129th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate have scheduled committee hearings and sessions this week.
*Budget Update: The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Widener, completed hearing testimony on Sub. HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, and has asked members to submit amendments by May 26, 2011. An omnibus amendment will be ready for the committee to consider the week of May 30th. The Senate is expected to vote on Sub. HB153 the first week in June 2011.
*House Passes Election Reform Bill: The Ohio House passed HB194 (Mecklenborg-Blessing), Election Reform, on May 18, 2011 by a vote of 53 to 39. The controversial bill makes a variety of changes in law regarding boards of elections; absentee ballots; provisional ballots; voter ID; in-person voting; and more.
*Senate Passes Optional Body Mass Screenings Bill: The Ohio Senate approved by a vote of 20 to 10 SB118 (Cates), Body Mass Screenings, which makes schools’ implementation of body mass index screenings optional.
This Week at the Statehouse:
TUESDAY, MAY 24, 2011
*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 HB224 (Dovilla/Stinziano) Absent Voter’s Ballots and HB188 (Batchelder) Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission,
WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2011
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:
-HB191 (Hanes/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.
-HB211 (Adams) American History Academic Standards: Includes content on specified historical documents in the state content academic standards and in the high school American history and government curriculum.
-HB155 (Fedor/Garland) School Bullying Policies: 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.
News from Washington, D.C.:
*DOE Budget Tables Available for FY11: The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) released on May 16, 2011 new budget tables showing final program funding levels for the remainder of FY11, which ends on September 30, 2011. The new funding levels were included in the continuing resolution (CR) that President Obama signed into law on April 15, 2011 to fund the federal government (P.L. 112-10) through FY11, and provide about $1.3 billion less for the U.S. DOE, including a .2 percent across the board decrease for all programs. Over 30 education programs were eliminated and funding levels for many other education programs were reduced.
The CR also included a $5.5 billion increase in funding for Pell Grants; a $700 million increase for Race to the Top; a $150 million increase for the Investing in Innovation program; a $30 million increase for Promise Neighborhoods, and funding to maintain levels for key formula programs such as Title I and IDEA.
Funding for “Arts in Education” (ESEA V-D subpart 5) is included, but has been reduced to $27.44 million, which is $12.56 million less than the FY10 level of $40 million. The funding chart is available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/budget/budget11/11action.pdf.
*Update on ESEA Reauthorization: Education Week reported on May 20, 2011 that Representative Kline, chair of the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee, said that the House would probably not meet an August deadline to revamp the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) (also known as the No Child Left Behind Act) set by President Obama. (EdWeek, “Rep. Kline: No Chance ESEA Rewrite by August: May 20, 2011 by Associated Press.)
The committee is currently working on a number of bills that will update portions of ESEA, but the article notes that House lawmakers (both Republican and Democrat) are divided about how to change many of the controversial provisions. Some legislators want to curtail the federal role in primary and secondary education, while others want to incentivize teacher quality and efficiencies through ESEA.
The U.S. Senate is still working on a total revamp of ESEA, which could be considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by Senator Harkins, before the July recess. The article is available at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/05/20/430216useducationoverhaul_ap.html?r=1578994901
*Regional Meetings Will Gather Information About Education Issues: The U.S. Department of Education announced on May 19, 2011 that it had established ten Regional Advisory Committees to collect information on the educational needs across the country.
The committees will collect information from state and local educators, school officials, business leaders, state education agencies, parents, community leaders, and others. A report will be compiled and presented to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan by August 1, 2011.
The committees also will assist the Department in establishing priorities for the upcoming Comprehensive Centers Program grant competition in 2012. The Comprehensive Centers provide technical assistance designed to help build the capacity of states to support their districts and schools in increasing student achievement.
The first of the committee meetings will take place on May 23-24, 2011 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va. Ohio is included in Region 5 with Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The members of the Region 5 committee from Ohio include Marten Frazier, who is a teacher at Citizens Academy Charter School in Cleveland, OH, and Michele Timmons, who is the Director of the Care Team Collaborative, Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center.
News from the ODE:
*New Director for the Center for the Teaching Profession Named: Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction, Stan Heffner, announced on May 16, 2011 the appointment of Lori Lofton as executive director of the Center for the Teaching Profession, replacing Cynthia Yoder, who recently retired. The Center includes the offices of Educator Licensure, Professional Conduct, Educator Quality, and Educator Standards.
*Meeting Planned for Revised Standards: Curriculum leaders in public, nonpublic schools, and Educational Service Centers (ESCs) are invited to attend a meeting to learn more about Ohio’s academic content standards and model curricula. The meeting will be held on June 3, 2011 from 12:30 to 3:30 PM at the Columbus Northgate Center.
Participants will learn how to conduct similar meetings for teachers in their own schools and districts to implement the new content standards and curriculum models over the next few years. ODE also will gather suggestions for future professional development regarding implementation of the standards. To register for the June 3, 2011 meeting or to express interest in future meeting dates, please contact Lisa Simpson at email@example.com.
*Ohio ASCD Summer Conference: The 2011 Ohio ASCD Summer Conference, “Current Educational Issues in Ohio: Standards & Practice”, will be held on June 28, 2011 at the Concourse Hotel & Conference Center in Columbus. The conference will feature a keynote presentation by Michael White entitled “Success Stories, Bad News and Total Nonsense in Education”. White is a pediatric psychologist and educational consultant from Cincinnati. The agenda also includes information about the Race to the Top initiative, Ohio’s revised content standards and model curriculum, and what is known about the contributions teachers make to student growth based on value-added data. For registration information, visit the Ohio ASCD web site at http://www.ohioascd.com/ or call (937) 996-4211.
Census Profiles Released for Ohio: The U.S. Census Bureau released on May 12, 2011 a number of studies based on 2010 census data, including the “Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Ohio”. The demographic profiles provide 2010 Census data on age and sex distributions, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, household relationship and type, and housing occupancy and tenure (whether the housing occupant owns or rents) for several states including Ohio.
According to Ohio’s Profile, Ohio’s total population was 11.53 million; the median age was 38.8; average household size was 2.44 persons; and 67.6 percent of homes in Ohio are owned compared to 32.4 percent rented. Ohio’s profile can be found at http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk.
Brookings Institution Releases Report on Evaluating Teacher Evaluations: The Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution released on April 26, 2011 a report entitled “Passing Muster: Evaluating Teacher Evaluation Systems” by the Brookings Brown Center Task Group on Teacher Quality.
According to the report, new teacher evaluation systems are being developed at the state and local levels based on multiple sources of information, such as classroom observations, student and parent surveys, measures of professionalism and commitment to the school community, and test score gains for students, also known as “value added” scores.
The report addresses how a state or the federal government could achieve a uniform standard for dispensing funds to school districts for the recognition of exceptional teachers without imposing a uniform evaluation system on those districts.
The report outlines a process to compare the new teacher evaluation systems by determining their ability to predict future teacher performance, which is a critical factor in building a fair teacher evaluation system. For more information about the report and the evaluation process please visit http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/0426_evaluating_teachers.aspx.
Article About Ohio Featured in The Nation: Amy Hanauer, executive director of Policy Matters Ohio, writes in an article published in The Nation about the impact that recently passed SB5 (Jones) Collective Bargaining Reform, and proposed budget cuts included in Sub. HB153 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, will have on Ohio’s schools, economy, and communities. (“Ohio: A New Kind of Battleground” by Amy Hanauer, May 11, 2011)
The article notes that Ohio’s economy never really recovered from the 2000-01 recession and was hit hard by the economic downturn of 2009-10. For example, four out of every ten school children in the state now qualify for subsidized lunch.
The proposed state budget (Sub. HB153 – Amstutz) will decrease state funding for schools by nine percent ($2.1 billion); funding for Medicaid by $1.4 billion; and funding for local governments by $1 billion.
According to the article, the proposed budget, “slashes services; seizes revenue from local governments, libraries and schools; and sells public assets, including five prisons and the liquor distribution business, eliminating long-term revenue sources and reducing public control over vital public functions”.
In addition, the passage of SB5, which includes changes in collective-bargaining, will “reduce the job quality in the public sector by drastically rolling back collective bargaining rights, outlawing strikes and giving local management more authority to resolve a negotiating impasse.” AND, changes in Ohio’s tax system, enacted in 2005, contribute to the state’s deficit problem, by reducing state revenues by $4 billion.
The author proposes that the changes in Ohio’s tax system; proposed budget reductions; and changes in collective bargaining will lead to more layoffs and fewer jobs, and dampen the already delicate economic recovery in Ohio.
The article concludes by saying that the proposed state budget and recently passed laws about collective bargaining are galvanizing workers across the state to support “a decent state budget, solid public services, reasonable revenue raised fairly and preservation of workers’ rights in every sector of the economy”. The article is available at http://www.thenation.com/article/160617/ohio-new-kind-battleground
Report Analyzes Approaches to School Improvement: The U.S. Department of Education’s American Institutes for Research (AIR) released on May 9, 2011 a report entitled “Baseline Analyses of SIG Applications and SIG-Eligible and SIG-Awarded Schools” by Steven Hurlburt, Kerstin Carlson Le Floch, Susan Bowles Therriault and Susan Cole.
The report examines how states will implement $3.5 billion in federal Title I School Improvement Grants (SIG) over the next three years.
Researchers collected and analyzed state applications, data on SIG-eligible and SIG-awarded schools, and how the funds have been distributed by states. Schools participating in the program are classified as either Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III based on low student achievement and graduation rates, and must implement one of four “turnaround models” identified in the SIG grants. The following results were noted in the study:
*A total of 15,277 schools, or 16 percent of all schools nationwide, were eligible for SIG.
*The schools receiving grants were more likely to be high-poverty, high-minority, urban schools in comparison to elementary and secondary schools nationwide. They also were more likely to be high schools.
*The proportion of schools eligible for the grants varies widely by state, ranging from 2 percent of schools in Oklahoma and South Carolina to 56 percent of schools in the District of Columbia.
California has the largest number of eligible schools, with 2,720 schools.
*States differed in their approaches to distributing the funds to schools. In Kentucky, 105 of 108 eligible schools received funding, while Illinois focused on funding 10 of their 738 eligible schools.
*Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of SIG-awarded Tier I and Tier II schools are implementing the transformation model for school improvement.
*School-level SIG award amounts varied by Tier and by state. The average total award among Tier I and Tier II schools was $2.54 million, compared to $520,000 among Tier III schools. The average three-year award for Tier I and Tier II schools in Illinois was $4.63 million compared to $620,000 in Vermont.
*The percentage increase in per-pupil funding associated with SIG varied across states. For example, Tier I and Tier II schools receiving SIG awards in Montana increased their per-pupil funding by 58 percent, while the increase was 3 percent in Vermont. For more information about this report please visit http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20114019/sec_4.asp.
*SCR11 (Lehner) Graduation Rate Changes: Approve the Department of Education’s proposed graduation rate changes to the state accountability system for public schools.
*HB227 (Goyal) Degrees in Math-based Fields: Grants an income tax credit to individuals who earn degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math-based fields of study, and authorizes municipal corporations to grant a credit to those qualifying for the state credit.
*HB233 (Letson/Huffman) Ad Space on School Buses: Authorizes school districts to sell commercial advertising space on school buses.
*SB174 (Schiavoni) Advertising on School Buses: Authorizes school districts to sell commercial advertising space on school buses.
Testimony Presented on NEA Budget Proposal: Rocco Landesman, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), presented testimony on the NEA’s proposed FY12 budget on May 11, 2011 before the House Appropriation Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, chaired by Representative Simpson.
President Obama’s FY12 budget proposal for the NEA is $146.255 million, which is a 13 percent decrease ($9 million) from FY11 levels. It includes support for direct NEA grants; partnerships with state and regional arts agencies; a second round of Our Town investments; and program support, staff salaries, and administrative expenses.
The testimony included information about Our Town, which is an initiative to bring together political, civic, and arts leaders to shape the social, physical, and economic characteristics of a community. NEA grants through Our Town have been used in several cities, such as Shreveport, Louisiana; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Greensboro, North Carolina; to leverage other investments to revitalize parts of these cities.
Chairman Landesman also requested in his testimony legislative changes that specify that NEA investments in a state arts agency be matched at least one-to-one with funds that the state itself directly controls, and to allow the NEA to honor artists of any discipline through the NEA’s Lifetime Honors program.
The House subcommittee is expected to vote on the appropriations bill in early June, and the full House could consider it by the end of the June. For more information about this testimony please visit http://arts.endow.gov/news/news11/congressional-testimony-May2011.html
Guide Released for Engaging Adolescents in Arts Education: The National Guild for Community Arts Education, with support from the NAMM Foundation, released on May 18, 2011 a guide entitled “Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts”. The guide was informed by a panel that included experts on youth development and the arts, and describes how to increase teen participation in the arts by infusing youth development practices into out-of-school time arts education programs; how to increase the effectiveness of existing programs; and how to develop new programs to engage adolescents.
The guide includes national models that address the developmental needs of adolescents, and practical advice for developing and sustaining arts programs that not only foster artistic skill development, but help teens build life skills, self-efficacy, and a sense of belonging. It also includes references and web links to literature and other resources useful to arts education organizations seeking to connect with teens. For more information please visit http://www.nationalguild.org/new/new.htm
Ohio Projects Featured by AFTA: Americans for the Arts Monthly Wire recently featured the following two Ohio programs in its latest issue:
The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) located in Cleveland, OH, recently launched a pilot program to invest directly in artist-based community development. The program, Artists in Residence, is a two-year, $500,000 pilot that will explore what artists can do for Cleveland neighborhoods, and what Cleveland neighborhoods can do for artists. (Web site http://www.cpacbiz.org)
ArtsWave, Mary McCullough-Hudson president, formerly Fine Arts Fund in Cincinnati,successfully reached its funding goal this year, by raising $11 million and enrolling 6,700 first-time donors. Donors contributed more than $10.7 million to ArtsWave’s general campaign this year, and earmarked other funds for specific organizations.
Most of the contributions to the annual campaign were less than $150, and many were at $75, which is the minimum amount to receive a “Fun Card” offering discounts to arts organizations. (Web site http://www.theartswave.org/)
To read more about these organizations, please visit https://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?recipient_id=42376891&message_id=1367119&user_id=ArtsUSA&group_id=16118