130th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week.
House Committee Accepts Substitute Budget Bill: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, accepted on April 9, 2013 a substitute bill replacing House Bill 59 (Amstutz), Governor Kasich’s budget bill for FY14 and FY15 (Executive Budget), which was introduced in February 2013. The Finance Committee accepted the substitute bill 19 to 12 mainly along party lines, with Representative Sears (R) also voting against the substitute bill.
As anticipated, the substitute bill includes a variety of changes in HB59. The substitute bill reduces the income tax cut proposed by Governor Kasich to a permanent 7 percent reduction, rather than a 20 percent reduction phased-in over three years, and removes provisions to expand the sales tax, reduce the income tax for small businesses, increase the severance tax on oil and gas drilling, and expand Medicaid. Changes have also been made to Achievement Everywhere, the governor’s state funding plan for schools/districts.
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee received testimony on the substitute bill last week. Additional amendments to the bill will be considered by the committee on April 16, 2013. Once the bill clears the House Finance and Appropriations Committee, the full House will consider it. Lawmakers expect this to happen on April 18, 2013. The Ohio Senate will begin informal hearings on HB59 starting on April 16, 2013.
More information about the changes in HB59 are included below.
Information about the hearings on Sub. HB59 is available.
Senate Hearing Schedule for Sub. HB59 Posted: The Ohio Senate, Keith Faber president, released last week the Senate schedule for considering Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) the Biennial Budget. The bill will be debated in the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Scott Oelslager, starting on April 16, 2013, and then in Senate subcommittees for education, general government, and Medicaid, and in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The subcommittees have a target date of May 23, 2013 to complete their reports for the full Senate Finance Committee to consider. According to the Senate plan, a substitute bill will be developed by May 28, 2013 and reported by the Senate Finance Committee by June 4, 2013. The full Senate is scheduled to vote on Sub. HB59 by June 5, 2013.
Senate Passes Legislation: The Ohio Senate approved on April 10, 2013 SB42 (Manning-Gardner), which authorizes school districts to seek tax levies to support school safety and security upgrades. The bill now moves to the Ohio House for consideration.
Representative Szollosi to Leave the House: Representative Matt Szollosi (D-Oregon) announced last week that he will resign his 46th House District seat to become executive director of Affiliated Construction Trades of Ohio. No time was set for his departure.
Two More Districts Under Academic Distress: The Department of Education this week granted the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s request to waive the formation of an Academic Distress Commission, but instituted a commission for the Lorain City Schools. The Youngstown City School District has been under an academic distress commission since January 2010.
Both school districts, Cleveland and Lorain, are subject to state intervention, because they have received an “academic emergency” rating by the state for three or more consecutive years, and have failed to meet the adequate yearly progress measure for four or more consecutive years.
According to Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Richard Ross, Cleveland was granted a waiver from forming an academic distress commission, because it is implementing the “Cleveland Plan”, which was developed by stakeholders in Cleveland to improve student achievement, and was included in law, 129-HB525. Forming another commission would be redundant. The Cleveland school district must also report to the governor and the legislature by November 15, 2017 the school district’s progress in raising student achievement.
Superintendent Ross appointed last week three members of the Academic Distress Commission for the Lorain City Schools. The commission will include William Zelei from the Ohio Schools Council, Cathy Dietlin, retired educator and Executive Director of REACHigher Lorain, and Rosa Rivera-Hainaj, Lorain County Community College Dean of Science and Math. Timothy Williams, president of the Lorain board of education, also appointed Raul Ramos and Henry Patterson Jr. to the commission.
Simulations of New Report Cards Released: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released last week simulations of how school districts, schools, and community schools would rate on the new report card measures that will be phased-in over the next few years. The simulations are based on 2011-2012 data, but, according to ODE documents, are not projections for the 2012-13 report card. Beginning August 2013 schools will receive letter grades, rather than the labels “excellent”, “effective”, “continuous improvement”, etc., on nine measures. The measures will be grouped into six broad components, which will also receive grades by August 2015. Eventually schools and districts will receive an overall letter grade for their report card, but not until the measures and components are fully phased-in.
The six components are:
- Achievement, which includes two performance measures: Performance Indicators and Performance Index measures.
- Progress, which includes four measures for All Students, gifted students (math, reading superior cognitive only), students with disabilities (all students who have an IEP and take the OAA), and students in the lowest 20 percent of achievement statewide.
- Graduation Rate, which includes a four year graduation rate and a five year graduation rate.
- Gap Closing, which includes annual measurable objectives for specific groups of students based on race, and students who are economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency.
- K-3 Literacy, which includes a measure for K-3 literacy improvement.
- Prepared for Success, which includes measures based on the student results of college admission tests; dual enrollment credits, industry credentials, honors diploma, advanced placement exams, and International Baccalaureate exams. These measures will not be graded, but will be reported on the report card. The “Prepared for Success” component grade will be based on the percentage of a school’s or district’s graduating class that demonstrates college and career readiness. Any student included in any of the six ungraded measures, would be considered college or career ready. The State Board of Education may also decide to include the results of a state selected college and career readiness assessment in the component grade.
Information about the report card measures, components, how the grades will be determined, and the simulations for school districts and schools are available.
This Week at the Statehouse
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
- The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Amstutz, will meet on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 10:00 AM in Hearing Room 313. The committee will consider amendments for Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. No testimony will be accepted.
- The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on Sub. HB59 from the Office of Budget and Management and the Legislative Services Commission, and testimony on tax reform.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
- The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 9:30 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) regarding the budgets for K-12 and higher education.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
- The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:30 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) regarding Medicaid.
More Details on HB59: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee, chaired by Representative Ron Amstutz, held hearings on the substitute version of HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget last week. Compared to Governor Kasich’s Executive Budget for FY14-15, the House substitute bill reduces total state funding in the General Revenue Fund from $63.2 billion to $61.4 billion for the biennium. The reduction is mainly due to the removal of approximately $2.1 billion of federal funds to expand Medicaid.
General Revenue funding for the Ohio Department of Education is also reduced by $55 million in FY14 and $26.9 million in FY15, making total General Revenue funding for the ODE $16.2 billion for the biennium ($7.976 in FY14 and $8.248 in FY15). All Funds for the ODE equal $23.2 billion for the biennium, compared to $23.58 billion in the Executive Budget.
Sub. HB59 also includes a $1.7 million increase in funding for the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) over the biennium, which brings the All Funds total for the OAC to $23.8 million for the biennium.
The following are some of the other line-item changes included in the substitute bill:
- Increases Passport provider rates by $6 million.
- Increases funding for food banks by $2 million a year.
- Increases funding for educational services centers (ESCs) by $52.5 million over the biennium.
- Increases funding for higher education by $8.1 million to provide a “bridge fund” during the transition to the new formula.
- Increases funding for Ohio College Opportunity grants for proprietary school students by $2.3 million over the biennium.
- Increases funding to counties for mental health services to $30 million per year and provides an additional $20 million per year for drug treatment.
Highlights of HB59 Changes for K-12 Education: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee’s version of HB59 changes several K-12 education provisions included in Governor Kasich’s budget proposal as introduced, but also retains provisions, such as the expansion of the EdChoice voucher program and funding community schools as a deduction/transfer from school district funds.
According to Chairman Amstutz the House school funding plan ensures that no school district receives less state funding than in FY13. The substitute bill also reduces the number of school districts on the guarantee from 396 to 175 in FY14, and caps state aid increases at 6 percent.
When compared to the Executive Budget, the House substitute bill changes funding levels for the following K-12 education line items:
- Provides $505 million in FY14 and $518.5 million in FY15 for transportation, and includes transportation in the school funding formula. This is an increase of $37.6 million in FY14 and $58.3 million in FY15.
- Adds $25.3 million in FY14 and $23.1 million in FY15 to supplement transportation for low wealth/density districts.
- Increases funding for educational service centers by $22.5 million in FY14 and $30 million in FY15.
- Increases funding for Career-Technical Education Enhancements from $8.8 million to $9 million in FY14 and from $8.2 million to $9 million in FY15.
- Increases Line Item 7017 (Lottery Profits) 200612 Foundation Funding by $50 million in FY14 and by $100 million in FY15 to $775 million and $850 million respectively.
- Reduces funding for Educator Preparation by $1 million over the biennium.
- Reduces funding for Auxiliary Services from $133.1 million to $130.5 million in FY14, and from $137.1 million to $134.8 million in FY15. This amount is still higher than the FY13 level of $126 million.
- Reduces funding for Nonpublic Administrative Cost Reimbursement from $60 million to $58.9 in FY14 and from $61.9 million to $60.9 million in FY15.
- Reduces Line Item GRF 200550 Foundation Funding by $114.3 million in FY14 and by $99.6 million in FY15. Total Foundation Funding in this line item is $5.8 billion in FY14 and $6 billion in FY15.
- Reduces the Straight A Program by $50 million in FY14 and by $100 million in FY15, and moves the program into temporary law, Section 263.325.
The following are highlights of some of the policy changes included in Sub. HB59 (Amstutz):
- Removes the proposed changes in the governance structure for educational service centers.
- Removes the expansion of the parent trigger.
- Maintains the current ratio for school psychologists and speech pathologists.
- Eliminates College Credit Plus language and changes for dual enrollment programs.
- Eliminates the ability of a school district to offer a payment in lieu of transportation and instead sends the district’s per pupil transportation amount directly to the student.
School Funding Formula Changes in Sub. HB59: The substitute bill changes the formula used to determine state aid from an equal yield formula, proposed in the Executive Budget, to a foundation formula. The substitute bill includes a per pupil “formula amount” of $5732 in FY14 and $5789 in FY15. The formula amount is multiplied by an “annualized average monthly”, average daily membership (ADM), and a “state share index” to adjust for wealth. Adjustments to that product are made to address student educational needs, including special education, limited English proficiency, poverty, career technical education, etc.
School districts that receive increases in state aid are capped at 6 percent over the previous year. According to information provided by the Ohio School Boards Association, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio Association of State Business Officials, 364 districts are projected to be capped in FY14, and 312 districts in FY15.
Whereas the governor’s proposed formula in HB59 led to 396 school districts on the guarantee, the formula proposed in the substitute bill decreases the number of school districts on the guarantee to 175 in FY14 and 161 in FY15. And, according to OSBA, BASA, and OASBA, the amount of the guarantee that districts receive is less, so that districts are less dependent on the guarantee.
The substitute bill also retains the Targeted Assistance provision included in the Executive Budget. This provision distributes additional state aid to schools with low property and income wealth. A new provision is added to Targeted Assistance in the substitute bill to take into account districts with a high percentage of current agricultural use value (CAUV) property.
The substitute bill also includes adjustments in the formula to address the educational needs of students. The following is an overview of some of the changes in the substitute bill related to student subgroups. This is not a comprehensive analysis, because some of these provisions might be changed on Tuesday, when the House Finance and Appropriations Committee amends the bill again.
Accountability/Consistent Progress: School districts/schools are still required to account for the expenditure of state education funds provided for services to subgroups of students, including students who are gifted, students with special needs, students who are disadvantaged, and students with limited English proficiency.
The provision in the Executive Budget regarding “consistent progress” is changed, however. The State Board of Education is required to determine measures of “satisfactory achievement and progress” for subgroups of students not later than December 31, 2014. The ODE is required to use the measures established by the State Board to determine if a district or school has made satisfactory achievement and progress for the subgroups by September 1, 2015, and annually thereafter.
Districts and schools not meeting satisfactory progress for subgroups of students are required to submit an improvement plan to the ODE. The ODE is permitted to require that the plan include a partnership with another entity for services to that subgroup.
Gifted Students: The substitute bill makes significant changes in the funding for gifted education, returning to a unit-funded model. First, the substitute bill provides $5.00 in FY14 and $5.05 in FY15 for the identification of gifted students, rather than $50 per ADM in the Executive Budget. Next, the bill defines “district gifted unit ADM” as a district’s average daily membership minus community school and STEM school ADM. One gifted coordinator unit is provided per 3,300 students in a district’s gifted unit ADM with a minimum of 0.5 units and a maximum of 8 units. One gifted intervention specialist unit is provided for every 1,100 students in a district’s gifted unit ADM, with a minimum of .3 units. Funding for the units is $37,000 in FY14 and $37,370 for FY15. $3.8 million is also provided for educational service centers to support gifted units.
Special Education: The substitute bill provides additional aid for students in addition to the formula amount based on the six special education categories that are unchanged from the governor’s version of HB59. However, the substitute bill uses a weight for each special education category rather than a specific additional amount, and funds the special education weighted amounts at 90 percent.
Economically Disadvantaged Students: The substitute bill funds economically disadvantaged students through a formula that provides $340 in FY14 and $343 in FY15 times an “economically disadvantaged ADM” times an economically disadvantage index.
Limited English Proficiency (LEP): The substitute bill provides funds equal to the sum of (ADM for each LEP category x an amount for each LEP category) x state share index. The substitute bill reduces the number of LEP categories to three, and increases the amounts by one percent in FY15.
Career Technical Education: The substitute bill provides funds to traditional and joint vocational districts for career-technical education through the funding formula, based on the formula amount x the district’s total career-technical education weight x state share index. Sub. HB59 also retains the five categories of weights included in the Executive Budget, and requires the payment of these funds to be reviewed and approved by the lead district of the career-technical planning district (CTPD) to which the district is affiliated.
Joint Vocational School District: Sub. HB59 replaces the Executive Budget provision with the following formula: (Formula amount x formula ADM) – (0.0005 x three year average property valuation), where formula amount equals $5,732 in FY14 and $5,789 in FY15. If the result is negative, then the amount is “0”.
Educational Service Centers: The substitute bill establishes in temporary law the per pupil state payment for educational service centers at $37.00 per pupil in FY14 and $35 per pupil in FY15. The bill increases funding for ESCs to $43.5 million in FY14 and $40 million in FY15.
Reactions to Sub. HB59: The House Finance and Appropriations Committee received testimony on Sub. HB59 last week from several education organizations and individuals, including representatives from the Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy, the Ohio 8, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio School Boards Association, the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, KnowledgeWorks, students, and superintendents.
Most individuals and organizations thanked lawmakers for making changes that they believe set a “positive direction” for funding school districts in Ohio. Some of the provisions approved by witnesses include using a base cost amount in a formula and increasing the base cost amount for FY15; reducing the number of school districts on the guarantee; including transportation funds in the formula; providing supplemental transportation funds to districts; eliminating the parent trigger; changing the catastrophic reimbursement for special education; restoring funding for educational service centers; clarifying the Straight A fund; removing the changes proposed for the governance of educational service centers; and more.
Witnesses also noted that more time is needed to thoroughly analyze the proposed school funding formula included in the substitute bill. The following are some of the issues and concerns identified by those who testified on the substitute bill last week:
- There is less money for K-12 education in the substitute bill compared to the Executive Budget.
- The “formula amount” is still not determined based on the cost of the components of a quality education: The substitute bill returns to a base cost amount of $5732 for FY14, which is the base cost amount used in FY09 under Governor Taft and the Building Blocks model, rather than a base cost amount based on research about the cost of a quality education for 2014-15 and the future.
- Simulations are not comparable: The simulations of the amount of state aid projected for school districts and schools through the proposed school funding formula in Sub. HB59 are not comparable with previous simulations, because funding for transportation and career tech are now included, but were not in the Executive Budget.
- Monthly ADM count: The way that school districts count students for funding purposes would change under the substitute bill. The student count currently happens in October, with adjustments made at the end of the fiscal year. The substitute bill requires students to be counted monthly, which could increase the administrative costs for school districts. Constantly changing attendance numbers could also destabilize funding for school districts and therefore affect services for students, and destabilize planning for programs and services for future school years.
- Six percent cap: The proposed cap of 6 percent for school districts on increases in state aid could be hard on poorer districts that need more than a six percent increase in state aid to restore education programs like art, music, and AP courses, that have been cut due to budget constraints.
- Charter schools: Charter schools should not be expanded, because they have not lived-up to their promise of improving student achievement at a lower cost, and have, instead, diverted tax payer funds (including state and local funds) to some nonprofit entities that are not accountable to the public.
- Vouchers: There is no evidence that voucher programs improve student achievement, and no accountability for the public funds transferred to privately operated schools. The expansion of the EdChoice voucher program in the Executive Budget and in the substitute bill undermines public education, by diverting limited public funds away from traditional public schools.
- ”Consistent progress” provision: Although this accountability provision was changed in the substitute bill, it is still not practical to implement. According to the witnesses, federal, local, and state funds are mingled when services are provided to subgroups of students. A variety of differently funded services are provided to students based on their needs, making it difficult to determine which services could be responsible for not making “satisfactory progress”. In many communities there are no organizations to partner with to provide students with services. Also, there are no provisions for holding the partnership organizations equally accountable for state funds to achieve “satisfactory progress”.
- Special education: The cost of special education programs, including catastrophic costs, are much higher than the state reimbursements. Although the substituted bill changed the catastrophic reimbursement program, $80 million for the biennium is too low. Also, the reimbursements rates for catastrophic costs are different for school districts and community schools.
- Transportation: State aid for transportation has not kept pace with the cost of buses or gasoline, or the added complexity of transporting more and more students to charter schools and private schools. The motor fuel/excise tax, which supports mass transit and school bus transportation, has not increased for several years.
- More funding for preschool is needed: The Ohio 8 recommended that $50 million in additional dollars be used to provide full-day preschool for Ohio’s three and four year old children. Preschool providers should be required to meet at least a two-star standards in the Step Up to Quality rating system. Priority should be given to districts with children who score low on the Kindergarten KRA-L assessment.
- English language learners: Students learning English need more than three years from the time that they enter the United States to learn English. In many cases these students not only have to learn English, but also must learn about going to school. Funding for these students is also subject to the “consistent progress” accountability provisions, which is not practical, because Ohio’s schools are going to be held responsible for the progress of students who might have attended schools in other states before moving to Ohio.
The testimony on Sub. HB59 is available.
State Board of Education Meeting
The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on April 8 and 9, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Board members expressed condolences to the family of District 10 representative Jeff Hardin, who passed away on March 13, 2013, and to other members of the State Board and the Ohio Department of Education who have recently lost loved ones.
The Board welcomed Dr. Richard Ross to his first meeting of the State Board of Education as newly appointed Superintendent of Public Instruction. A formal swearing-in ceremony for Dr. Ross was held on April 8th conducted by Justice Sharon Kennedy of the Ohio Supreme Court. Dr. Ross told the Board that he is reaching out to superintendents through regional meetings of the Buckeye Association of School Administrators and through weekly calls to groups of superintendents. He is also holding “open door” weekly meetings with the staff of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to learn more about department initiatives. He will soon present to the State Board a revised mission, strategic plan, and goals to clarify a common purpose and direction for the ODE. There will also be a search to fill recent vacancies due to the resignations of Deputy Superintendent Michael Sawyers and Associate Superintendent Jim Herrholz.
The State Board also received reports from the following committees:
The Achievement Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, discussed Career Connections and the definition of college and career ready.
Career Connections is a joint initiative of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, the Board of Regents, and the Ohio Department of Education. Senate Bill 316 requires that career connections learning strategies be embedded in model curricula so that students have more opportunities to identify and develop career interests and make academic and career plans. Regional working groups of teachers, curriculum experts, and school counselors are drafting the learning strategies, which will be presented to the State Board in May, and adopted in June 2013.
The committee also discussed college and career ready, and agreed that there is no desire to develop separate definitions for college ready and career ready.
The Capacity Committee, chaired by Tom Gunlock, discussed the following four issues.
- States with Inadequate Licensing Standards: The committee identified five states in which teachers would not qualify for a reciprocal Ohio license. The states are Alaska, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming. This recommendation will be considered by the full Board in July 2012.
- Teacher Evaluation Framework for State Agencies: The committee recommended that teachers in state agencies be evaluated using the same framework as other teachers in Ohio. The full Board will consider this recommendation before June 30, 2013.
- Career Technical Education report card: The committee tabled a proposed report card for Career Technical Education. The committee requested that the report card for Career Technical programs be similar to the new state local report card. Incomplete data is a barrier for developing a report card for career technical programs. The committee discussed how the issue of incomplete data could be resolved.
- Update on the SEED School: A new proposal has been developed for the SEED School, which is a boarding school which will open in Cincinnati for certain eligible students. The ODE and the SEED management company are discussing the new proposal. The committee is concerned about who would own the property and assets of the school, if it closed.
Next month the committee will discuss career technical education, cut scores for the new teacher certification assessments developed by Pearson, which will be used starting in August 2013, and the SEED school.
The Urban Committee, chaired by Angela Thi-Bennett, discussed three items: expanding comprehensive health and mental health related services for students to address non-academic barriers; the results a survey of persistently low performing schools; and a framework to support persistently low performing schools.
The committee received information from Susan Ackerman, Director of Regulatory Services at the Ohio Association of health Plans, Ms. Amy Swanson, Vice President of Marketing, Advocacy & Member Experience for United Health Care, and Ms. Toni Fortson-Bigby, Director of Consumer Advocacy at Care Source about ways to collaborate to increase student access to health services. Mr. Mark Smith, the supervisor of Medicaid programs at ODE, also participated in the presentation.
According to the presentation, Ohio’s Medicaid Program currently covers 2.2 million Ohioans, which includes 1 out of every 5 people and 2 out of every 5 children under the age of 18. There are around 105,000 Ohio children eligible, but not covered by Medicaid.
Some of the ideas presented to increase student access to health and mental health services include identifying more Medicaid eligible students; establishing a single parent consent form to allow schools to exchange information with the Medicaid plans; and leveraging the Medicaid health plan care managers to make contact with families if a child is experiencing difficulties in learning.
The committee also reviewed a summary of 7,072 responses to a survey sent to 966 persistently low performing schools by the ODE. Respondents identified comprehensive support services; reducing the nonacademic barriers for learning; and professional development as important strategies to improve student outcomes.
Dr. John Richard and the directors within the ODE Center for Accountability and Continuous Improvement shared with the committee a framework based on Ohio’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver to support persistently low performing schools. In May 2013 the Committee will review the recommendations in preparation for a full Board review.
The Legislative and Budget Committee, chaired by Bryan Williams discussed the following nine amendments that the Ohio Department of Education submitted to the House Finance and Appropriations Committee regarding HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget:
- Community School Contract Suspension: To place a limit on the time that community school contracts can be under suspension to one full academic year.
- Multi-age Groups Pk-K: Several schools/districts are requesting to group preK and Kindergarten students. Current law only allows Montessori schools to do this. The ODE is asking lawmakers to permit all schools/districts to do this.
- Waiver consolidation: The ODE is requesting that waiver provisions be streamlined and consolidated to provide more clarity about the waivers. Currently various waiver provisions are included in several parts of the law, and are not aligned. Waivers can also be granted by the ODE, Superintendent, or State Board.
- Collection of Personally Identifiable Student Data: The State Board at their October 2012 meeting approved a motion recommending that the ODE have access to personally identifiable data of students in relation to their Student State Identification number.
- Physical Activity Pilot Program: The ODE is requesting that school buildings, rather than all schools in a district, be able to participate in the Physical Activity Pilot Program. The ODE is also requesting that schools/districts be allowed to meet the time requirements to implement the program either daily or weekly.
- HB555 Flexibility: This amendment would align the Ohio Revised Code with U.S. Department of Education’s waiver giving Ohio more flexibility to meet No Child Left Behind requirements.
- Graduation Rate Definition: This amendment would align the graduation rate included in the ORC section for assessment with the new definition of graduation rate.
- HB555: Technical amendment to correct incorrect references.
- Sponsor Termination: The ODE is requesting that it have the authority not to sponsor community schools with contracts that have been terminated by their sponsor.
The committee also discussed Ohio’s recommendations for the reauthorization of the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The Legislative and Budget Committee held an additional committee meeting on March 25, 2013 to discuss the Medicaid for Schools Program and what it would take to expand services for students in Ohio. According to Mr. Williams, some individuals have estimated that Ohio could receive up to $200 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements for services that Ohio schools are providing students. One of the issues that was identified during the discussion is the amount of time that it takes for the federal Medicaid program to reimburse school districts for services. Ohio school districts and schools are currently waiting for about $56 million in federal Medicaid reimbursements for services already provided. Over half of Ohio’s school districts are not participating in the program, because of the amount of case management work involved, which includes verifying services, the qualifications of the staff, and the alignment of the services provided with a student’s individual education plan. Some districts say it just costs too much money to get the reimbursements. One of the categories for Medicaid expansion could be teachers’ aides.
The Accountability Committee, Tom Gunlock chair, provided the Board more details about some of the decisions that the committee has been making regarding the components of the local report card. There was a discussion about using attendance as a graded component. In the new version of the report card attendance is reported, but not graded separately. Board members expressed how the attendance grade was very important to some school districts and helped them reach effective or excellent status.
On Tuesday, April 9, 2013 the State Board recognized 17 Blue Ribbon Schools in Ohio (13 public and 4 private.) The No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools Program (NCLB-BRS) is a national program that recognizes elementary and secondary schools that make significant progress in closing achievement gaps or whose students achieve at the highest levels in their state.
The Ohio Department of Education is allowed to nominate up to 14 public schools and the Council for American Private Education is allowed to nominate four school from Ohio each year. Nominations are submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. There are two categories for nomination: exemplary high performing schools and schools with exemplary improvement. Exemplary High Performing Schools are defined as performing in the top 15 percent of schools in the state as measured by state assessments in both reading and mathematics. The schools with 40 percent or more poverty may fall into either category. Schools with less than 40 percent poverty only qualify for the high performing category. At least five of Ohio’s 14 nominations must have 40 percent or more students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
This year the Ohio Department of Education nominated 13 public schools and the Council for American Private Education nominated four private schools. All were selected. State Board President Debe Terhar, presented the following schools with a special recognition from the State Board:
Arcadia High School, Arcadia Local
Bassett Elementary School, Westlake City
Butternut Elementary School, North Olmsted City
Chippewa High School, Chippewa Local
Fairbanks High School, Fairbanks Local
Hilliard Elementary School, Westlake City
Horizon Science Academy, Columbus High School, Sponsor: Lucas County ESC
Independence Primary School, Independence
Jefferson Avenue Elementary School, Shadyside Local
Lincoln Elementary, Tiffin City
Lincoln Elementary, Wadsworth City
Rocky River High School, Rocky River City
Western Reserve High School, Western Reserve Local
Youngstown Community School, Sponsor: Mahoning County ESC
St. Edward Elementary School, Ashland
St. Dominic School, Shaker Heights
Our Lady of the Elms Elementary School, Akron
Holy Family School, Stowe
The Board also received a presentation from two students, Makayla Grover and Breanna Jutte, representing the Fort Recovery School District, Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). The students were invited to the April 2013 State Board meeting by Board member Tess Elshoff, who had heard their presentation at a Fort Recovery School District board of education meeting.
The students were advocating for family and consumer science classes at their school. The students had prepared the presentation as a Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) competition event, and had earned a “gold rating” in a regional FCCLA competition in March 2013. During their presentation they expressed concern about the elimination of family and consumer science courses in schools due to budget cuts. According to the presentation, family and consumer science classes are middle and high school electives that support students as they transition to college, careers, and life, by helping students identify careers and develop skills, including financial literacy and resource management skills, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills.
Under new business Mr. Williams recommended that the State Board investigate a report alleging that an educational service center serving the Medina City Schools paid for certain expenditures for the school district without the approval of the elected board of education. President Terhar recommended that this issue be addressed by the Capacity Committee.
Mr. Williams also proposed that the State Board invite students to attend State Board meetings and showcase what they are doing in their schools. Mrs. Elshoff further recommended that the State Board invite school arts groups to perform during lunch.
During the State Board’s business meeting, members voted on the following resolutions, included in the Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
#2 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Adopt Rules 3301-28-01 TO 3301-28-06 of the Administrative Code Regarding Local Report Card Measures and to Rescind Rules 3301-58-01 TO 3301-58-03 of the Administrative Code Regarding the Value-Added Progress Dimension. (VOLUME 2, PAGE 6)
#3 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-51-10, 3301-83-09, -10, -16, -17, -21, AND -22 and to Adopt Rule 3301-83-24 of the Administrative Code Regarding Pupil Transportation. (VOLUME 2, PAGE 21)
#14 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-24-08 of the Administrative Code Entitled Professional or Associate License Renewal.
#15 Approved a Resolution to Amend Rules 3301-24-19 TO -22 of the Administrative Code Regarding Alternative Educator Resident Licenses. (VOLUME 3, PAGE 288)
#16 Approved a Resolution to Adopt Rule 3301-35-15 of the Administrative Code Entitled Standards Concerning the Implementation of Positive Behavior Intervention Supports and the Use of Restraint and Seclusion. (VOLUME 3, PAGE 304)
Governor Appoints Robb Hankins to the Ohio Arts Council: Governor Kasich appointed last week Robert J. Hankins of Canton, Ohio to the Ohio Arts Council for a term beginning April 8, 2013, and ending July 1, 2017. Mr. Hankins is the President and CEO of ArtsinStark, a nonprofit organization that awards grants, manages the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton, and manages the annual arts campaign, which raises funds for the Canton Ballet, the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Canton Museum of Art, Players Guild Theatre, Voices of Canton, Inc., the Massillon Museum, and the Canton Palace Theatre.
Robb Hankins has spent over 30 years directing city, county, and state arts agencies in eight different states, including Wisconsin, Connecticut, California, and Oregon. He has managed annual arts campaigns, arts festivals, public art projects, arts education programs, and downtown arts districts.
More STEM to STEAM: A guest editorial in The Seattle Times urges policy makers to add the arts to STEM education. The author, John Maeda, is an electrical engineer and computer scientist, with a doctorate in design from the Tsukuba University in Japan, and currently the president of the Rhode Island School of Design.
Growing up in Seattle, he experienced the tremendous influence of the fields of technology, art, and design on the software industry during the 1990s. He writes, “….there is great power in these fields taken separately, and even more when they are put together. It’s why I believe we need to add an “A” for art to the national STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education agenda — to turn it to STEAM.”
He goes on to say that even at an early age he understood that there was a prejudice about being accomplished in the arts. His elementary school teachers told his parents that he was good in math and the arts, but his parents only focused on math. This situation led him to focus on interdisciplinary thinking, so that he could infuse artistic design concepts into his work. As a professor at the MIT Media Lab he advocated that artists and designers write their own computer programs to create a new kind of artistic material.
He writes, “I remain convinced that artists and designers will be the innovators of this century, and that the problem-solving, the fearlessness and the critical thinking and making skills that I see every day are what is needed to keep our country competitive. Designers and artists create objects, devices and services that are more engaging, more efficient, more desirable and ultimately, more human.”
He goes on to say, “Most important, developing this creativity needs to start in the K-12 schools. Sustaining arts education in its own right remains critically important. But equally important is taking a page from schools that have been successful at integrating the arts into STEM curriculum with a STEAM approach.”
The guest editorial, “Turn STEM into STEAM with arts education” by John Maeda is in the April 6, 2013 edition of The Seattle Times.