Arts On Line Education Update 03.18.2013

Expression of Sympathy: The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education extends its sympathy to the family of State Board of Education member Jeff Hardin, who passed away on March 13, 2013. Mr. Hardin was dedicated to improving K-12 education and advocated for the neediest of students. He was also an adamant supporter of arts education, and assisted the OAAE during the development of the state standards for the arts. He will be missed.

Ohio News

New Superintendent Selected: The State Board of Education selected on March 12, 2013 Dr. Richard Ross to fill the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Dr. Ross is currently the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education. He is a former superintendent, college instructor, and teacher. He is expected to start at the Ohio Department of Education on March 25, 2013.

Acting Superintendent Michael Sawyers, who was also a candidate for the superintendent’s job, announced on March 15, 2013 that he will be leaving the ODE to accept a position with the New Albany/Plain Local School District. Mr. Sawyers’ is credited with leading the ODE and Ohio’s districts and schools during one of the most intensive periods of education reform, starting with the federal Race to the Top Grant and changes required as a result of new laws, SB316 (Lehner) and HB555 (Stableton) approved last year.

Lawmakers Seek Suggestions for Tax Reform: In an unusual move, Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder and Senate President Keith Faber released a statement on March 15, 2013 outlining goals for Ohio’s tax system, and encouraging “all affected parties, particularly job creators and those in the business community who would be most affected by these proposals, to share their views with members of the legislature quickly.”

The goals for tax reform include protecting working families and job creators by lowering their income tax burden; simplifying the state’s cumbersome tax code; and maintaining a commitment to continuing a longer-term process of major tax reform.

Lawmakers are considering removing the tax reform provisions from HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget and incorporating them in a separate bill to provide more time to vet various tax reform options.

Constitution Modernization Commission: The Constitutional Modernization Commission, co-chaired by Speaker Bill Batchelder and Representative Vernon Sykes, announced last week that its website is now accepting public comments about ways to revise the Ohio Constitution. The 32-member commission is charged with recommending updates to the Ohio Constitution, and has formed the following committees to organize its work: Bill of Rights & Voting Rights; Legislative Branch; Education, Public Institutions & Miscellaneous; Executive Branch; Judicial Branch; Local Government; Finance, Taxation & Economic Development; and Constitutional Revisions.

The website is available.

This Week at the Statehouse: The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week as lawmakers continue to work on several legislative measures and the state’s operating budget, HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Senate Ways and Means Committee
The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Schaffer, will meet on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 10:00 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on SB42 (Manning/Gardner) Property Taxes-School Security, which would authorize school districts to levy a property tax exclusively for school safety and security purposes.

House Finance and Appropriations Committee
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 2:00 PM in hearing room 313. The committee will receive testimony on HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. Testimony will focus on tax issues.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

House Finance and Appropriations Committee
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 313. The committee will receive testimony on HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. Testimony will focus on primary and secondary education.

House Education Committee
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 4:00 PM, in hearing room 121. The committee will receive a presentation from Tina Thomas-Manning of the Ohio Department of Education regarding the 2012-2013 report card.

The committee will also receive sponsor testimony on SB21 (Lehner) Third-Grade Reading Guarantee, which would revise the requirements for reading teachers under the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee, and make other changes.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

House Finance and Appropriations Committee
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 313. The committee will receive testimony on HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. Testimony will focus on health and human services.

State Board of Education: The State Board of Education met on March 11 and 12, 2013 at the Ohio Department of Education and Board of Regents Building, 25 South Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

The State Board’s Superintendent Search Committee presented on March 12, 2012 two candidates to the Board to consider for the position of superintendent of public instruction: Michael Sawyers, Acting Superintendent, and Dr. Richard Ross, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education. The State Board voted 10 to 6 to select Richard Ross as superintendent.

Achievement Committee
The Achievement Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, approved a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Proposed Amendments to Rule 3301-52-01, Appropriate Uses of Early Child Education Screening and Assessment Information, and received a presentation on career technical education.

Capacity Committee
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, approved Rule 3301-102-08, Standards for Measuring Sponsor Compliance with Applicable Laws and Rules; discussed Rules 3301-83-09, -10, -16, -17, -21, -22 and 3301-51-10 Pupil Transportation Rules; received an update on ORC 3319.228 List of States with Inadequate Licensure Standards; discussed Teacher Evaluation Framework for State Agencies; and received an update on New Licensure Assessments by the Evaluation Systems Group of Pearson.

Urban Education Committee
The Urban Education Committee, chaired by Angela Bennett, discussed recommendations for a comprehensive statewide plan to intervene directly in, and improve the performance of, persistently poor performing schools and school districts relative to 129-HB555 (Stebelton). Nine hundred and fifty-six school buildings in Ohio are defined as persistently poor performing schools.

Legislative and Budget Committee
The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by Bryan Williams, received an update about SB21 (Lehner) and information about the Medicaid to Schools Program.

Kelly Weir, Executive Director of Legislative Services and Budgetary Planning for the Ohio Department of Education, explained the changes included in SB21 (Lehner) that affect the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. SB21 recently passed the Ohio Senate, and is being considered by the House Education Committee.

According to the presentation, SB21 changes the qualifications for teachers who are monitoring students who have reading improvement plans under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Program. It allows teachers who meet certain requirements to supervise the reading improvement monitoring plans, and removes the three-year active reading teaching requirement. The bill also exempts students with severe cognitive disabilities from the screening requirement; removes the requirement that the school district approve the reading plans in the first year; and requires the Ohio Department of Education to develop a list of programs that teachers could complete to qualify to provide reading instruction under the bill.

The committee also received information about the Medicaid to Schools Program. Mr. Williams explained that he has received information from school districts that Ohio’s schools could be receiving more federal reimbursements for certain services that they are providing students through the Medicaid to Schools Program. Mark Smith from the Ohio Department of Education provided a history of Ohio’s involvement in the program. Four hundred and twenty-two school districts/schools are now participating in the program, which is administered jointly by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services and the Ohio Department of Education, and is overseen by the U.S. Office of Inspector General. The current program, created in 2009, replaced the CAFS program, which was closed down in 2005, because not all reimbursed services were being provided by licensed therapists.

Chris Meroff, executive director of Texas-based MSB Connections, also spoke to the committee. He has been administering the Medicaid to Schools Program in 15 states. According to Mr. Meroff Ohio has a solid accountability infrastructure to expand the program and seek reimbursement for up to $200 million in services to children. The program could be expanded to reimburse school districts for personal services (one on one aides); specialized transportation; and delegated nursing (under the supervision of a nurse).

Jeff McQuen from Worthington City Schools also presented about the Medicaid to Schools Program, and believes that if the program could expand, Worthington would be able to provide more services to students.

Accountability Committee
The Accountability Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, presented an update on the new report card for schools and districts, pursuant to 129-HB555 signed into law in December 2012. The Accountability Committee expects to present this information to the House Education Committee on March 20, 2013. The Board will consider an intent to adopt in April 2013, and approve the new report card and rules for the report card in June 2013.

The new report card will eventually incorporate 18 different measures in six component areas, which will receive grades. For the 2012-13 school year there will be 9 measures; for the 2013-14 school year there will be 16 measures; and for the 2014-15 school year 17 measures. An overall grade will be calculated for schools and districts for the 2015 report card.

The six overall components that will be graded are graduation rates; K-3 Literacy; prepared for success; achievement; progress; and gap closing.

The committee has been working on several drafts of the report card and has been seeking input from schools and the public. The new report card will be accessible online. Each district will have a “home page” that will allow a user to access additional information for each of the components.

During the presentation a Resolution was adopted about the proposed Safe Harbor Provision developed by the committee.

Dropout Recovery Report Card
The committee also presented information about a dropout recovery report card, which is a separate report card for the 83 schools in Ohio that meet the criteria of dropout recovery and prevention schools. 129-HB555 (Stebelton) requires the State Board of Education to enact rules for performance levels and benchmarks. Some indicators were already included in law. Eventually dropout prevention and recovery schools will be rated as “Exceeding Standards, Meets Standards, and Does not Meet Standards”.

According to the presentation, Ohio is the only state that has high stakes consequences for its accountability system for dropout prevention and recovery schools. The report cards will result in the closure of some schools in the future, and so the committee was careful about its recommendations.

The report card will provide information about the following components:

  • Graduation rates for four year, five year, six year, seven year, and eighth cohorts using the federal calculation
  • High school assessment passage rates
  • Annual measurable objectives for students grouped in categories.

The Board will be asked to adopt the proposed report card in June 2013. The first report card will be released in August of 2013, but there will be no overall ratings. Schools will receive an overall rating for the first time in 2015. Schools will be identified for closure in 2015-16.

The committee will review the benchmarks after more data is available in 2015.

Chapter 119 Hearing
The State Board conducted a Chapter 119 hearing on March 12, 2013 on Rules 3301-24-08, Professional or Associate License Renewal; Rules 3301-24-19 to -22, Alternative Resident Educator License Rules; and Rules 3301-35-15, Restraint & Seclusion.

Several witnesses presented testimony about the proposed rule changes regarding 3301-35-15 Restraint and Seclusion Rules and policy. Overall the witnesses asked that the rules be amended in the following ways:

  • Include community schools in the rules. Even though 33 community schools serve students with disabilities, community schools are currently exempt from the new rules.
  • Include compliance with the State Board’s Diversity Strategies for Successful Schools Policy to ensure that students with discipline problems are not pushed-out of schools.
  • Train all staff in cultural competencies.
  • Train teachers and staff in the best research about how to serve children with disabilities and behavior disorders.
  • Ensure that all definitions align with those in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, including the U.S. Department of Education determination that seclusion and restraint be limited to situations in which serious physical harm is imminent.

Public Participation on Non Agenda Items
Two individuals presented to the Board regarding an ODE investigation of the Columbus City Schools regarding the restraint and seclusion of students.

Susan Tobin, an attorney with Disability Rights Ohio, addressed the State Board regarding the oversight responsibilities of the Ohio Department of Education under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. According to the testimony, as part of a partial settlement of a lawsuit Dover v. State of Ohio, the ODE had agreed that it had the responsibility to determine whether or not a school district was affording students a free and appropriate education, and not just meeting procedural compliance. A recent investigation by the Ohio Department of Education, however, contradicts the agreement. In the investigation of the complaint filed against the Columbus City Schools in November 2012 by parents and Disability Rights Ohio, the ODE found that the district had provided the students with a free and appropriate education and complied with the law. According to Ms. Tobin, the ODE has apparently retreated from the agreement and has determined that it will not look beyond the “paper compliance” of school districts with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Ms. Tobin recommended that the ODE reconsider its decision about its role in determining compliance with the law.

Aimee Gilman, a parent of a child with autism and an attorney working with parents with students with disabilities, also recommended that the State Board of Education take a greater role in the oversight of school districts regarding compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. She explained that Disability Rights Ohio had filed a complaint in November 2012 with the ODE regarding an ODE investigation of the Columbus City School Districts use of restraint and seclusion to discipline students. She challenged ODE’s findings, that the district had met the requirement to provide the students in the complaint a “free and appropriate education”. According to the testimony, the ODE investigation of students who were repeatedly restrained and secluded did not include interviews with parents or a determination that the students were making progress. Without the determination that the students were making progress, the ODE had no business to say that students were receiving a free and appropriate education. According to Ms. Gilman, the ODE Office of Exceptional Children and the State Board of Education should be doing a better job overseeing school districts. The parents who filed the complaint are now considering taking legal action against school districts and the state.

State Board Action on the Report of the Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction, March 12, 2013.

#1 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-52-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code Entitled Appropriate Uses of Early Childhood Education Screening and Assessment Information.

#2 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-102-01 TO 3301-102-07 of the Ohio Administrative Code regarding community schools.

#3 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-102-08 of the Ohio Administrative Code entitled Standards for Measuring Sponsor Compliance with Applicable Laws and Rules.

#4 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rule 3301-102-10 of the Ohio Administrative Code regarding the Academic Performance Rating and Report Card System for Community Schools that Serve Students Enrolled in Dropout Prevention and Recovery Programs.

#5 The Resolution was amended to approve, rather than deny, the Transfer of School District Territory from the Buckeye Central Local School District Seneca County to the Mohawk Local School District Seneca County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.

#6 Approved a Resolution to Confirm and Approve the Recommendation of the Hearing Officer and to Approve the Transfer of School District Territory from the Fairborn City School District, Green County to the Huber Heights City School District, Montgomery County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.

#7 The Resolution was amended to approve, rather than deny, the Transfer of School District Territory from the Medina City School District Medina County to the Highland Local School District Medina County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code.

#14 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-04-01 of the Ohio Administrative Code entitled Notice of Meetings.

#15 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-23-44 of the Ohio Administrative Code Entitled Temporary and Substitute Licenses.

#16 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rule 3301-24-09 of the Ohio Administrative Code Entitled Performance-Based Licensure for Administrators.

#18 Approved a Resolution to Appoint Richard Ross Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Court Orders White Hat to Open Books: The 10th District Court of Appeals for Franklin County affirmed on March 12, 2013 a lower court’s ruling requiring White Hat Management to disclose how it has spent public money in its role as a charter school management company. (Hope Academy Broadway Campus et. al v. White Hat Management)

White Hat Management, LLC was founded by David Brennan, an Akron, Ohio businessman and early proponent of vouchers and charter schools in Ohio. The case stems from a lawsuit filed on May 17, 2010 by the governing boards of Hope Academies of Cleveland and Akron and Life Skills Centers of Cleveland and Akron in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas against White Hat Management, LLC, its affiliates, and the Department of Education.

The plaintiffs alleged that White Hat Management was not accountable to the governing boards of the schools that it managed; refused to provide governing boards with complete information about how it had spent public dollars; and had not negotiated the renewal of charter school contracts in good faith. White Hat argued that as a private company it is not required to disclose how public money is spent.

The lawsuit has become entangled in several court maneuvers over the years, so there have been several opinions issued. Judge John Bender of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas found on February 6, 2012 that the money that private management companies receive from the state is public money, and how it is spent must be thoroughly accountable to the public. The Judge ordered White Hat to disclose information about building leases; document the footnotes in its financial reports to the state; release information about its purchasing agreements; and release tax returns.

White Hat appealed the decision, which was affirmed by Judge Julia Dorrian of the three-judge appellate court in this the latest decision. White Hat can now appeal the decision to the Ohio Supreme Court.

The opinion is available.

Educators Request Changes for HB59: The House Primary and Secondary Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Hayes, completed hearings last week on the education components of HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. This week the full House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will receive public testimony. Primary and secondary education will be the focus of testimony on March 20, 2013.

Last week the subcommittee received testimony from over sixty school district superintendents, treasurers, and other individuals representing education interests. Although some of the testimony was supportive of Governor Kasich’s school funding plan and especially the Straight A Fund, many witnesses expressed opposition to the plan, and spent time explaining the steps that their school districts have made to reduce costs over the past years. As a result they believe that the quality of educational opportunities available for students in Ohio has suffered.

For example, Cindy Rhonemus, treasurer and chief fiscal officer of the Trimble Local School District in Athens County, gave an impassioned account of the economic plight of her school district and how students are missing educational opportunities because of the lack of resources. The district doesn’t have any music program in high school, no librarians, no family and consumer science courses, only one foreign language offered, and no one to teach Advanced Placement courses. The district has cut 32 teaching positions since 2001.

Thomas Tucker, Superintendent of Lorain City Schools, provided similar details of budget cuts, which included a 30 percent reduction of staff; closing schools; the elimination of full day kindergarten, elementary music and art, and librarians, and increases in class size.

The witnessed generally requested that the subcommittee change HB59 in the following areas:

•Construct a state school funding system based on the cost of the components of a quality education: Some witnesses stressed that basing the school funding formula on valuation per pupil is not rational. Felicia Drummey, treasurer of Big Walnut Schools, said in her testimony that using property valuation per pupil is an unreliable measure that creates instability.

Tom Perkins, superintendent of the Northern Local School District and also representing the Coalition of Rural Appalachian Schools, told the subcommittee that using valuation to drive the funding formula discriminates against rural school districts, because it assumes that rural districts have property wealth that can generate revenue.

He and other superintendents also noted the number of rural school districts suddenly on the guarantee. To make-up the amount of the guarantee Superintendent Perkins told the subcommittee that Northern Local would either have to increase student population by 1,400 students; decrease valuation by $300 million, or pass a 17 mill levy.

Chris Pfister, Superintendent of the Waynesfield-Goshen (W-G) Local School District, explained to the subcommittee that W-G has never been on the guarantee and has had a steady enrollment. However, according to simulations of HB59, W-G will receive $575,000 in FY14 and $578,000 in FY15 in guaranteed funds. With no growth in state funds the district will be in deficit spending the next two years, and even worse off if the guarantees are eliminated.

Cindy Rhonemus from the Trimble Local School District noted that her district had not been on the guarantee since 2009, but based on the Executive Budget proposal, the district will not receive any new money, and will be on the guarantee for $385,000. To make-up locally the amount of the guarantee would take 10 mills.

The witnesses proposed that the state should determine the components of a quality education and the costs, and base a school funding system on distributing state funds in an equitable way so that all students have access to quality education programs. The proposed formula doesn’t work if so many school districts are on the guarantee.

•Expansion of school choice: Superintendents and treasurers also explained to the committee the impact of expanding the EdChoice voucher program and the impact of community schools on school district budgets and programs.

Robert Hancock, treasurer for the Hamilton City School District, said that if just 5 percent of students who qualify for the voucher in Hamilton City use the EdChoice voucher for students whose family income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, the school district would lose $1.6 million annually. The result of the loss of funds would mean increased class sizes, elimination of educational programs, and the loss of teaching positions. The students who remain in the school district would experience an education program of less quality.

Brent May, superintendent of the Plain Local School District in Stark County, told the subcommittee that the “choice provisions” included in HB59 continue to erode the local control of public school districts. Over the past eight years his district has lost $8.4 million to community schools, even though his district has been rated excellent with distinction and has high value added ratings. Almost one million dollars of the $1.5 million that will be deducted for community schools this year comes from local tax revenue, passed by voters to enhance educational opportunities in the school district. He also opposes the expansion of the EdChoice voucher program, which will direct more public funds to private schools, when those funds could be used to support public schools.

•Requiring school districts to out-source educational services for subgroups of students not making consistent progress. HB59 requires school districts that don’t make “consistent progress” for certain subgroups of students, according to the local report card, to outsource educational services for those students. The subgroups are gifted education, economically disadvantaged students, English language learners, and students with disabilities. According to the testimony of Robert Hancock, Hamilton City Schools could lose $12 million if this provision stays in the bill.

•Catastrophic Special Education Fund. School district treasurers and superintendents also oppose the way in which the Catastrophic Special Education Fund will be funded. HB59 creates the fund by deducting 15 percent of state aid for special education from all school districts. Qualified schools/districts can then apply to the fund to offset very high special education costs.

Cindy Rhonemus from Trimble Local School District noted that her district would lose $141,000 from special education state aid to support the catastrophic special education fund, with no way to replace those funds.

Robert Hancock from Hamilton City Schools, recommended that the state fund the Catastrophic Special Education Fund as a separate line item with state funds. According to the testimony, funding the catastrophic cost reimbursement with special education state aid diminishes the ability of Hamilton City to serve those students with special needs. Hamilton City School District will pay out $632,000 more than it would receive in the catastrophic aid reimbursements.

•Restore funding for educational service centers (ESCs): Almost all of the individuals who testified mentioned how educational service centers support their school districts by providing professional training; special education services; gifted education services; preschool; and pooling resources to save costs for energy, health care, insurance, etc. ESCs have also assisted the ODE implement a number of new initiatives, such as Race to the Top, the Common Core, the Ohio Teacher and Principal Evaluation System, Student Growth Measures, Student Learning Objectives, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, and more.

HB59 changes the definition of an educational service center to a “regional public entity that provides services to public and non public schools and local governments with whom they enter into an agreement to provide those services.”

The elected ESC board would be eliminated as the terms of elected members expire. The ESC governance structure would be determined by a majority of its clients, who would also develop a governing plan and determine the membership of the ESC governing board. Since an ESC would serve non public schools and local governments in addition to public schools, the mission and services provided by an ESCs could change depending on the profile and needs of the clients.

The bill appropriates for ESCs 77.5 percent of each ESC’s prior year’s state funding in FY14, and 72.3 of each ESC’s prior year’s state funding in FY15. Other payments made to ESCs are eliminated, including the per pupil amount from each district; the per pupil amount for each school district served; supervisory units; and special education preschool funds. School districts would need to negotiate and pay for services from an ESC based on a contract.

Terry Graves-Striver, Director of Operations & School Improvement, Greene County Educational Service Center, requested that the subcommittee consider the consequences of the changes being proposed for educational service centers. According to the testimony, school districts can’t find in their state aid simulations for HB59 funding that has been redirected from ESCs, and so there is concern that school districts will be required to find additional resources to pay for ESC services. The reduction in the State ESC Operating Subsidy means that ESC will probably have to charge clients more. And, the elimination of an elected ESC board of education to be replaced by an appointed board of client representatives appears to set-up a conflict of interest, since the appointed board will have to vote on contracts and other financial transactions that are of a personal interest to them and their school/district. The publicly-elected board, reflective of the client districts, should be maintained to ensure accountability to tax payers.

Greg Ring, superintendent of the Educational Service Center of Lorain County, also presented testimony about the loss of funding for ESCs, and explained how his ESC uses their state subsidy to pay part of a salary of a curriculum director for Keystone Local Schools District. Without the state subsidy, the Lorain County ESC cannot support the curriculum director. Keystone Local Schools is one of the 60 percent of school districts that will not receive any additional funds through HB59, and so it is unlikely that the district will have the funds to support the position.

•Continue to provide supplemental transportation funding: According to testimony from Kimberly Moyer, treasurer for the West Muskingum Local School District, Tom Gibbs, superintendent of the Fort Frye and Warren Local School Districts in Washington County, and others, there is some confusion about funding for transportation in HB59. Some low wealth and low density school districts have been receiving supplemental transportation funding since the 2010-11 school year. This funding is needed to help rural school districts meet the transportation needs of their districts, and should continue. But, since transportation funding is not included in the school funding formula, and therefore is not guaranteed, some school districts will not receive the level of funding that they have in the past. For example, the Warren Local School District will lose $300,000 for transportation for a district that covers 200 square miles, and has already reduced transportation for high school students.

•Ohio School Psychologists Association: Ann Brennan, Executive Director of the Ohio School Psychologists Association, and school psychologists from several school districts, asked the subcommittee to reinstate the school psychologist minimum standard ratio in ORC 3317.15(F) (1 to 2500) and continue to provide support for the school psychology internship program. According to the testimonies, the average staffing ratio in Ohio is 1 school psychologist to 1100 students. School psychologists are uniquely qualified to provide students with a number of indispensable services as part of a team of professionals in the schools. Some of the responsibilities that school psychologists provide include student assessment data analysis; behavioral interventions; identification of gifted students; preparation of Individual Education Plans; instructional improvement decisions; mental health services and supports; and more. Eliminating the ratio could lead to an increase in the number of students needed to be served, and not only compromise the effectiveness of the school psychologist, but the safety and well-being of students. The testimony also included a request that state funding for Educational Service Centers be restored and that funding for gifted education be used to provide services for gifted students.

The testimonies are available.

Bills Introduced

SB69 (Beagle) Course and Program Sharing Network: Establishes the higher education Course and Program Sharing Network and makes an appropriation.

SB71 (Tavares) School Zone Speeding Violations: Doubles the fine for a speeding violation that occurs in a school zone during restricted hours.

SB72 (Tavares) Trio Programs: Makes an appropriation for the provision of state matching funds for federal TRIO programs at Ohio institutions of higher education for FY14 and FY15.

SB74 (Tavares) Agency Standards-Children Facilities: Requires that any privately run non-Ohio agency, home, school, camp, institution, or other entity or residential facility to which Ohio abused, neglected, dependent, unruly, or delinquent children are committed comply with the same standards that are applicable to in-state agencies, homes, schools, camps, institutions, or other entities or residential facilities.


Deadline Extended for Award: The Arts Education Leadership Awards, presented each year in conjunction with Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, is given annually to honor transformational leadership in arts education. The award brings visibility and national recognition to arts leaders and the organizations and communities they serve.

The Arts Education Leadership Award is presented to an individual who works with arts education in either an in-school or out-of-school capacity, and can demonstrate the following:

  • recognizes a need or opportunity for arts education in the community;
  • creates a shared vision for arts education in the community and enlists partners to achieve it;
  • transfers the vision into planning, implementation, and evaluation with high and measurable expectations; and
  • plans for adaptability and leadership transition within the task, project, program, or organization.

The deadline to nominate a candidate for this award has been extended to 5:00 PM EDT on March 22, 2013.

Please consider nominating an Ohio leader for this award!!!

Nominate a leader.

Arts Grants for Elementary Schools: Americans for the Arts and American Girl are sponsoring the Elevate the Arts grants contest. The contest will provide $45,000 in grants (up to $10,000 per school) to elementary school art programs. Teachers can enter to win one of the grants by submitting a digital image of a hot air balloon-themed art project and a short statement on why the arts matter. Entries must be received by May 31, 2013. Grant awards will be announced in October 2013.

Additional information is available.

U.S. DOE Arts in Education Grants Applications Available: Applications for the U.S. Department of Education, Arts in Education – Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program are now available. The notice of intent to apply is March 22, 2013. Applicants should notify the U.S. Department of Education of their intent to submit an application for funding through email to The deadline to submit an application is April 22, 2013.

The U.S. DOE Arts in Education grant program supports the enhancement, expansion, documentation, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, cohesive models that demonstrate effectiveness in integrating into and strengthening arts in the core elementary and middle school curricula; strengthening arts instruction in those grades; and improving students’ academic performance, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.

Funds must be used to further the development of programs designed to improve or expand the integration of arts education in elementary or middle school curricula; develop materials designed to help replicate or adapt arts programs; document and assess the results and benefits of arts programs; and develop products and services that can be used to replicate arts programs in other settings.

Applicants must describe an existing set of strategies for integrating the arts into the regular elementary and middle school curricula, which could then successfully be implemented, expanded, documented, evaluated, and disseminated.

Local education agencies and nonprofit organizations can apply.

Information is available.


About OAAE

It is the mission of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to ensure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. We believe that: * All children in school must have quality arts education provided by licensed arts educators * All Ohioans have the right to expect quality arts education * All arts programs must have adequate resources * All arts and cultural organizations and artists have a critical role in arts education Learn more at
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