129th Ohio General Assembly: The House and Senate will hold committee hearings this week. The House will hold sessions, but scheduled sessions for the Senate have been canceled.
Senator Cates Leaving the Senate: Governor John Kasich and Chancellor Jim Petro announced last week the appointment of Senator Gary Cates (4th Senate District) as senior vice chancellor of innovation and enterprise development for the Ohio Board of Regents.
Senator Cates will leave the Senate at the end of May to assume this new position. The Ohio Senate is expected to announce a process to select a replacement for Senator Cates.
Ballot Issues: According to the Ohio School Boards Association, voters approved on the May 3, 2011 ballot 59 percent (86 of 147) of the school funding issues, including levies, bond issues, school income tax issues and combination issues. Find information about a particular school district.
New Initiatives Encourage Voting: Secretary of State Jon Husted announced on May 6, 2011 a new initiative to encourage high school seniors to register to vote and an initiative to encourage younger students to become involved in the election process.
The “Grads Vote” initiative will provide online information to graduating high school seniors about how to register to vote. The initiative will run through October 11, 2011, which is the deadline to register to vote for the November 8, 2011 election. More information is available.
The other initiative, “Elect Your Sticker Program”, provides an opportunity for Ohioans to select the design for the next “I Voted Today” sticker from among six designs. The initiative includes lesson plans for teachers to use to incorporate into their curricula. The initiative runs through August 8, 2011. Information is available.
OAGC Holds Parent Meeting: The Ohio Association for Gifted Children: (OAGC) will host a meeting on May 12, 2011 at the Columbus Northwest Public Library, (Dublin/Worthington area north of I-270), for parents and interested individuals regarding recent legislation that affects gifted education and options in Ohio.
The meeting is free and open to the public. The presentation begins at 7:00 PM. OAGC representatives will be at the library from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM to answer questions.
Directions: Follow I – 270 to the Sawmill Road Exit in the Dublin, Ohio area. Exit onto Sawmill Road North. Follow Sawmill Road North for a half mile, turning right at the third right-hand turn onto Hard Road. The library will be on the left hand side, just under a mile down Hard Road. A flier is available.
This Week at the Statehouse
TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2011
Senate Finance: The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, will meet starting at 9:00 AM in the Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive invited testimony on Sub. HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget from state boards and commissions. The committee will continue meeting at 2:00 PM and receive testimony from state departments and agencies.
House State Government and Elections: The House State Government and Elections Committee, chaired by Representative Mecklenborg, will meet at 1:30 PM in hearing room 116. The committee will receive testimony on HB194 (Mecklenborg/Blessing) Election Law, which would revise election law.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2011
House State Government and Elections: The House State Government and Elections Committee, chaired by Representative Mecklenborg, will meet at 9:00 AM in hearing room 121. The committee will receive testimony on HB194 (Mecklenborg/Blessing) Election Law, which would revise election law.
Senate Finance: The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, will meet starting at 9:00 AM in the Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive invited testimony on Sub. HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget from departments, including the Ohio Department of Education at 10:00 AM and the Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education. After 1:00 PM the committee will receive testimony from interested parties on K-12 education. If needed the committee will meet at 7:30 PM.
Senate Government and Oversight and Reform Committee The Senate Government and Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Senator Faber, will meet at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on SB148 (Wagoner) Election Law.
House Education: 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:
- HB211 (Adams) American History Standards: Includes content on specified historical documents in the state academic standards and in the high school American history and government curriculum.
- SB86 (Sawyer) Community School – DYS: Permits the establishment of a community school to serve adults of school age who are incarcerated or who have been released from the custody of the Department of Youth Services, and declare an emergency.
- HB205 (Derickson) Hybrid Community Schools: Permits the establishment of hybrid community schools that provide both remote technology-based and classroom-based instruction.
- HB96 (Celeste/Brenner) Dyslexia: Specifies dyslexia as a specific learning disability and requires a pilot project to provide early screening and intervention services for children with dyslexia.
THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011
Senate Finance: The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, will meet starting at 9:00 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive invited testimony on Sub. HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget from departments, including the eTech Commission; Board of Career Colleges and Schools; Tuition Trust Authority; Higher Education Facilities Commission, and the Board of Regents. The hearing will continue at 1:00 PM when the committee will receive testimony from interested parties regarding higher education.
Senate Government and Oversight and Reform Committee The Senate Government and Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Senator Faber, will meet at 9:30 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on SB148 (Wagoner) Election Law.
Update on Biennial Budget (Sub. HB153 Amstutz): The Ohio House approved Substitute HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget on May 5, 2011 along party lines (59 to 40) with several amendments. The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, is now receiving testimony on Sub. HB153. The Office of Budget and Management reported on May 6, 2011 that state revenues were $800 million over estimates, which would provide lawmakers with a budget surplus, rather than a deficit, at the end of the fiscal year as they consider budget priorities. Lawmakers will receive updated information about the status of state revenues in June 2011 before taking final action on the biennial budget. The biennial budget must be approved by the General Assembly and signed into law by June 30, 2011.
OVERVIEW: After weeks of hearings the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, approved Sub. HB153 on May 3, 2011 and sent it to the full House for consideration. The committee had reviewed over 1000 amendments, and, as a result made a variety of changes in the budget bill first proposed by Governor Kasich. For example, provisions have been removed regarding some parts of collective bargaining (SB5), criminal sentencing, and the two percent increase in employee pension plan payments. Changes have also been made to JobsOhio, and the bill repeals the estate tax effective January 1, 2013. The loss to local entities is estimated to be $286 million.
The substitute bill also increases the state budget compared to HB153 as introduced. Sub. HB 153 increases the General Revenue Fund (GRF) budget to $26.9 billion in FY12 ($61.7 million increase) and to $28.6 billion in FY13 ($19 million increase.) The General Revenue Fund budget for the biennium would be $55.6 billion. The All Funds budget would be $55.7 billion in FY12 and $56.38 billion in FY13.
State funding for school districts and nonpublic schools also increases. State funding for school districts through Foundation Funding (200550) increases by $50 million in FY12 and $56 million in FY13. The House passed version provides supplemental funding in FY12 to guarantee that no school district’s funding decreases more than 20 percent from the portion of its FY11 funding that was supported through state funds without federal stimulus funds. The bill also provides supplemental funding in FY13 to guarantee that districts that received supplemental funding in FY12 do not receive less than their FY12 funding including the supplement. The supplemental funding will ensure that about two dozen school districts receive some state aid through the proposed formula in the budget.
The total General Revenue Fund budget for the Department of Education increases to $7.46 billion ($51.5 million increase) in FY12 and $7.56 billion ($57.4 million increase) in FY13. This amount is still a decrease in funding compared to the estimated General Revenue Budget for the Department of Education in FY11 — $7.77 billion.
Changes have also been made to the phase-out of reimbursements for Tangible Personal Property Tax and Public Utility Tax (kilowatt hour tax) for school districts, local governments, and other local entities. Sub. HB153 now limits the phase-out to two years. This change does not affect the loss in revenue that school districts will incur in FY12 & 13, but does give lawmakers time to work with stakeholders to develop a plan to address the phase-out of the tax reimbursements.
The bill also increases general revenue funding for the Ohio Arts Council by $1 million in FY12 and $2 million in FY13. The Total General Revenue Fund budget would increase to $6.305 million in FY12 and to $7.305 million in FY13. All Fund Groups budget would increase to $7.79 million in FY12 and to $8.799 million in FY13.
Some good news – Sub. HB153 was amended on the floor of the House to ensure that school districts that receive funds for gifted services spend those funds for gifted services at FY09 levels. The added provisions do the following:
- Specify that the amount of state funding allocated in each fiscal year for services to gifted students for each district be equal to the amounts allocated for gifted units and gifted identification in FY09.
- Require ODE to indicate each district’s allocation for special education and related services, gifted education, and career-technical education on the form used to calculate each district’s total funding allocation.
- Require each district to spend its allocation for career technical education on career-technical education and gifted education on gifted education, and require ODE to monitor this spending.
- Specify that gifted funding (up to $8.1 million each year) be distributed to ESCs through the unit-based methodology in place in FY09, and require any remaining funds be distributed to school districts for the identification of gifted students. (This provision was included in the substitute bill.)
Additions and/or changes were also made in the following provisions included in Sub. HB153: community schools; e-schools; teacher/principal evaluations; teacher compensation; teacher contracts; teacher assignments; teacher and administrator termination; teacher layoffs; re-testing teachers; qualifications for gifted education coordinators; the Cleveland Scholarship Program; academic content standards; parent trigger; a pilot project in Columbiana County for a multi-track high school curriculum; the Harmon Commission; Educational Service Centers; calamity days make-up work; fiscal emergency school districts; auxiliary services for nonpublic schools; GED; college-preparatory boarding schools; expenditure certification; Digital Learning Task Force; Health Care Pooling Board; and more.
An updated OAAE analysis of the House approved biennial budget bill – Sub. HB153 (Amstutz), will be available this week.
State Board of Education to Meet: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will meet on May 9-10, 2011 at the Ohio School for the Deaf, 500 Morse Road, Columbus, OH.
MEETING ON MAY 9, 2011
The Executive Committee, chaired by Debe Terhar, will meet at 9:00 AM in the Conference room. The committee will discuss the superintendent search; approve a motion regarding public participation at the June business meeting; and discuss board member participation on external committees.
The Achievement, Capacity, and Urban Education committees will meet at 9:45 AM.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, will discuss community service education programs; assessments as part of 128 – HB1; and SB210.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, will discuss diversity strategies recommendations; proposed amendments to Rule 3301-24-04 Entry Year Programs for Teachers; Peer Assistance and Review Model Programs; and Teacher Evaluation Models used in other states.
The Select Committee on Urban Education, chaired by Joe Farmer, will finalize its charge, discuss data on student achievement in urban school districts; and discuss action steps and the agenda for the June 2011 meeting.
The Board will recognize “Ohio Schools to Watch” at 11:30 AM and then break for Lunch.
The Legislative and Budget Committees and Technology and Education Systems Committee will meet at 2:45 PM.
The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, will meet in the Conference room and discuss the FY12-13 budget and proposed legislation regarding dyslexia before the Ohio General Assembly. (This meeting will continue in the Capital Room, Embassy Suites, 2700 Corporate Exchange Drive, at 7;00 PM.)
The Technology and Education Systems Committee, chaired by Dennis Shelton, will discuss the committee’s vision, purpose, and scope, and receive an overview of technology initiatives currently underway at the ODE and Ohio Board of Regents.
The Board will conduct a 119 Hearing at 4:00 PM on Rules 3301-24-14 Supplemental Teaching License, and 3301-58-01-03 Value Added Rules.
MEETING ON MAY 10, 2010: The State Board of Education will convene its business meeting at 8:30 AM at the Ohio School for the Deaf, and immediately meet in executive session.
The business meeting will resume at 10:00 AM. At that time the Board will receive a presentation from Bob Sommers, Director of the Governor’s Office of 21st Education.
At 11:30 AM the Board will receive reports from committees and then break for lunch. Following lunch at 1:00 PM, the Board will receive the report of the Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction; receive public participation on agenda items; and take action on eight personnel items and the resolutions included below.
The Board will then consider old business, new business, miscellaneous business, and public participation on non-agenda items. The Board will then adjourn.
RESOLUTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED BY THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION AT THE MAY 2011 MEETING
#4 Approve a resolution of intent to endorse the 100 Percent Tobacco-Free Schools Campuses Model Policy.
#5 Approve a resolution of the Colonel Crawford Local School District Board of Education to sever from the territory of the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center and annex to the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center pursuant to Section 3311.059 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#6 Approve a resolution of the Wynford Local School District Board of Education to sever from the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center and annex to the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center pursuant to Section 3311.059 of the ORC.
#7 Approve a resolution regarding public participation at the June 2011 State Board of Education meeting.
#8 Approve a resolution to appoint a member to the Educator Standards Board.
Report Released About Poverty in Ohio: The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA), Philip E. Cole Executive Director, released on May 6, 2011 its annual report entitled “The State of Poverty in Ohio: A Pathway to Recovery” prepared by Community Research Partners. The report provides information about the magnitude, characteristics, causes, and impact of poverty in Ohio, and highlights efforts by Community Action Agencies (CAAs) to alleviate poverty through workforce development, entrepreneurship, employer connections, employment stability, and support services.
According to the report, there were an estimated 1.7 million Ohioans in poverty in 2009 (15.2 percent), the highest poverty rate since 1994 (14.1 percent). Over the past ten years, before the impact of the recession, the number of persons in poverty in Ohio had grown by 46.1 percent. Ohio now ranks 35th (on a scale where the #1 is the lowest rate) in the percentage of people in poverty among the 50 states, and Ohio’s poverty rate is above the national rate of 14.3 percent.
The report found the following:
- The 1.7 million Ohioans in poverty in 2009 included people of all ages, races, and household types.
- From 2007 to 2009, the percent of economically disadvantaged Ohio public school students increased from 32.7 percent to 42.9 percent of total enrollment.
- Population groups that have traditionally been more economically stable, such as suburbanites, homeowners, and two-income families, also experienced increases in poverty.
- Participation in the labor force, multiple workers per household, and higher educational attainment are related to lower poverty rates, but even full-time employment does not guarantee freedom from poverty.
- Adults with a Bachelor’s Degree or higher had a poverty rate of 3.8 percent, compared to a rate of 26.4 percent for adults with no high school diploma or equivalent.
- The highest 2009 county poverty rates were found in the southeastern, Appalachian area of the Ohio, while the counties with the largest numbers of people in poverty were in the state’s large urban areas.
- One-third of all Ohioans in poverty lived within the municipal boundaries of the state’s six largest cities.
- Poverty increased over the decade in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Twenty-four counties had a poverty rate increase of at least five percentage points from 1999 to 2009. Only two counties had poverty rates of 20 percent or more in 1999, but nine counties surpassed that threshold in 2009.
The researchers note that the definition of poverty (a family of four with an income at or under $21,756) does not adequately define poverty in today’s society. A more accurate way to measure poverty is through the “self-sufficiency standard,” which calculates the earnings needed to meet basic needs for different family types, based both on county of residence and number and ages of children. This standard is about 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level or $34,570 for a family of four.
Using the self-sufficiency standard, 3.7 million Ohioans (33 percent) and 778,000 families would be considered living in poverty.
The report found that many Ohioans are working, but still poor, and are now more reliant on public assistance. According to the report, “As the state emerges from this recession, it is important that all Ohioans have the opportunity to contribute to, and benefit from, economic growth.” This means improving the financial assets of families through building a skilled workforce and creating and sustaining jobs that provide an adequate income and benefits.
The report recommends the following to address poverty in Ohio:
- Create good jobs with good benefits
- Support accessible, affordable lifelong learning
- Secure safe and affordable housing
- Ensure safe reliable transportation
The report also includes case studies of CAA programs that serve as examples of how Community Action contributes to community and economic development.
The full report is available at http://www.oacaa.org/.
- HB219 (McClain) Religious Courses – Public School Students: Permits public school students to attend and receive credit for released time courses in religious instruction conducted off school property during regular school hours.
- HB220 (Beck/Baker) CAT Tax Credit Investment: Allows a refundable commercial activity tax credit for investment losses recognized by foreign entrepreneur investors who invest in certain projects in Ohio.
- HB221 (Mecklenborg/Driehaus) College-Preparatory Boarding Schools: Permits the establishment of public college-preparatory boarding schools for at-risk students to be operated by private nonprofit entities and establishes the College-Preparatory Boarding School Facilities Program.
- SB165 (Obhof) State Academic Standards: Includes content on specified historical documents in the state academic standards and in the high school American history and government curriculum.
OAC Testifies Before the Senate Finance Committee: Julie Henahan, executive director of the Ohio Arts Council, presented testimony on May 4, 2011 to the Ohio Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, regarding Sub.HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, and funding levels for the Ohio Arts Council. Director Henahan requested that the Senate maintain the level of funding for the Council, and focused her remarks on the economic, cultural, and educational impact of the arts on Ohio’s communities. According to the testimony, there are 231,000 people in Ohio who work in the creative industries. These industries contribute more than $25 billion to Ohio’s economy and generate $1.06 billion in state and local tax revenues. The Ohio Arts Council supports artists, art institutions and organizations, and schools through its outreach and grant programs, and is a “powerful partner” and part of the solution to create jobs and improve Ohio’s economy. The testimony is available on the Senate Finance Committee website.
AFTA Report Released: Americans for the Arts released on April 29, 2011 a report entitled “The Role of the Arts in Educating America for Great Leadership and Economic Strength”. The report is the result of a national arts policy roundtable conducted in September 2010 at the Sundance Resort and Preserve in Sundance, UT, hosted by Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts, and Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute. Officials from both the U.S. Department of Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities also participated in the roundtable.
According to the report, “Can the arts play a role? We know they can-and if we are to succeed, we know they must. As more employers recognize the value of creativity and innovation, we must ensure the arts are understood as a critical part of building a workforce steeped in innovative capabilities. With the United States facing a 70 percent high school graduation rate, we must create vibrant learning environments that engage students by unlocking their creative potential and build the confidence that helps them succeed. The arts are not only what is needed to reform education-they can transform it. Our task is to ensure the policies, practices, and resources are in place to bring this vision to reality.”
Participants at the roundtable identified the following actions to support the arts and arts education:
- Advocates must engage in more effective messaging to highlight that the arts aren’t only for aspiring artists, but are necessary to develop critical 21st century skills and for motivating students to achieve;
- Research should be conducted to examine how the arts prepare creative and innovative thinkers and compare the United States to other countries in its commitment to developing globally competitive workers;
- Strategic alliances should be strengthened among business and philanthropic leaders and proponents of arts education to influence positive change in schools;
- Key opportunities should be identified to reform federal public policy that supports the arts in education down the state-to-local pipeline.
The report is available.
NCES Preview on the Status of Arts Released: The U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, released on May 2, 2011 a preview of a study on the national status and condition of arts education entitled “A Snapshot of Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 2009-10.” The report presents selected findings from a congressionally mandated study on arts education in public K-12 schools. The data was collected through the Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) during the school year. This report provides national data about arts education for public elementary and secondary schools, elementary classroom teachers, and elementary and secondary music and visual arts specialists.
The following are selected findings from the preview study:
- In 2009-10, most of the nation’s public elementary schools offered instruction that was designated specifically for music and visual arts (94 and 83 percent, respectively). In comparison, 3 percent of elementary schools offered instruction that was designated specifically for dance, and 4 percent offered instruction that was designated specifically for drama/theatre.
- Ninety-one percent of public secondary schools reported that they offered music in the 2008-09 school year, 89 percent offered visual arts, 12 percent offered dance, and 45 percent offered drama/theatre.
The full study is scheduled to be released by the end of 2011 and will include findings on a broader set of indicators on the status of arts education in 2009-2010, and comparisons with data from the study conducted in 1999-2000. The report is available.
PCAH Report Released: The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, chaired (honorary) by First Lady Michelle Obama, George Stevens, Jr. and Margo Lion, released a report entitled “Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools” during the Arts Education Partnership’s forum on May 6, 2011.
The report is based on 18 months of research and meetings with stakeholders, and includes a review of current research; a review of the condition of arts education; an analysis of the challenges and opportunities in arts education; and recommendations for federal, state and local policymakers.
According to the report the researchers found a “growing body of research to support positive educational outcomes associated with arts-rich schools”, but also enormous variety in the delivery of arts education, resulting in a complex patchwork with pockets of visionary activity flourishing in some locations and inequities in access to arts education increasing in others.”
Just when the benefits of an education in the arts could most help students, the report found that due to budget constraints and emphasis on subjects of high stakes testing, instruction in the arts is experiencing a downward trend, especially for students attending lower-income schools.
As schools struggle to keep students motivated to stay in school and engaged in rigorous study, “…the outcomes associated with arts education — which include increased academic achievement, school engagement, and creative thinking — have become increasingly important. Decades of research show strong and consistent links between high-quality arts education and a wide range of impressive educational outcomes. This is true even though, as in most areas where learning is complex,the research base does not yet establish causal proof. Arts integration models, the practice of teaching across classroom subjects in tandem with the arts, have been yielding some particularly promising results in school reform and closing the achievement gap. Most recently, cutting-edge studies in neuroscience have been further developing our understanding of how arts strategies support crucial brain development in learning.”
The report recommends the following:
- Build collaborations among different arts educators and approaches to arts instruction, such as among art specialists working on standards-based approaches; classroom teachers trained in arts integration; and project-based teaching artists.
- Develop the field of arts integration through teacher preparation and professional development.
- Expand in-school opportunities for teaching artists, such as through a national service program similar to the “Artist Corps” idea proposed by President Obama.
- Utilize federal and state policies to reinforce the place of arts in K-12 education.
“This recommendation focuses on the need for federal and state education leaders to provide policy guidance for employing the arts to increase the rigor of curriculum, strengthen teacher quality, and improve low-performing schools. Building capacity to create and innovate in our students is central to guaranteeing the nation’s competitiveness. To do this it is necessary for federal and state governments to move beyond merely “allowing” the arts as an expenditure of a comprehensive education.”
Widen the focus of evidence gathering about arts education, including practical tools to measure student achievement in the arts through authentic assessments of complex learning. This includes gathering data about teacher quality, resources, and facilities regarding arts education at the local and state levels.
The report is available at http://www.pcah.gov/.