districts was raised, and committee members agreed to extend their findings to all schools where they apply, even though the focus is on urban schools. At future meetings the committee will review a breakdown of per pupil expenditures; the challenges confronting urban schools including data on mobility; and receive information and perspectives from superintendents of urban schools.
Also note, the chair of the Legislative Committee is now C. Todd Jones, who replaced 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. The Board received an update on legislative activities on Tuesday. The Technology and Education Systems Committee did not meet this month.
At 11:15 AM the Board recognized 18 Blue Ribbon Schools and two National Title 1 Distinguished Schools.
TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 2011
The Board convened its business meeting at 8:45 AM and immediately proceeded into executive session. At 10:00 AM the Board received an update on the proposed education budget included in HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, presented by Kelly Weir, Director of the Office of Budget and Planning and an update on legislative issues, and recessed for lunch. Following lunch the Board continued its business meeting and received the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deb Delisle, which included information about the following:
- A review of federal funds and related programs for urban school districts. The ODE has been meeting with several urban school districts (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, and Toldeo) to understand how federal funding is being used to enhance academic achievement and how to better align work to effectively use these funds. The programs under review include Race to the Top; Title 1 School Improvement Grants; ARRA Funds; and grants through IDEA and Title 1. These programs account for a little less than $500 million.
- Changes to the Race to the Top Innovative Program Grant Application deadline.
- Youngstown Academic Distress Commission
- Contract for electronic student records and transcripts with Parchment Incorporated to transfer records among LEAs and to higher education institutions. The funding comes from an U.S. Department of Education grant and a grant through ARRA to develop E-transcript services. This company will not own or store the data.
Executive Principal Leadership Academy held on April 14, 2011 at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and funded through Race to the Top Funds.
The Board then received public testimony from Mrs. Shirley Cotter, who spoke in reference to the Diversity Plan, and took action on 18 personnel items and the resolutions included below. The Board then considered new business, old business, and received public testimony from Mrs. Shirley Cotter on non-agenda items, and adjourned.
Resolutions considered by the State Board of Education at their April 2011 Meeting
#9 Approved 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 Approved 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 Approved 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 Amended a Resolution and rejected the Recommendations of the Hearing Officer and approved a Resolution to Support 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 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-44-01 to 03, 06, 09 of the Ohio Administrative Code regarding post-secondary enrollment options program.
#24 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-92-01 and 3301-92-02 of the Ohio Administrative Code regarding school district budgeting.
#25 Amended a Resolution and referred the Diversity Strategy Recommendations included in the OSU Kirwan Institute’s Report and Recommendations on Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools back to the Capacity Committee to examine the possible “unfunded mandates set forth in the recommendations and the possible adverse impact of the recommendations on school districts with more homogeneous population, such as rural school districts.”
#26 Approved a Resolution to Adopt the Preschool Content Standards and Their Successors in Mathematics and English Language Arts.
#27 Defeated by a vote of 10-9 a Resolution stating that the State Board of Education protests the usurping by the Governor of the Board’s sole authority and responsibility to appoint and relieve the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
#28 Amended. Approved a Resolution that the funding mechanism for gifted education be returned to the previous funding system of gifted units and gifted supplemental identification funding that existed prior to the implementation of the Ohio evidence-based model. The resolution was amended to substitute the words “the effective date of HB1” rather than the Ohio evidence-based model, and add “whereas the proposed budget for 2011 – 2012 eliminates designated funding for gifted education.”
#29 Approved a Motion to appoint Stan Heffner interim Superintendent of Public Instruction. The vote was 10 – 8 – 1 abstention, with considerable discussion and debate about the process used to select the interim superintendent, and the fact that Mr. Heffner has accepted a new job, and will be resigning from the ODE.
#30 Withdrew a Motion for the Executive Committee to conduct a search for the Superintendent. There was considerable debate about this resolution and whether or not the Executive Committee, using the resources of the Ohio Department of Education, had the capacity to conduct the search. This recommendation will be considered next month.
The Board approved several accommodations for the following individuals who are leaving the ODE: Cynthia Yoder, Lou Staffilino, and Deborah Delisle. An accommodation was also approved for former State Board member Tammy O’Brien, who recently resigned from the
Old Business: The Board reviewed a letter drafted by Board leadership and addressed to the Governor requesting a response to the involvement of the Governor’s Office in the resignation of Superintendent Delisle.
#31 New Business: Approved a resolution on an emergency basis that declares the Board’s support for legislation to ensure that a student who receives a diploma from an Ohio online or charter school is treated by the United States Armed Forces in the same manner as other graduates of Ohio public schools.
#32 New Business: Approved a resolution requesting a clarification of Ohio Attorney General Opinion 80-083 regarding sunshine laws (secret ballots).
Report Relates Poverty to Reading Skills: The Annie E. Casey Foundation released on April 8, 2011 a new report, entitled “Double Jeopardy: How Poverty & Third-Grade Reading Skills Influence High School Graduation” by Donald J. Hernandez, Professor, Department of Sociology Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York and Senior Advisor, Foundation for Child Development.
The longitudinal study of nearly 4,000 students examined high school graduation rates for children at different reading skill levels and with different poverty rates. Researchers found that those who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers. For the worst readers, those who couldn’t master even the basic skills by third grade, the rate is nearly six times greater. While these struggling readers account for about a third of the students, they represent more than three fifths of those who eventually drop out or fail to graduate on time. The study also shows that poverty has a powerful influence on graduation rates. The report is available at http://www.aecf.org/
- HB203 (Hagan) Recalling Elected Officials: Establishes a process for recalling statewide elected officials and members of the General Assembly.
- SB146 (Schaffer) Tax Credit for Teachers-Instructional Materials: Allows a credit against the personal income tax for amounts spent by teachers for instructional materials.
- SB148 (Wagoner) Election Law: Revises the Election Law.
- HB194 (Mecklenborg) Election Law: Revises Election Law.
Crayola Grants to Schools: Crayola is partnering with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) to award grants to schools that infuse arts education into the curriculum. To be eligible, the school principal must be a member of the NAESP. The grant value is $2500 in cash and $500 in Crayola products. Applications are due by July 8, 2011. For more information please visit http://www.crayola.com/educators/naesp/index.cfm
Youth Arts Month Festival in Boston: An article in Boston Globe entitled “Boston students take creative initiative” by Matt Byrne (April 3, 2011) describes the 17th annual Youth Arts Month Festival in the Boston Public Schools (April 2 – May 20, 2011). This festival provides an opportunity for students to exhibit their art work in Boston City Hall. The annual event is sponsored by the Boston Public Schools Curriculum and Instruction for Arts in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events. The event highlights a $2.2 million effort to increase student access to arts instruction in grades K-8. Over the past three years the percent of students with access to arts education has increased from 67 to 81 percent. More information is available.
Employers Value an Education in the Arts: An article published by the University of Phoenix Humanities Department, “Arts education: The key to workforce preparation and performance” by Stevie Ann Rinehart, (March 28, 2011), summarizes reports that examine the benefits that students and adults receive through an education in the arts and ways for adults to improve workplace skills through the arts.
According to the article, there have been a number of recent articles and reports that promote arts education as a way to bring creativity and innovation into the workplace and explain how employers seek people with an arts education background, because of their workplace skills, including team work and problem solving.
The article cites reports from the The Conference Board (Lichtenberg, 2008); the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices (2002); and articles by Bryan Richardson (2008) and J. Rostron (2003).
The article is available.
ACTION ALERT: Contact lawmakers to request that funding for gifted education be earmarked in HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget as a separate line item, and that school districts be held accountable for the gifted funds that they receive through spending rules and maintenance of effort rules.
BACKGROUND: Funding for gifted education is included in the line item Basic Aid (200550) in HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, without any spending rules to ensure that the funds are used to provide services to gifted students, or maintenance of effort rules to ensure that gifted students continue to be served. Over the past two years services for gifted students (including over 20,000 students identified as gifted in the arts) has decreased 22 percent in 350 school districts, and 110 school districts offer no gifted services. According to the Ohio Association for Gifted Children, the single most important factor for the continuation of gifted services in districts is the presence of state funding. A recent survey of gifted coordinators shows that 40 percent expect a decrease or elimination of services for gifted students during the 2011-12 school year, if state funding is not earmarked for gifted education.
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, is now considering amendments (which were due on April 15, 2011) and will be developing a substitute bill for the committee to consider the first week in May. Please contact committee members, House leadership, and your own lawmaker, and let them know how gifted services in schools supports students with artistic talents and why the proposed funding mechanism will not work.
House Finance Republicans
Rep. Ron Amstutz (Chairman) 614-466-1474 firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears 614-466-1731 email@example.com
Assistant Majority Whip Cheryl Grossman 614-466-9690 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Richard Adams 614-466-8114 email@example.com
Rep. Marlene Anielski 614-644-6041 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Troy Balderson 614-644-6014 email@example.com
Rep. Peter A. Beck 614-644-6027 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Dave Burke 614-466-8147 email@example.com
Rep. Mike Duffy 614-644-6030 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Randy Gardner 614-466-8104 email@example.com
Rep. Dave Hall 614-466-2994 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Richard Hollington 614-644-5088 email@example.com
Rep. Jeffrey McClain 614-644-6275 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Ross McGregor 614-466-2038 email@example.com
Rep. Mecklenborg 614-466-8258 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Bob Peterson 614-644-7928 email@example.com
Rep. Lynn Slaby 614-644-644-5085 firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, please send emails to House leadership:
Speaker William Batchelder 614-466-8140 email@example.com
Majority Floor Leader Matt Huffman 614-466-9624 firstname.lastname@example.org
Speaker Pro Tempore Lou Blessing 614-466-9091 email@example.com
Majority Whip John Adams 614-466-1507 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have time, also phone and email Democrats:
House Finance Democrats
Rep. Vernon Sykes (Ranking Minority Member) 614-466-3100 email@example.com
Rep. Michael Ashford 614-466-1401 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Barbara Boyd 614-644-5079 email@example.com
Rep. John Carney 614-466-2473 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Kathleen Clyde 614-466-2400 email@example.com
Rep. Denise Driehaus 614-466-5786 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Nancy Garland 614-644-6002 email@example.com
Rep. Jay Goyal 614-466-5802 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Alicia Reese 614-466-1308 email@example.com
Rep. Stephen Slesnick 614-466-8030 firstname.lastname@example.org