129th Ohio General Assembly: Lawmakers have scheduled a spring break April 2-13, 2012. Discussions continue about a legislative package, the Mid-biennial Review Budget (MBR), which contains a number of policy changes supported by Governor Kasich. The MBR includes changes in energy policy, education, taxation, child care programs, workforce development and training, medicaid, health care, and more. Parts of the MBR are included in HB487 (Amstutz), SB316 (Lehner) – education, and SB315 – energy. Last week companion bills HB506 (Amstutz-Williams) and SB325 (Lehner-Turner) were introduced to implement an education reform plan for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, often referred to as the “Cleveland Plan”, which includes some provisions supported by Governor Kasich.
Governor Kasich Signs Capital Budget: Governor John Kasich signed HB482 (Amstutz) Capital Budget into law on April 2, 2012.
News from Washington, D.C.
National Survey About Arts Education in Public Schools Released: U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced at a press conference on April 2, 2012 the results of the U.S. Department of Education’s Fast Response Survey System (FRSS) report on arts education, entitled “Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10 by Basmat Parsad and Maura Spiegelman. (Cite as Parsad, B. and Spiegelman M. (2012) Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools: 1999-2000 and 2009-10 (NCES 2012-014). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.)
This is the third Congressionally requested survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), U.S. Department of Education, to provide national data about arts education. The first survey was conducted in the 1994-95 school year and provided baseline data on arts education. The second study was conducted during the 1999-2000 school year to collect national data on educational backgrounds, professional development, teaching loads, and instructional practices of elementary school teachers in self-contained classrooms, music specialists, and visual arts specialists.
The data in this report are based on the following seven surveys completed by 3,404 elementary and secondary school principals and over 6,000 music, visual art, and classroom teachers, administered during the 2009-10 and 2008-2009 school years.
- A survey of elementary school principals
- A survey of elementary self-contained classroom teachers
- A survey of elementary music specialists
- A survey of elementary visual art specialists
- A survey of secondary school principals
- A survey of secondary music specialists
- A survey of secondary visual art specialists.
Where applicable the results present comparisons with data that were collected in the 1999-2000 school year.
The survey results describe indicators about arts education programs, such as courses offered in the arts, which includes dance, drama/theater, music, and visual art; percentage of full time specialists in the arts; average class size; percent of teachers who include arts instruction in their classroom program; percent of secondary schools that require the arts for graduation; program characteristics for the arts; teacher preparation; the availability of appropriate facilities and equipment for instruction; the use of standards-based curriculum; arts integration; participation in professional development; arts activities outside the classroom; and more.
Overall the survey indicates that most elementary schools offered in 2009-10 music (94 percent) and visual art (83 percent), and most secondary schools offered music (91 percent) and visual art (89 percent) in 2008-09. A small percent of elementary schools offered dance (3 percent) and drama/theater (4 percent), while 12 percent of secondary schools offered dance and 45 percent offered theater in 2008-09.
The following are some highlights from the survey results.
Selected Highlights from the Study
- There was no change between 1999-2000 and 2008-09 school year in music offered, but there was a drop from 87 to 83 percent in visual art courses offered in elementary schools.
- There was a decline in courses offered in dance from 20 to 3 percent between 1999-2000 and 2009-2010, and a decline in drama from 20 percent to 4 percent.
- Music instruction was available once a week at 95 percent of low poverty schools and 93 percent at high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- Music was offered throughout the entire school year at 96 percent of low poverty schools and 89 percent at high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- Ninety-five percent of music specialists indicated that they used formal assessments in 2009-10 compared to 91 percent, who reported the use of formal assessments in 1999-2000.
- Dedicated rooms for music were available at 82 percent of low poverty schools and 65 percent of high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- Music specialists were available at 98 percent of low poverty schools and 85 percent of high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- Visual art instruction was available once a week at 90 percent of low poverty schools and 84 percent at high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- Visual art was offered throughout the entire school year at 92 percent of low poverty schools and 83 percent at high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- Dedicated rooms for visual art were available at 76 percent of low poverty schools and 59 percent of high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- Visual art specialists were available at 89 percent of low poverty schools and 81 percent of high poverty schools in 2009-10.
- There was an increase from 90 to 91 percent in the music offered between 1999-2000 and 2008-2009, but a decrease from 93 percent to 89 percent in visual art for the same years.
- At the secondary level there were slight declines, from 14 percent to 12 percent in dance, from 1999-2000 to 2008-09, and from 48 percent to 45 percent in drama/theater.
- The percent of secondary schools that offered five or more different courses in 2008-09 ranged from 46 percent in music; 40 percent in visual art; 13 percent in dance; and 11 percent in drama/theater.
- Most secondary schools had curriculum guides for the arts for teachers to follow.
- Most secondary schools had dedicated rooms and equipment for music (91 percent) and visual art (92 percent). For dance (45 percent) and drama/theater (52 percent) had dedicated spaces and equipment.
- Secondary schools reported that for music (81 percent), visual art (86 percent), dance (56 percent), and drama/theater (64 percent) of teachers were full time arts specialists.
- The percentage of secondary schools reporting that arts coursework was required for graduation increased from 52 percent in 1999-2000 to 57 percent in 2009-10. Seventy percent of secondary schools in 2009-10 require one credit in the arts for graduation.
Highlights from Secretary Duncan’s Remarks about the Survey Results: According to Secretary Duncan the report includes some encouraging news about arts education, but also raises some issues regarding access to the arts for disadvantaged students. The following are some of the comments the Secretary made during a news conference on April 2, 2012.
- It is the first survey that really allows us to compare changes in arts education over time, because the first comparable national survey of arts education in public schools was done in the 1999-2000 school year.
- “All students-100 percent-should have access to arts instruction. All children should have arts-rich schools.”
- “…I think that it is clear that our public schools have a long way to go before they are providing a rich and rigorous arts education to all students.”
- “For a host of reasons, high-quality arts education is absolutely critical to providing all students with a world-class education.” (Reasons to include arts education: boosts student achievement, reduces discipline problems, increases the odds that students will go on to graduate from college, stimulates creativity and innovation, valuable for its own sake, and the arts are fun.)
- “Our nation’s students need a well-rounded education to succeed in the 21st century–and that should include engagement with the theatre arts. It is deeply disturbing that all students do not have access to arts education today.”
- More than 1.3 million students in elementary school and 800,000 in secondary schools do not receive instruction in music.
- Nearly four million elementary school students do not get any visual arts instruction at school.
- The arts opportunity gap is widest for children in high-poverty schools. “This is absolutely an equity issue and a civil rights issue–just as is access to AP courses and other educational opportunities.”
- “I know that many arts educators continue to report that State departments of education often mistakenly turn down or discourage requests to use Title I funds for arts instruction.
- “In an August 2009 letter to school and education community leaders, I clarified that states and local school districts do have the flexibility to use Title I funds for arts education to improve achievement among disadvantaged students. And they can use Title II funds for professional development of arts teachers, or to support partnerships with cultural organizations, arts groups, and other non-profits.”
- “I have clarified our position before. And I just want to reiterate today that Title I and Title II funds can and should be used to support arts education.”
- A considerable body of research suggests that disadvantaged students especially benefit from high-quality arts education–including an important new study from the National Endowment for the Arts on “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth” that relies on robust, longitudinal data.
- The arts and humanities are emphasized in the Promise Neighborhoods program.
- “I am very concerned that states and districts are going to be under enormous budget pressure to cut back on arts education in the next few years.”
- “A well-rounded education is simply too vital to our students’ success to let the teaching of the arts and humanities erode.”
- “Let’s make sure that in statehouses, in district headquarters, in Washington DC, and in non-profit and corporate boardrooms that we continue to elevate, enrich, and expand arts education in our nation’s schools.”
Secretary Duncan’s remarks are available.
Thanks to Americans for the Arts, Arts Education Network, below is a list of recent articles and blogs about the study.
Narric Rome from Americans for the Arts has a blog post with some introductory information.
AP article “Report: Arts Classes at Elementary Schools Reduced”
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remarks at a press conference on the release of the report.
Sunil Iyengar from the NEA
Janet Brown from Grantmakers in the Arts expresses some skepticism about the report.
AND, one more….
Christine Armrio “Elementary School Arts Classes Reduced, Report Says” Huff Post Education
State Board of Education to Meet
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will meet on April 9 and 10, 2012 at the Ohio School for the Deaf.
MONDAY, APRIL 9, 2012
The Executive Committee, chaired by Debe Terhar, will meet at 9:00 AM. The Committee will discuss the June Retreat, the annual evaluation of the State Superintendent, and receive a presentation from the Kirwan Institute, Ohio State University, about diversity strategies for schools/districts. The presentation is scheduled at 11:00 AM.
The Achievement, Capacity, and Select Urban Committee will meet at 9:30 AM.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, will discuss the following:
- An update on the revised standards for fine arts and world languages
- An update on the development of standards for financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and business education
- An update on revisions to the Early Learning Standards
- an update on standards for science and social studies
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, will discuss student growth measures; the alignment of teacher residency and resident educator license rules with House Bill 21 (ORC Section 3319.227); an overview of Rule and Statute related to Compulsory School Attendance and Excused Absences.
The Select Committee on Urban Education, chaired by Joe Farmer, will discuss efforts to turn around low-performing schools and the committee’s workplan.
The Executive Committee will reconvene at 11:00 AM to receive a presentation from the Kirwan Institute on the diversity strategies plan, as recommended by the Select Committee on Urban Education.
Following lunch at 1:30 PM the full board will convene and receive reports from the standing committees.
The Board will convene its business meeting at 1:45 PM and move into executive session.
Following the executive session at 3:00 PM the following committees will meet:
- Appointments Committee, chaired by Dennis Shelton
- Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, will discuss HB262; receive an update on Governor Kasich’s mid-biennial review budget (MBR); and discuss legislation regarding the Cleveland Plan.
The Board will then adjourn for the evening.
TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
The Board will discuss the Elementary and Secondary Education Act starting at 9:30 AM. The Board will reconvene its business meeting at 11:30 AM. The Board will receive public participation on agenda items, the report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and take action on the resolutions included below.
The Board will then discuss old business, new business, and miscellaneous business, and receive Public Participation on nonagenda items, at 1:00 PM, and adjourn.
Resolutions To Be Considered by the State Board of Education on April 10, 2012:
#6 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-51-08 of the Ohio Administrative Code entitled Parentally Placed Nonpublic School Children.
#7 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Consider the Proposed Transfer of School District Territory from the Bethel Local School District, Miami County to the Miami East Local School District, Miami County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#8 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Adopt the State Board of Education’s Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools Policy.
#9 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Refer the Westerville City School District’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Xenos Christian School in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio to a Hearing Officer.
#10 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Refer the Westerville City School District’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending Calumet Christian School in Columbus, Franklin county, Ohio to a Hearing Officer.
#11 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Refer the Westerville City School district’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students Attending St. Frances De Sales School in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio to a Hearing Officer.
#17 Approve a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-83-06 and 3301-83-14, and to Rescind and Adopt Rules 3301-83,-12,-13,-19, and -23 of the Administrative Code Regarding Pupil Transportation.
#18 Approve a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-91-01, 3301-91-04, and 3301-91-09 of the Administrative Code Regarding School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.
#19 Approve a Resolution to Adopt New Praxis II Licensure Exams and Qualifying Scores for Arts Education, Technology Education, and the Principles of Learning and Teaching Exams.
#20 Approve a Resolution to Appoint Two Members of the State Library Board.
Legislation to Implement Cleveland Plan Introduced: Companion bills HB506 (Amstutz-Williams) and SB325 (Lehner-Turner) were introduced last week to implement an education reform plan for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, often referred to as the “Cleveland Plan”.
The Cleveland Plan was made public several weeks ago by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, with the backing of Governor Kasich. But, because of contentious provisions regarding teacher tenure, contract provisions, reductions in force, transparency, sending local tax dollars to community schools, and more, the legislation was not introduced. Instead the Cleveland Teachers Union, Cleveland CEO Eric Gordon, and lawmakers Senator Nina Turner and Representative Sandra Williams from Cleveland, have been working with Mayor Jackson to revise the plan. Negotiations are continuing about certain provisions, and changes are expected to be made in the bills once hearings begin.
The following is a preliminary review of the legislation as introduced.
- Amends several sections of education law to align with new Sections 3311.77 to 86. Sections 3311.71 to 76 in current law refer to a municipal school district (the Cleveland Metropolitan School District-CMSD) in which the major appoints a nine-member board of education.
- Sec. 2921.02 Cleans-up language about bribery of a state official. New provision (E) states that no persons should bribe a member of the transformation alliance established in this legislation.
- Sec. 3302.03 (6) (c) Performance Standards: Permits a municipal school district under Section 3311.71 of the Revised Code, to have data regarding the academic performance of students enrolled in the community school combined with comparable data from the schools of the district for the purpose of calculating the performance of the district as a whole on the district’s report card and to have the students attending the community school included in the district’s average daily student enrollment as reported in the district’s report card. Any district that so elects shall annually file with the department a copy of the lease or agreement and other documentation indicating eligibility, as required by the department. States that this section does not apply to dropout recovery schools.
- Sec. 3311.74. Measuring Student Performance: Requires the chief executive officer of a municipal school district to develop a plan that “requires the parents or guardians of students who attend low-performing schools to attend, prior to the thirty-first day of December each year, at least one parent-teacher conference or similar event held by the school the student attends to provide an opportunity for the parents and guardians to meet the student’s teachers, discuss expectations for the student, discuss the student’s performance, and foster communication between home and school.”
- Allows the chief executive officer, after consulting with the “labor organization” to extend the length of the school year or day in schools that are low performing. “Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code, the content of the plan developed under this division and any actions taken to implement the plan prevail over any conflicting provision of a collective bargaining agreement entered into on or after the effective date of this amendment.”
- Sec. 3311.76. Exemptions: Permits the Superintendent of Instruction to exempt the municipal school district from certain laws under Title 33 of the Ohio Revised Code and rules. Exceptions apply to Sections 3302, 3317, 3323 (Special Education), and parts of 3307, 3309, and 3319.
- NEW Sec. 3311.77 Teacher Contracts/municipal school district. Requires a municipal school district to comply with this section rather than 3319.08 of the Revised Code and states that Section 3319.0811 of the Revised Code shall not apply to the municipal school district. Describes the terms of a contract for a municipal school district and the conditions of employment.
- NEW Sec. 3311.78 Salary Schedules. Requires salary schedules for principals and teachers of a municipal school district based on performance as outlined in (C) of this section: (1) The level of license issued under section 3319.22 of the Revised Code that the teacher or principal holds; (2) Whether the teacher or principal is a highly qualified teacher, as defined in section 3319.074 of the Revised Code; (3) Ratings received by the teacher or principal on performance evaluations conducted under section 3311.80 or 3311.84 of the Revised Code.
- NEW Sec. 3311.79 Assignment of Teachers. Requires the chief executive officer to consider, when assigning teachers to schools of a municipal school district, the recommendations of a building level team comprised of the building principal and teachers already assigned to the school building. States that “The district chief executive officer or a building level team shall not use seniority or continuing contract status as the primary factor in determining any teacher’s assignment to a school.”
- NEW Sec. 3311.80 Teacher Evaluations. Requires a municipal school district to comply with this Section rather than 3319.111 – teacher evaluations. Outlines certain conditions for an evaluation framework, which shall be adopted by July 1, 2013 in consultation with the teachers employed. Procedures will be adopted for teachers who disagree with the results of the teacher evaluation, but after review the decision will be final and not subject to further appeal and cannot be challenged through the grievance procedures, although challenges can be made about alleged violations of procedures.
- NEW Sec. 3311.81 Teacher Contracts. Defines limited and extended contracts for teachers in a municipal school district, and states that this section applies rather than 3319.11. Requires that teachers who receive a written notice of the intention of the board not to re-employ such teacher pursuant to this division are entitled to the hearing provisions of division (D) of this section.
- NEW Sec. 3311.82 Termination of Contracts. Includes the procedures for the termination of a contract of a teacher in a municipal school district, rather than through 3319.16 and 3319.161, but states that those sections shall apply to the district with respect to termination of contracts with other district employees licensed by the state board of education, subject to division (F) of section 3311.84 of the Revised Code.
- NEW Sec. 3311.83 Reductions in Force. Includes the procedures for reductions in force of teachers in a municipal school district, rather than through 3319.16 and 3319.161, but states that those sections shall apply to the district with respect to termination of contracts with other district employees licensed by the state board of education, subject to division (F) of section 3311.84 of the Revised Code. The reasons for reduction in force include: 1) Return to duty of regular teachers after leaves of absence, including leaves of absence provided pursuant to section 3319.13 or 3319.14 of the Revised Code; (2) Decreased enrollment of students in the district; 1922 (3) Academic reasons resulting in consolidation of teaching positions, duties, or functions or resulting in changes in educational programs; (4) Financial reasons; (5) Territorial changes affecting the district. States that in addition, the board and the representative of the teachers’ employment organization may negotiate additional factors to be considered in determining the order of reductions, which factors shall not be inconsistent with division (B) of this section.
- NEW Sec. 3311.84 Evaluation of Principals. Includes the procedures for evaluating principals and assistant principals, rather than through 3319.02, but states that all other provisions of that section shall apply to the district with respect to principals and assistant principals. Section 3319.02 of the Revised Code in its entirety shall apply to the district with respect to employees other than principals and assistant principals who are covered by that section, except as otherwise provided in section 3311.72 of the Revised Code. States that termination of a principal’s contract shall be in accordance with section 3319.16 of the Revised Code, except as follows: (1) Failure of the principal’s building to meet academic performance standards established by the chief executive officer shall be considered good and just cause for termination under that section. (2) If the chief executive officer intends to recommend to the board that the principal’s contract be terminated, the chief executive officer shall provide the principal a written copy of the principal’s evaluation at least five days prior to making the recommendation to the board.
- NEW Sec. 3311.85 School Year. Permits a board of education of a municipal school district to establish a school calendar for one or more of the district’s school buildings that provides for additional student days beyond the minimum prescribed by that section or year-round instruction. The calendar must comply with the minimum school year prescribed by section 3313.48 of the Revised Code.
- NEW Sec. 3311.86 Transformation Alliance: Defines the transformation alliance as a nonprofit corporation (under Chapter 1702) created for a municipal school district, and partnering community school as a community school established under Chapter 3314 and is located within the territory of a municipal school district and is sponsored by the district, receives services from the district, leases a building from the district, or is a party to an agreement with the district whereby the district and the community school endorse each other’s programs. Defines “Transformation alliance education plan” as a plan prepared by the mayor and confirmed by the alliance, to transform public education in the alliance municipal school district, to a system of municipal school district schools and partnering community schools that will be held to the highest standards of school performance and student achievement. States that the mayor of a municipal school district may initiate proceedings to establish a municipal school district transformation alliance and appoint initial directors, who represent the municipal school district; partnering community schools; members of the community at large, including parents and educators; and the business community, including business leaders and foundation leaders. The mayor shall be an ex officio director and chairperson of the board of directors.
Requires the alliance to do the following:
(1) Confirm and monitor implementation of the transformation alliance education plan
(2) Suggest national education models and develop venues for the community and institutions within the territory of the alliance municipal school district to provide input in the development of new schools within the territory of the district
(3) Work with the alliance municipal school district and partnering community schools to adopt a comprehensive, evidence-based framework to assess district and community schools and advocate for school performance accountability with the department of education. The alliance annually shall assess the performance of district schools and community schools using the framework adopted under this division.
(4) Communicate school choices within the territory of the alliance municipal school district by publishing and making available to parents and guardians of students an annual report summarizing the alliance’s assessments of district and community school performance and providing, during the intradistrict open enrollment period under section 3313.97 of the Revised Code, information about educational choices
(5) Assess community school growth and quality by applying national quality standards as they relate to the opening of community schools located within the territory of the alliance municipal school district or the closure of failing community schools located within the territory of the alliance municipal school district.
- Sec. 3311.86 (D) States that this section applies to community schools created under section 3314.03 after the effective date of this section. Requires that a governing authority of a community school established under this section receive the approval from the alliance; requires persons considering the establishment of a community school under this section receive the approval from the alliance; requires that the governing authority and persons establishing a community school under this section file contracts and copies of agreements with the alliance. Requires the alliance with the Department of Education to establish criteria to approve community schools under this section. Includes a process to appeal denials to the Ohio Department of Education.
- Sec. 3311.86 (E) States that “Directors, officers, and employees of an alliance are not public employees or public officials, are not subject to Chapters 124 (Department of Administrative Services), 145 (Retirement Fund), and ORC Section 4117 (Labor and Industry), and are not “public officials” or “public servants” as defined in section 2921.01 of the Revised Code. Membership on the board of directors of an alliance does not constitute the holding of an incompatible public office or employment in violation of any statutory or common law prohibition against the simultaneous holding of more than one public office or employment. Members of the board of directors of an alliance are not disqualified from holding any public office by reason of that membership, and do not forfeit by reason of that membership the public office or employment held when appointed to the board, notwithstanding any contrary disqualification or forfeiture requirement under the Revised Code or the common law of this state.
- NEW Sec. 3313.412 Sale of Unused School Facilities: Requires a municipal school district to offer unused academic facilities to its partnering community schools at a price that is not higher than the appraised fair market value of the property. States the following: (G) “Notwithstanding division (F) of section 5705.10 of the Revised Code, if a school district board sells real property that it owns in its corporate capacity, moneys received from the sale may be paid into the general fund of the district, as long as the district has owned the real property for at least five years and the real property and any improvements to that real property were not acquired with the proceeds of public obligations, as defined in section 133.01 of the Revised Code, of the district that are outstanding at the time of the sale.”
- NEW Sec. 3314.351 Conditions for Closure of a Community School Under Section 3311.71.
- Sec. 3314.36 Exemptions from Closure Provisions: Exempts dropout prevention community schools from closure under Sections 3314.35 and 3314.351.
- NEW Sec. 4117.25 Collective Bargaining Agreement with Municipal School District: States that “…the continuation, modification, or deletion of an existing provision of a collective bargaining agreement is not an appropriate subject of collective bargaining. The parties shall negotiate the terms of a collective bargaining agreement as if no previous collective bargaining agreement to which the public employer was a party existed. Any provision in a prior agreement entered into by the public employer shall not be a basis for negotiating a provision in a collective bargaining agreement entered into under this section.”
- Sec. 5705.192 Taxing Authorities: States that “(3) In the case of an existing school district levy imposed under division (B) of section 5705.21, division (C) of section 5705.212, or division (J) of section 5705.218 of the Revised Code, the rates allocated to the municipal school district and to qualifying community schools each may be increased or decreased or remain the same, and the total rate may be increased, decreased, or remain the same.”
- Sec. 5705.21 Levy for Municipal School District and Qualifying Community Schools: States that “The levy of a tax for the current expenses of a qualifying community school under this section and the distribution of proceeds from the tax by a municipal school district to qualifying community schools is a proper public purpose.”
Requires a board of education of a municipal school district to approve a resolution to submit the question of an additional tax levy to the voters of the school district. The resolution shall state the purpose of the levy, the rate of the tax expressed in mills per dollar of taxable value, the number of such mills to be levied for the current expenses of the qualifying community schools and the number of such mills to be levied for the current expenses of the school district, the number of years the tax will be levied, and the first year the tax will be levied. The number of years the tax may be levied may be any number not exceeding ten years, or for a continuing period of time.
Qualifying Community School Fund: Requires the board of education of a municipal school district to establish a separate fund for the deposit of tax revenue raised for qualifying community schools under this section.
Resident student: Defines a resident student as a student enrolled in a qualifying community school who is entitled to attend school in the municipal school district under section 3313.64 or 3313.65 of the Revised Code.
Distribution of Tax Revenue: States that each qualifying community school shall receive a portion of the qualifying community schools amount in the proportion that the number of its resident students bears to the aggregate number of resident students of all such qualifying community schools as of the receipt and deposit of the tax distribution. For the purposes of this division, the number of resident students shall be the number of such students reported under section 3317.03 of the Revised Code and established by the department of education as of the receipt and deposit of the tax distribution.
Qualifications for State Aid: States that, “The taxes charged and payable for the current expenses of qualifying community schools shall not affect the calculation of “state education aid” as defined in section 5751.20 of the Revised Code.”
Please Note: Changes in several other sections of law are also included so that all new provisions align with law unchanged. Provisions referring to local taxation authorize combined levies (municipal school district and community schools) for permanent improvements or incremental levies, etc.
Federal Funding for Ohio Could be Reduced: The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF) with the Coalition on Human Needs released on April 2, 2012 a report on the impact of the Budget Control Act of FY11 and the House approved FY13 federal budget on Ohio’s children, families, and workers. The report is entitled, “The Impact of the Proposed Budget on Ohio’s Children, Families and Workers: Helping the People of Ohio During Tight Budget Times”.
Congress and President Obama approved the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011. President Obama introduced his budget plan in February 2012, and currently the U.S. House is holding hearings on it and also hearings on appropriations for FY13. But, the U.S. House also approved on March 29, 2012 H. Con. Res. 112, FY13 Federal Budget, a budget framework developed by U.S. Representative Paul Ryan and supported by House leadership. This report describes how the Budget Control Act, President Obama’s proposed budget, and the House approved FY13 Budget would affect a variety of federally funded programs nationally, and in Ohio and other states, if they were implemented.
Automatic reductions in federal spending called sequestration, go into effect in January 2013 if Congress and the President do not agree on deficit reduction targets of $1.2 trillion included in the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that between 7-9 percent of reductions in mandatory and discretionary spending would need to be made to meet the targets. Some areas of the budget are exempt, such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare beneficiaries, civil and military employee pay, veterans, and security programs.
The report states that Ohio would lose $22.4 million for Head Start; $6.3 million for early care and education; $45.5 million for K-12 education; $34.1 million for special education; $10.4 million for vocational rehabilitation; $14.7 million for Women, Infants, and children nutrition program; $12.2 million for the Community Development Block Grant program; and $12.9 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This is just the start. Every four years further cuts in these programs would be made.
According to this report, the House Budget proposal would reduce federal funds in 2014 for the already-mentioned programs even more, and also reduce federal funds for other programs. For example, programs now exempt from the automatic cuts of the Budget Control Act would also be reduced, including $5.1 billion reduction over 10 years in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps).
This would affect 1.8 Ohio residents. Cuts would also be made to Medicaid, and Medicare costs would be shifted to seniors.
At this time the U.S. Senate is not considering the House-passed budget. However, since this budget plan has broad support among lawmakers, including presidential candidate Mitt Romney, it deserves some attention.
The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF), Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, is Ohio’s largest charitable response to hunger, representing Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks and their more than 3,300 member food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. The mission of OASHF is to assist Ohio’s 12 Feeding America foodbanks in providing food and other resources to people in need and to pursue areas of common interest for the benefit of people in need.
The Coalition on Human Needs is an alliance of national organizations working together to promote public policies that address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable people.
The report is available.
- HB502 (Martin) Replacement Property Tax Levy: Eliminates the power of taxing authorities to propose a replacement property tax levy.
- HB504 (Huffman) School District Equity Ranking Calculation: Revises the method for calculating school district equity rankings for classroom facilities assistance and to declare an emergency.
- HB506 (Williams/Amstutz) Municipal School Districts/Community Schools: Revises the management of municipal school districts and community schools located within municipal school districts.
- SB325 (Turner/Lehner) Municipal School Districts/Community Schools: Revises the management of municipal school districts and community schools located within municipal school districts.
The Impact of Theatre on Young People: The Huffington Post Arts Blog published on March 19, 2012 an article by Lauren Gunderson about the value of “Theatre for Young People” entitled “How Theatre for Young People Could Save the World”.
According to the article, artists are creating new theatrical productions for young people that combine theatre with dance and music to help “youth” understand the complexities of our world, and learn to emphasize with other people in the world.
The author cites Bill English of San Francisco Playhouse who says, “….theater is like a gym for empathy. It’s where we can go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves. We practice sitting down, paying attention and learning from other people’s actions. We practice caring.”
The article is available.
Arts Integration and Joyful Learning: Judy Willis, an authority on brain research, writes in her blog for Edutopia that the creative arts can help children associate learning with pleasure and joy, develop “habits of the mind” that prepare them for adulthood, and also promote symbolic/conceptual thinking and innovative skillsets . (“Executive Function, Arts Integration and Joyful Learning (Part 6 of 7) by Judy Willis, Edutopia, March 14, 2012.)
Learning is a Pleasure: According to the author the anticipation of pleasure releases the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, which increases pleasure and also reduces stress. She writes, “When students know they will have opportunities to use artistic, kinesthetic or manipulative experiences in the course of learning and as part of their learning assessments, their optimism is renewed. Knowing from the start that they will create representations of their learning through visual, musical or movement expressions (ideally with a medium of their choice) is an inoculation against boredom and low effort.”
Learning the arts provides students with opportunities to be creative, and this in turn increases student interest, motivation, and effort. Dr. Willis explains that often students who are not doing well academically adopt a “fixed mindset” in which they believe that any effort to learn with result in failure. Learning the arts enables students to believe in themselves, because students learn that with effort, practice and skills, “… they can transform their capacity for learning and increase their academic success.”
“Habits of the Mind”: Learning the arts also helps students learn “habits of the mind” such as practice, review, and application of knowledge, and how to delay gratification and to apply effort toward reaching a goal. These are important skills to understand and apply as students become adults and face challenges throughout their lives.
Symbolic/conceptual thinking: The author also writes that neuroscientists have looked at the neural activity of the brain, and learning the arts correlates with symbolic/conceptual thinking and processes using the highest forms of cognition, problem-solving, and critical analysis. Scientists have observed that learning the arts increases students’ sustained attention while participating in the arts, and also in general.
The article is available.
Use Title 1 to Teach the Arts: Joe Landon, Executive Director of the California Alliance for Arts Education, writes in the Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s “Thoughts on Public Education” that California Superintendent Tom Torlakson should work with schools to demonstrate how Title 1 can be used to support student achievement in the arts. (“State leaders should embrace what Title I permits: arts funding” by Joe Landon and Danielle Brazell, Thoughts on Public Education, March 27, 2012)
According to the author, Secretary Arne Duncan has stated that school districts are allowed to use Title 1 funds for arts education programs. To receive the funds school districts must conduct a comprehensive needs assessment and identify research-based strategies that incorporate arts instruction to improve the academic achievement for students in English languages arts or math.
He goes on the say that most school districts ignore opportunities to use the arts to reach students in “transformative ways”, even though research shows that arts education programs foster creativity, innovation, critical thinking, teamwork, and strengthen language acquisition and math comprehension.
According to the article, Arizona, under Superintendent Tom Horne, directed $4 million of Title 1 funding to support arts education at 43 schools beginning in 2004-2005, and a study of the program showed that students participating in arts integration gained in reading compared to students who did not participate.
The article is available.