130th Ohio General Assembly
Executive Budget Introduced — Legislation Expected Next Week: Governor Kasich held a news conference on February 4, 2013 to introduce his administrationʻs FY14-15 state operating budget. The Office of Budget and Management, Tim Keen director, also released the “Blue Books,” which provide more details about the total spending levels for state departments and agencies; program spending levels; revenue assumptions used to prepare the spending projections; and some information about the policy changes that are proposed in the budget. The Blue Books are available.
Although the Blue Books provide more details about the Executive Budget, policy changes will become clearer once the budget bill is available and the Legislative Services Commission publishes another set of documents known as the Red Books.
House Reviews More Budgets: The budgets for the Ohio Department of Transportation (HB35-McGregor); the Bureau of Workersʻ Compensation (HB34-Hackett); and the Industrial Commission (HB33-Hackett) were also introduced last week.
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, removed Governor Kasichʻs plan regarding the Ohio Turnpike from the FY14-15 Transportation Budget (HB35 – McGregor), and moved it to a separate bill, HB38 (McGregor). Both bills go next to the Transportation Subcommittee, chaired by Representative McGregor, for consideration. Chairman Amstutz has stated his intent to move these bills quickly through the House.
Jim Petro, Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, retired last week marking thirty years of public service. Governor Kasich has selected Stephanie Davidson as interim chancellor.
Dr. Susan Tave Zelman, former Superintendent of Public Instruction, will return to the Ohio Department of Education as an executive director. According to a press release, she will provide oversight over the school funding formula and resources for schools.
Auditor to Release Report: State Auditor David Yost will release a statewide audit of school attendance data on Monday, February 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM, at the Auditor of Stateʻs Office, 88 E. Broad Street, 13th Floor.
Recap — Executive Budget
The Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, received testimony on February 5, 2013 from Tim Keen, Director of the Office of Budget and Management, and Mark Flanders, Director of the Legislative Services Commission. Director Keen led the committee through 58 pages of testimony that provided additional information about the main components of the Executive Budget, focusing on the major reform initiatives: Education Funding and Reform, Transforming Higher Education, Medicaid Transformation, Tax Cuts and Reform, Ohio Jobs and the Transportation Plan, and Continuing Review and Reform of State Government.
Governor Kasich is proposing a total budget of $63.3 billion for the biennium, which starts on July 1, 2013. The budget also includes a variety of policy changes, and a huge revenue surplus of over $1.7 billion for FY12-13 biennium.
The following is a summary of some of the provisions of the proposed budget. Please note: This summary was prepared from the documents provided by the Office of Budget and Management and the testimony of Tim Keen, Director of the Office of Budget and Management. More details will be available once the Executive Budget bill is introduced:
Proposed State Budget
Total GRF FY12 & 13 $55.7 billion (appropriated)
Total GRF FY14 – $30.6 billion (10.5 percent increase over est. FY13)
Total GRF FY15 – $32.7 billion (6.8 percent increase over FY14)
Total GRF FY14 & 15 $63.3 billion
An increase of $7.5 billion over FY12-13 levels!!!
Total All Funds FY12 & 13 $112.2 billion (appropriated)
Total All Funds FY14 – $63.7 billion (6.1 percent increase over FY13)
Total All Funds FY15 – $66.8 billion (4.8 percent increase over FY14)
Total All Funds FY14 & 15 $130.5 billion
Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund)
- Projects a GRF ending balance of $1.707 billion in June 2013.
- Transfers $978.7 million into the Budget Stabilization Fund.
- Transfers $415.9 million into the Income Tax Reduction Fund. This added money will provide a 4 percent reduction in income taxes in calendar year 2013.
- Establishes a $146.1 million carry-over fund.
- Sets aside $167 million for year-end transfers, and paying interest on the balance of the unemployment compensation funds borrowed from the federal government.
- Establishes Medicaid as a stand-alone cabinet agency. Spending for Medicaid is the largest program in the state budget.
- Expands Medicaid eligibility under the federal Affordable Care Act. Legislation will include a provision that will allow the state to withdraw from the program if the federal government does not cover the cost of the expansion of the program. Estimates are that about 275,000 individuals could be added to Medicaid. Total Medicaid GRF spending in the budget is projected to grow to $15.052 billion in FY14 and to $16.769 billion in FY15. The federal share of the program is about 64 percent.
- Merges the Ohio Department of Mental Health and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug and Addiction Services.
- Provides $1.4 billion in tax cuts over three years and shifts the tax burden from the income tax to the sales tax, which will become the largest source of revenue for the state.
- Phases in over three years a 20 percent reduction in personal income tax rates in all nine brackets. This includes a 7.5 percent cut in FY13; an additional cut of 7.5 percent in FY14, and an additional 5 percent cut in FY15.
- Reduces the state sale tax rate from 5.5 percent to 5 percent.
- Broadens the sales tax base to cover all services except those related to health care, education, and housing.
- Adjusts the sales tax receipts for local governments to cap the amount of additional revenue that will be raised with the expanded tax base.
- Increases the severance tax on natural gas to 1 percent and 4 percent for oil and liquids. This would raise $45 million in FY14 and $155 million in FY15. Revenue from this tax is expected to increase in future biennia to as much as $415 million in FY17.
- Provides a deduction of 50 percent in annual pass-through income up to $750,000 for small businesses paying the income tax. The deduction is capped at $375,000.
- Increases GRF sales tax revenue by $1.322 billion in FY14 and $1.799 billion in FY15.
- Increases local sales tax revenue by an estimated $50 million in FY14 and $70 million in FY15.
Authorizes the sale of $1.5 billion in turnpike toll-backed bonds to fund a variety of transportation projects. This provision was removed from the Transportation Budget, HB35 McGregor), and will be debated in HB38 (McGregor).
Primary and Secondary Education
- Provides a total of $7.734 billion in FY14 (6.9 percent increase) and $8.066 billion in FY15 (4.3 percent increase) in General Revenue and Lottery Profit funds for primary and secondary education. The sum of the increases represents $1.328 billion in “new” funding for education. The General Revenue portion is $6.893 billion in FY14 and $7.091 billion in FY15. The Lottery Profits portion is $841.0 million in FY14 and $974.5 million in FY15.
- All funds total $10.4 billion in FY14 (6 percent above FY13 levels) and $10.7 billion in FY15 (2.7 percent above FY14 levels).
- This total includes property tax replacement (Revenue Distribution), which adds $510 million in FY14 and $510 million in FY15. Another $1.13 billion in FY14 and $1.18 billion in FY15 in property tax relief is included in the budget of the Ohio Department of Taxation.
State Lottery Profits: Includes $841.0 million in FY14 and $974.5 million in FY15 in Lottery Profits. In addition to funding general education programs Lottery Profits will be used to fund the Straight A Fund ($100 million in FY14 and $200 million in FY15), and to fund a pilot expansion of the Educational Choice Scholarship Program for students ($8.5 million in FY14 and $17 million in FY15). This is the first time that Lottery Profits will be used to fund programs for nonpublic schools.
Core Opportunity Aid: Implements a new state aid school funding formula, for local, exempted village, and city school districts. The formula would provide enough state aid to make 20 mills equivalent to what can be raised with a per pupil tax base of $250,000.
Average Core Opportunity Aid is $5,000 per student, close to the state aid amount per pupil of $5,058 in 2004. (Recent Trends in K-12 Education Funding in Ohio by Howard Fleeter, Driscoll & Fleeter, Consultant to the Education Tax Policy Institute, December 2008.)
The governorʻs plan also limits increases in state aid to the lesser of 25 percent of the prior year’s aid or 10 percent of the district’s total resources.
Total GRF allocation: $3.835 billion in FY14 and $3.879 billion in FY15.
Targeted Resources: Provides additional state aid to some school districts to equalize from 5-15 mills, in addition to the 20 mills, based on school district property and income wealth for school districts at or below the 80th percentile. (This provision is being compared to parity aid.)
Total allocation: $602.8 million in FY14 and $702.9 million in FY15.
Pupil Transportation: More details are needed, but includes an overall amount of $442.1 million in FY14 and $442.1 million in FY15 to subsidize school districts for transporting students. The Governorʻs Office of 21st Century Schools is waiting for the Ohio Department of Education to provide certain information before it can release the amount of transportation funds per school district.
Students with Disabilities: More details are needed about how the allocations were determined and how they will be distributed. The Executive Budget funds the special education categories identified by the Ohio Coalition for Students with Disabilities at 100 percent. The proposed budget provides a total of $1.3 billion in FY14 and $1.38 billion in FY15. This total includes funds to support Special Education Enhancements; support for special education through Foundation Funding; the new Exceptional Cost Reimbursement Fund ($111.5 million in FY14 and $119.5 million in FY15); and federal funds for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ($443 million in FY14 and $443 million in FY15.)
The new Exceptional Cost Reimbursement Fund will reimburse schools/districts for students with exceptionally high special education/services costs. Schools serving special needs students will be required to contribute a portion of their special education allocation under the foundation formula to create this fund, and must request reimbursements from the Ohio Department of Education.
English Language Learners: More details are needed about this provision, which would provide an additional $1,500 per pupil for English language learners in their first year of school; 75 percent of that amount in the second year; and 50 percent of that amount in the third year. However, some resources would still be allocated for students whose parents do not speak English. GRF allocation through the Foundation Program is $21 million in FY14 and $22 million in FY15. Another $9.7 million in FY14 and $9.7 million in FY15 are included through the English Language Acquisition line item.
Economically Disadvantaged Students: More details are needed about this provision, which provides between $20 – $1000 per pupil to school districts based on their concentration of poverty as reported on the Local Report Cards.
GRF Foundation Funding for at-risk students totals $579.1 million in FY14 and $579.1 million in FY15, a 3.3 percent decrease from the FY13 level, and includes foundation funding for districts with limited availability to early childhood access. Federal funding is also provided through ESEA Title 1A. Schools/districts would receive $560 million in FY14 and $560 million in FY15.
Gifted Education: Again, more details are needed, but the governorʻs plan provides $50 per student for identification and services for gifted students. Total allocation: $85.19 million in FY14 and $85.19 million in FY15 through Foundation Funding (GRF 200-550). There are questions about how services for gifted students would be provided if changes are made in funding for Education Service Centers, and how accountable schools/districts would be for using the funds to provide services for gifted students.
Early Childhood Education: The Executive Budget provides $23.2 million in FY14 and $25.2 million in FY15 for Early Childhood Education. The proposed budget also replaces the unit funding model for special education preschool with a formula based on the specific disabilities of the child, and the wealth of the district, and increases GRF support for Special Education Enhancements by 22 percent in FY14 to $103 million in FY14 and $104 million in FY15.
Support is also provided for Child Care Licensing, and $7 million in FY14 and $7 million in FY15 are provided from the federal Early Learning Challenge Grant.
The budget includes an additional $2 million in early learning funds in the second year of the biennium to increase the number of preschool students served by Ohioʻs highest performing preschools.
The total amount of funding for this area is $148 million in FY14 and $151.9 million in FY15. Support for early learning programs is also included in the budget of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
Career Technical Education: According to the Executive Budget proposal, a new funding formula would be implemented for joint vocational school districts, with supplemental funds for students who participate in career-technical education programs. These funds, provided to Career-Technical Planning Districts, direct additional funding to those career fields that are in high demand or require additional resources for instruction. Funding is also provided for Career-Technical Planning Districts offering the GED test to individuals to reimburse students for some of the cost of taking the GED, and for providing career planning and guidance.
This provision also maintains funding for the match required for federal Perkins administrative funding.
Total funding for the Career-Technical Education line item is $176.4 million in FY14 and $176.4 million in FY15.
Transitional State Aid Guarantees: According to Governor Kasich, the guarantee is reluctantly continued in this budget to avoid the “chaos” which might occur if 397 school districts in FY14 and 382 school districts in FY15 lost over $800 million in state aid. However, the Governor urges educators and policy makers to find some way to eliminate the guarantee in future budgets.
Total allocation: $464.3 million in FY14 and $416.1 million in FY15.
Non-Public Schools: Increases state support for non public schools to $193.2 million (5.5 percent increase) in FY14 and to $199.1 million (3 percent increase) in FY15. These funds support secular services and materials, and reimburse chartered non public schools for mandated administrative and clerical costs.
Community School Facility Funding: Few details were provided about funding for community schools. It is assumed that community schools would continue to be funded as a deduct from school district state aid. Presumably community schools would receive $5000 per student and additional state based on the student’s residential school district.
Governor Kasich is also recommending that community schools receive $100 per pupil for community schools to support facilities. This provision totals $7.5 million in FY14 and $7.5 million in FY15. This money would not be deducted from school district state aid. More information is needed about whether or not eschools would be eligible for the funds (since the students work from home), and whether or not for-profit charter school managers, that own their own school buildings, would be able to access this fund.
Other Categories of Funding for Primary and Secondary Education
Creates the new Straight A Fund: The Executive Budget includes $100 million in FY14 and $200 million in FY15 to support a competitive grant program called the Straight A Fund. This fund would provide one-time grants for innovative programs that support student achievement, identify opportunities for cost savings, and help more resources flow to the classroom. The fund would be supported through the Lottery Profits Fund.
Early College Credit: Supports a standard funding model for all dual enrollment in Ohio. Postsecondary and secondary entities receiving funds through their respective state funding formulas would be required to share the tuition fee based on the average college tuition for each of the regional campuses, community colleges, and four-year universities.
Technology Infrastructure: Appropriates in FY14 a one-time investment of $10 million in technology infrastructure to connect information technology centers to the state broadband network and provide other connectivity upgrades to support on-line assessments, blended learning, and mobile computing initiatives in schools. The funding is included in Line Item 200-426, Ohio Education Computer Network.
New Assessments/New Report Cards: Supports new assessments and a new report card and continues teacher value added reports.
Provides a total of $55.8 million in FY14 and $75.8 million in FY15 in GRF to support the new assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards being developed through Ohio’s participation in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career Consortium (PARCC).
Funding for the Local Report Cards is $3.5 million in FY14 and $3.75 million in FY15.
- Provides a total GRF appropriations of $2.3 billion in FY14 (.6 percent) and $2.4 billion in FY15 (2.3 percent).
- Increases the State Share of Instruction (SSI) by $33 million in FY14 and $34 million in FY15. Fifty percent of the total university funding within the State Share of Instruction will be determined by the number of students who actually complete a degree at the institution.
- Increases line items for The War Orphans Scholarship, National Guard Scholarship, Choose Ohio First Scholarship, and Ohio College Opportunity Grant.
- Caps undergraduate tuition and general fee increases to no more than the greater of 2 percent over what the institution charged in the previous academic year, or 2 percent of the statewide average cost, by sector.
This Week at the Statehouse
The House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM in room 313. The committee will receive testimony on the tax provisions included in the Executive Budget.
The Joint Senate School Safety Committee will meet on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM in room 313. The committee will receive testimony from the Administration on the education provisions included in the Executive Budget.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM in hearing room 313. The committee will receive a presentation from State Auditor David Yost on the school attendance data investigation.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission will meet on Thursday, February 14, 2013. An education and orientation program will be held from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM at the Riffe Center, 31st Floor and the Commission will meet at 2:00 PM.
District State Aid Estimates Analyzed
State Aid Estimates: The Office of Budget and Management, Tim Keen director, released on February 6, 2013 the preliminary state aid estimates for school districts for FY14 and FY15 based on the new school funding formula proposed by Governor Kasich last week.
The preliminary estimates do not include state allocations for transportation and career technical education, but do incorporate the “cap” on increases above the Core Opportunity component. The cap limits increases in state aid to no greater than 25 percent of FY13 levels or 10 percent of district total revenue.
The document includes FY13 state aid; estimated student count; three-year average valuation per pupil; Core Opportunity Aid; Targeted Aid; state funding to support students with disabilities, English language learner, students from disadvantaged backgrounds, early childhood education, students identified as gifted and talented; guaranteed funds; and total state aid for FY14 and FY15.
The document also does not show the funds that school districts would lose when students transfer to attend charter schools and private schools through Ohioʻs several voucher programs. There are over 100,000 students now attending charter schools, and over 22,000 students currently using vouchers. There is a concern that the amount of state aid transferred out of some school districts to support choice students might be more than the increases in state aid.
According to the document, out of 612 school districts, 397 school districts (64 percent) would not receive increases in state aid in FY14, and 382 would not receive increases state aid in FY15, because these districts are on the guarantee.
And, according to the document, while some suburban higher wealth schools districts, such as Dublin, Lordstown, Twinsburg, and Olentangy, are receiving increases in state aid, some of the school districts with the lowest average valuations per pupil (below $75,000 per pupil) are not. These include Dawson-Bryant Local, Crooksville Exempted Village, Trimble Local, Minford, etc. In fact, these low-wealth school districts are on the guarantee so that they do not lose state aid. Governor Kasich has suggested that policy makers think about ways to eliminate the guarantee, which would mean that in the future these lower wealth districts could lose even more state aid.
The school funding documents are available.
State Aid by Typologies: Dr. Howard Fleeter, a consultant with the Education Tax Policy Institute (ETPI), released last week an analysis about how the new state aid formula proposed by Governor Kasich would affect school districts in FY14 according to their typology.
The Ohio Department of Education organizes school districts into seven typologies in order to provide a rational basis for making comparisons and examining equity among school districts. The typologies are based on variables such as total student enrollment, number of employees, geography, median income level, population density, educational attainment, percent of poverty, and percent of minority population.
The following typologies are used by the ODE:
Type 1: Rural/agricultural — high-poverty, low-median income: 97 school districts, approximate total average daily membership (ADM) = 160,000 students.
Type 2: Rural/agricultural — small student population, low poverty, low-to-moderate median income: 161 school districts, approximate total ADM = 220,000 students.
Type 3: Rural/small town — moderate-to-high median income: 81 school districts, approximate total ADM = 130,000 students.
Type 4: Urban — low median income, high poverty: 102 school districts, approximate total ADM = 290,000 students.
Type 5: Major urban — very high poverty: 15 school districts, approximate total ADM = 360,000 students.
Type 6: Urban/suburban — high median income: 107 school districts, approximate total ADM = 420,000 students.
Type 7: Type 7: Urban/suburban — very high median income, very low poverty: 46 school districts, approximate total ADM = 240,000 students.
School districts in typologies with lower property wealth, lower median income, and high levels of poverty would be expected to receive higher levels of state aid to improve equity among high and low-wealth school districts, based on the school funding formula proposed by Governor Kasich.
According to Dr. Fleeterʻs analysis, however, over 80 percent of lower wealth school districts in Types 1, 2, and 3 (rural, agricultural, small town) would not receive additional state aid through Governor Kasichʻs proposed state budget. On the other hand, about half of school districts in Types 6 and 7, suburban/wealthy, would receive increases in state aid.
Typology Analysis: The Number of Districts on the Guarantee by Typology Group.
Type 1. Poor Rural: Total number of school districts 97. 79 would be on the guarantee (81.4%).
Type 2. Rural: Total number of school districts 161. 137 would be on the guarantee (85.1%),
Type 3. Rural small town: Total number of school districts 81. 71 would be on the guarantee (87.7%).
Type 4. Urban: Total number of school districts 102. 27 would be on the guarantee (26.5%).
Type 5. Major Urban: Total number of school districts 15. Four would be on the guarantee. (26.7%).
Type 6. Suburban: Total number of school districts 107. 53 would be on the guarantee (49.5%).
Type 7. Wealthy Suburban: Total number of school districts 46. 22 would be on the guarantee. (47.8%)
Policy Brief Focuses on Tax Reforms: Policy Matters Ohio released on February 7, 2013 a policy brief about the tax reform proposals included in Governor Kasichʻs Executive Budget for FY14 and 15. (“Kasich tax proposal would further tilt tax system in favor of Ohioʻs affluent. Tax cuts would average more than $10,000 a year for top one percent.” Policy Matters Ohio, February 2013.)
The analysis of the tax provisions in the Executive Budget were conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy for Policy Matters Ohio. The analysis does not include the governorʻs severance tax plan.
According to the brief, the combination of reductions in the income tax and broadening the sales tax base would affect Ohioans differently according to their income levels. Low and middle income Ohioans would be affected more by the changes in the sales tax, which could increase inequity in Ohio. The authors write, “The proposal would provide a $10,369 annual tax cut on average to taxpayers in the top 1 percent of the income spectrum, who made more than $335,000 in 2012. The bottom fifth of taxpayers, making less than $18,000 a year, would see an average increase of $63. Those in the middle fifth, making between $33,000 and $51,000 in 2012, would come out about even, averaging an annual tax increase of $8.”
The researchers also report that Ohioans would be paying more in federal income taxes, because currently Ohioans can deduct state income taxes from their federal taxes. And, extending the sales tax to additional services will hit lower-income Ohioans more, “…because they spend a greater share of their income.”
The policy brief recommends that if the sales tax is broadened, its impact should be offset for low and moderate income Ohioans through a refundable state Earned Income Tax Credit, sales tax credits, which are used in Hawaii and New Mexico, or excluding certain services from the tax. The authors conclude, however, that overall it would be better to “maintain and bolster” the stateʻs progressive income tax than “counteract” the effects of a broader sales tax on those who are least able to afford it.
The policy brief is available.
State Board of Education Meeting: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, will meet on February 11 and 12, 2013 at the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Board of Regents, 25 South Front Street in Columbus.
The State Board agreed last month to hold their monthly meetings in the renovated ODE building beginning in March, but decided to move the February meeting to the Conference Center anyway. Those who plan to attend the State Board meetings should factor in additional time to clear ODE security.
This month the State Board will discuss a draft agenda for the new meeting structure, Social Media, receive a presentation on the recommendations of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Workgroup, receive a presentation regarding the FY14-15 Executive Budget, receive the report of the Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction, Michael Sawyers, and receive the report on the school attendance audit presented by Auditor of State David Yost. On Monday the Achievement, Capacity, and Urban committees will meet in the morning, and the Accountability Committee will meet in the afternoon.
The Achievement Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, will be discussing proposed changes for Operating Standards for Children with Disabilities, appropriate uses of Early Child Education Screening and Assessment Information, Career Connections, and Restraint and Seclusion guidance and components of training.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tim Gunlock, will discuss community school sponsorship rules, new rules to approve applicants of new internet or computer-based community schools, rules to measure sponsor compliance with applicable laws and rules, student growth measures, the SEED School of Cincinnati, and states with inadequate licensing standards.
The Urban Education Committee, chaired by Angela Thi Bennett, will discuss efforts to support low performing schools relative to HB555.
The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by Bryan Williams, will discuss the State Boardʻs recommendations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Public participation on non agenda items is scheduled for Monday, February 11, 2013 at 9:00 AM. Public participation on agenda items is scheduled after 11:30 AM on Tuesday, February 12, 2013.
The State Board will take action on the following items at their February 2013 meeting:
#8 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Rule 3301-102-09 of the Administrative Code Entitled Approving Applications for New Internet – or Computer-Based Community Schools.
#9 Approve a Resolution to Approve the Recommendation of the Hearing Officer and to deny the Transfer of School District Territory for the Coventry Local School District, Summit County, to the Barberton City School District, Summit County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.
#17 Approve a Resolution of Appointment to the Educator Standards Board.
#18 Approve a Motion Regarding 2013-14 State Board Meeting Dates.
#19 Approve a Resolution to Approve Proposed Legislative Recommendations Regarding Ohioʻs Policies on Literacy Education of Individuals from Birth through Third Grade, and to Delegate Authority to the State Board of Education Members on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Workgroup to Finalize the Recommendations.
ARTS EDUCATION ADVOCATES TAKE ACTION
Governor Kasich introduced last week his FY14-15 Executive Budget to the Ohio General Assembly, and this week the 1000 page plus budget bill is expected to be introduced.
The Ohio House Finance and Appropriations Committee chaired by Representative Ron Amstutz, is currently receiving testimony from Governor Kasich’s Administration on various components of the budget, but soon the Finance Committee Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education, chaired by Representative Hayes, will debate the education provisions of the budget bill, and the Finance Committee Subcommittee on Higher Education, chaired by Representative Cliff Rosenberger, will review the budget for the Ohio Arts Council (OAC).
After the budget has been considered by the House, with its changes having been made, the budget will move to the Senate, probably sometime in April, and go through a similar process. In the Senate, the Finance Committee is chaired by Senator Scott Oelslager and the Education Subcommittee is chaired by Senator Randy Gardner.
Arts education advocates will have many opportunities to influence the legislative process over the next months. Please contact your representatives in the Ohio House and Senate and urge them to consider the legislative recommendations of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) and Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA). If implemented these recommendations would increase student access to, and the quality of, arts education programs, and would increase state support for artists and community-based arts institutions and organizations that bring the arts to life for everyone.
More information about contacting members of the Ohio House and Senate is available.
Budget Recommendation of Ohio Citizens for the Arts
Ohio Citizens for the Arts is recommending that the budget of the Ohio Arts Council be increased to $22.4 million in FY14-15.
Governor Kasichʻs Executive Budget recommends that funding for the OAC increase to $19,198,408 for FY14-15, which is an increase of 11.5 percent over the current biennium. The Governor recommends that the appropriation for subsidies (grants to arts organizations throughout Ohio) be increased by $2 million. In the current biennium (FY12-13) that category totaled $14 million for the two years. In the newly introduced Executive Budget recommendation, the total for subsidies is $16 million for the two years beginning July 1, 2013.
In December, 2012 at the Annual Meeting of Ohio Citizens for the Arts (OCA), through a unanimous vote of the membership, the OCA set a GOAL FOR THE OHIO ARTS COUNCIL BUDGET AT $22.4 MILLION. This would return the OAC to the most recent budget levels before a series of cuts were made starting in 2008.
The OCA appreciates Governor Kasich’s confidence in the arts. His proposed increase in the OAC’s budget recognizes the importance of the arts for Ohio’s economic recovery, and advantageously positions arts advocates to request additional funding for the OAC to expand even more arts programming and support for artists in Ohio.
OAAE’s Legislative Changes Focuses on Students
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education and its arts education partners have approved the following arts-education related legislative recommendations for the 130th Ohio General Assembly:
1) School Funding: The State of Ohio’s system for funding schools should provide sufficient funds so that all students have access to a high quality education, which includes the arts, pursuant to §3301.07 (2) and §3313.60 ORC. The arts are defined as dance, drama/theater, media arts, music, and visual art.
Background: Not all students in Ohio have access to the arts as part of a complete curriculum. Many school districts are struggling to balance their budgets and are eliminating courses in the arts, eliminating instruction in the arts at certain grade levels, and seeking waivers from laws and rules requiring instruction in the arts.
A report issued by Policy Matters Ohio in December 2011 found that two-thirds of school districts expected a budget shortfall in 2011-12, and twelve percent reported that they have or were anticipating cutting arts education programs to balance their budgets. (The State Budget and Ohio’s Schools: Big cuts, hard choices, local impacts by Wendy Patton, Piet van Lier and Elizabeth Ginther, 2011-2012.)
Ohio’s school funding system should ensure sufficient funds for public schools so that all students, no matter where they live, have access to sequential, standards-based learning opportunities in the arts in grades preK-12.
All Ohio students should be prepared with the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in the arts and/or higher education in the arts, if that is their choice, but also participate in the arts throughout their lives. Sufficient funds must be available for schools so that all students,
- experience the fine arts, including dance, drama/theater, media arts, music, and visual art
- study at least one art form in depth, and
- graduate with at least one high school credit in the arts.
2) Requirements for the Study of the Fine Arts and Music: Oppose laws and rules that weaken the requirement that school districts provide for the study of the fine arts and music.
Background: Boards of education are permitted in current law and rule to request from the Superintendent of Public Instruction a waiver from statute or rule of certain provisions in law, including the provision requiring the study of the fine arts and music. (Ohio Revised Code 3301.07 (O) and Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-11(D)).
Although the OAAE is not aware of any school district that has been granted a waiver to eliminate or limit instruction in the arts, there is a concern that as school districts experience more financial problems, there will be more requests for waivers of laws and rules to eliminate programs, including those in the arts, to reduce district costs.
The State Board of Education is also reviewing operating standards (Standards for Ohio’s Schools and School Districts, Ohio Administrative Code 3301-35-01 to 3301-35-07 and 3301-35-12 to 3301-35-14) to see how schools/districts can be given more “flexibility” to free dollars and seat-time requirements.
Operating standards have been updated three times since the State Board of Education adopted them in 1983. (2001, 2007, small changes in 2010.) The 2001 update was a major revision, which aligned the standards to the Baldrige Model for high performing education systems, and that model is still evident in the July 2010 version of operating standards in use today.
Ohio, unlike other states, does not have specific laws or rules about what constitutes a quality preK-12 arts education program, and so operating standards have become a general guide by default. The current operating standards ensure that students have 1) access to the study of the fine arts and music taught by a credentialed teacher and aligned to standards; 2) access to sequential learning in the arts based on a school district’s courses of study in the arts; and 3) sufficient opportunity to learn the course of study objectives in the arts and earn credits for graduation.
There is a concern that any changes in Operating Standards made through this review could compromise the best practices for effective education systems currently outlined in operating standards.
3) Community Schools: Amend §3313.60(A) ORC to require community schools to provide for the study of the fine arts and music.
Background: According to an analysis of EMIS data for 2009-2010 conducted by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Ohio Department of Education, 39 percent of community schools did not report enrollment of at least one student in one arts course. (Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, Status of Arts Education in Ohio’s Schools, 2011.)
The Ohio Constitution requires the state to provide for a “system of common schools”, yet traditional school districts are required to provide for the study of the fine arts and music, while community schools are not.
All Ohio students should have access to the arts as part of a complete curriculum. All Ohio students should be prepared with the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in the arts and/or higher education in the arts, if that is their choice, and participate in the arts throughout their lives. Students attending community schools should have access to the same curricular opportunities as students in traditional public schools.
4) Gifted Education:
•Amend §3324.03 ORC to require all boards of education and governing authorities of community schools to identify students who are gifted and talented and serve students identified as gifted and talented.
•Ohio’s system for funding schools should provide sufficient funds so that school districts and community schools can identify students who are gifted and serve them.
Background: Traditional public school districts are required by law to identify students who are gifted in grades K-12 based on specific criteria in law (§3324.03 ORC), and report annually the number of students screened, assessed, and identified as gifted.
However, a survey conducted by the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Ohio Department of Education for the 2009-2010 school year found that only 42 percent of schools reported that they identified students gifted and talented in the arts. (Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, Status of Arts Education in Ohio’s Schools, 2011.)
Ohio law does not require traditional public school districts to serve students who have been identified as gifted, and does not require community schools to even identify or serve students gifted in the arts. While the ODE reported that 19,771 students in 2009-2010 were identified as gifted in the visual and performing arts, only 1,048 of those students were served.
According to national studies, many gifted students “do not make it on their own” and need guidance and instructional support to maximize their abilities and talents, including those in the arts. The lack of a state mandate to identify and serve all gifted students means that many Ohio students are not receiving important information about their learning potential, and are missing instructional opportunities that could help them achieve at even higher levels.
5) Graduation Requirements: Amend §3313.603 ORC and require all students, without exceptions, to graduate with a minimum of one credit in the fine arts (120 hours of instruction or the equivalent) in grades 9-12, rather than two semesters in any grades 7-12. Students should be able to meet this graduation requirement in a variety of ways, such as through a demonstration of competency or mastery, end of course exams, project-based or performance-based assessment, etc. under the supervision of a licensed teacher in the arts.
Background: Current Ohio law sets a low graduation requirement for students in the arts and does not require all students to comply with it. Most students in traditional public schools are required to complete two semesters or the equivalent in the arts in any grades 7-12. Students who graduate from community schools, career-technical education programs, and dropout prevention programs are exempted from even this minimum requirement.
The two-semester requirement means that students can graduate without studying a more rigorous high school level curriculum in the arts or earn a high school credit in the arts in some cases.
There is also a concern that once some students meet the minimum requirement in 7th or 8th grades they might decide not to take additional arts courses in high school. This could decrease enrollment in the arts at the high school level and diminish the quality of arts education classes, such as band, choir, and orchestra, in which a minimum level of student participants is needed to present a quality performance. The impact of decreased enrollment in arts courses could ultimately affect the quality of the entire arts education program and opportunities available in the arts for all students.
All Ohio students should be required to complete a graduation requirement in the arts at the high school level so that they are prepared with the knowledge and skills to pursue careers in the arts and/or higher education in the arts, if that is their choice, and participate in the arts throughout their lives.
6) Assessment and accountability: Amend §3302 to include the arts in Ohio’s assessment and accountability system for schools.
- Require the State Board of Education, working with stakeholders, to develop or identify rigorous student assessments in the arts at designated grade levels or at the end of a course. Consider multiple ways to assess student achievement, including performance-based assessments, project-based assessments, end of course exams, portfolios, demonstration of competency or mastery, etc.
- Use the results of student assessments in the arts to develop standards of achievement in the arts
- Develop indicators for quality arts education programs for the Local Report Card based on the standards for student achievement in the arts or other measures of quality of school arts education programs.
Background: Ohio’s schools currently do not have a standardized way to assess student progress in the arts. A survey of schools and districts for the 2009-2010 school year found that 88 percent of schools reported using teacher-developed assessments in the arts to track student progress, but six percent of schools reported using no assessments in the arts. (Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, Status of Arts Education in Ohio’s Schools, 2011.)
Ohio law also requires that all teachers and principals be evaluated based on a framework that includes student academic progress as a criteria. The law allows teachers in areas without a standardized assessment of student achievement to use student-learning objectives (SLOs) to determine student progress. Arts educators in Ohio’s school districts are now developing SLOs to include in their evaluations, but the student progress component of the evaluation could be facilitated greatly if the state adopted standardized assessments in the arts.
The results of assessing students in the arts could provide important information for students, parents, arts educators, schools/districts, and the community about the following:
- Student achievement in the arts
- The quality of the arts education programs
- How arts education programs align with higher education requirements for the arts
- Strategies to improve instruction
- The types of professional development that should be made available for arts teachers
- The quality of teacher preparation programs in the arts
- The effectiveness and efficiency of arts education programs.
7) Count student grades in arts courses the same as other courses in which students earn credits for graduation: Establish a uniform state policy in law or rule to require schools to count student grades in arts courses, that meet for 120 hours of instruction, the same as grades in other courses when calculating student grade point averages for honor roll, class ranking, etc.
Background: According to a survey of schools and districts for the 2009-2010 school year, 16 percent of high schools reported that student grades in arts courses were not counted equally with other courses when calculating the grade point average of students. In some cases, for example, students did not receive 4 points for earning a “ A” grade in an arts course, even though the course met for 120 hours of instruction. The 16 percent of high schools represented approximately 14,000 students. (Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, Status of Arts Education in Ohio’s Schools, 2011.)
Counting student grades in arts courses differently than student grades in other courses creates inconsistent and unfair grading practices within and among schools. Such policies place students who take courses in the arts at a disadvantage when determining class rankings, college admissions, and competition for scholarships, and can harm students who excel in the arts, are pursuing higher education and careers in the arts, or are just interested in taking courses in the arts.
Counting grades in arts courses differently than other courses could also decrease enrollment in the arts and diminish the quality of arts courses in which a minimum level of student participants is needed to present a quality performance. The impact of decreased enrollment in arts courses could ultimately affect the quality of the entire arts education program and opportunities available in the arts for all students.