House Democrats Elect New Leadership: House Minority Leader Representative Armond Budish announced on May 21, 2013 that he was stepping down from his position as Democrat Minority Leader as he considers a run for Cuyahoga County Executive in November 2013. This announcement, and the recently announced resignation of Assistant Minority Leader Matt Szollosi, set in motion the election of new leadership for House Democrats last week. Representative Tracy Heard (D-Columbus) was elected minority leader to replace Representative Budish, and Representative Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) was elected assistant minority leader to replace Representative Szollosi. Also elected to leadership positions were Representative Michael Ashford (D-Toledo), whip, and Representative Dan Ramos (D-Lorain), assistant whip.
Election in the 98th Affirmed: The Ohio House on May 22, 2013 voted along party lines to affirm the election of Representative Al Landis (R) to the 98th House District, defeating former Representative Josh O’Farrell (D). The election has been contested since last November when Representative Landis won by 8 votes. The results were reviewed by the House Select Committee on the Election Contest in the 98th House District, which concluded that there was not clear evidence of voter irregularities to change the outcome of the race. Democrats maintain, however, that many votes were not properly counted.
ESEA Renewal Talks Planned: According to a report in ASCD’s Capitol Connection on May 20, 2013, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), will start talks in June about the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind.
The House Education and the Workforce Committee, chaired by Representative John Kline (R-MN) also recently stated that the committee will address ESEA reauthorization in the coming months.
Information is available.
Add Gym to the Core: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released on May 23, 2013 a report entitled Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. The report recommends that younger students get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day in school (150 minutes per week) and older students 45 minutes per day (225 minutes per week). Since many schools are cutting gym, the Institute is also recommending that the U.S. Department of Education designate physical education as a core subject.
The IOM report is available.
This Week at the Statehouse: The Ohio House and Senate will hold hearings and sessions this week.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on May 28, 2013, at 2:30 PM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive public testimony on general government issues regarding Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. Testimony and witness forms are due 24 hours in advance to
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, will meet on May 28, 2013 at 5:00 PM in hearing room 121. The committee will receive testimony on HB167 (Heard/Grossman) Community Schools, which would authorize the Columbus City Schools to levy property taxes and share the revenue with partnering community schools, and HB158 (Brenner/Patmon) Nonrefundable Tax Credits-Nonpublic Schools, which would authorize nonrefundable tax credits for donations to nonprofit entities providing scholarships to low-income students enrolling in nonpublic schools.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on May 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. Testimony in the morning will focus on Medicaid and health and human services, and on education in the afternoon. Testimony and witness forms are due 24 hours in advance to email@example.com.
The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Representative Beck, will meet on May 29, 2013 at 3:00 PM in room 116. The committee will receive testimony on SB42 Property Taxes-School Security (Manning/Gardner), which would authorize school districts to levy a property tax exclusively for school safety and security purposes. The committee will also receive testimony on HB107 (Baker) Career Exploration Internships – tax credit, which would authorize a tax credit for businesses that employ high school students in career exploration internships.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on May 30, 2013 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. The focus of the testimony will be on tax issues in the morning and education issues in the afternoon. Testimony and witness forms are due 24 hours in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Constitutional Modernization Commission Organization and Administration Committee will meet May 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM at the Riffe Center room 1932.
Friday, May 31, 2013
The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will meet on May 31, 2013 at 9:00 AM in the Senate Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. Testimony and witness forms are due 24 hours in advance to email@example.com.
Senate Finance Committee Considers HB59: Last week the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, received reports from the chairs of the Senate Finance Committee subcommittees (education, general government, and medicaid) that have been hearing testimony regarding Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget over the past two weeks. The committee also continued to receive testimony from the public on the bill.
According to Chairman Oelslager, the Senate Finance Committee expects to receive a substitute bill on May 28, 2013 and will continue hearing testimony on it through May 31, 2013. Education will be the focus of testimony on May 29 & 30, 2013 in the afternoon. The committee will then consider an omnibus amendment on June 4, 2013, and the full Senate will vote on HB59 by June 5th or 6th. That leaves time for the House and Senate to work-out differences between the versions of HB59, and pass the $61.5 billion budget bill before this fiscal year ends on June 30, 2013.
Three subcommittees of the Senate Finance Committee have been holding hearings on the education, government, and medicaid provisions included in Am. Sub. HB59. The Senate Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Senator Schaffer, has been holding hearings about the tax provisions included in HB59.
Senator Randy Gardner, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Subcommittee on Education, summarized for the Finance Committee the testimony received about education issues, and highlighted some of the recommendations regarding early childhood education, the Straight A Fund, dual enrollment programs, university students voting, converting the school year from days to hours, and more.
Testifying on the education provisions included in HB59 before the Senate Finance Committee on May 23, 2013 were Terry Groden, a board members from the North Olmsted Board of Education; Barbara Shaner, Ohio Association of School Business Officials; Damon Asbury, Ohio School Boards Association; and Kirk Hamilton, Executive Director for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA).
Terry Groden asked the committee to remove HB59 provisions that expand the voucher program for low income students and establish “payment in lieu of transportation”. His school district, North Olmsted, is a high performing district, but over 40 percent of households in the district would qualify for the expanded voucher program. He told the committee that even a small percentage of students leaving the district to attend a private school using a voucher could destabilize the district’s financial status and the quality of the education program offered to the remaining students.
Barbara Shaner, Damon Asbury, and Kirk Hamilton requested that the Senate do the following:
- retain the House framework for the school funding formula, but make appropriate changes regarding the guarantees and caps
- develop a stable and reliable school funding formula
- retain current law regarding transportation funding for schools and reinstate the original components of the transportation formula
- restore current law regarding “payment in lieu of transportation”
- retain the Supplemental Transportation component and fund it outside the guarantee and the gain cap
- allow school districts to continue to use public transportation to transport students
- remove the provisions to expand vouchers.
Testimony is available.
Senate Democrats Recommend Over 200 Amendments for HB59: Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney (D-Cincinnati) announced on May 22, 2013 that Senate Democrats are recommending over 200 amendments for Am. Sub. HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. The amendments will strengthen investment in public schools, create economic opportunities for middle class Ohioans, and provide services for Ohioans.
The Ohio Senate Finance Committee expects to introduce a substitute bill next week. Senate Democrats announced their budget recommendations during the Senate Finance Committee meeting and later at a press conference. The Democrat budget priorities include expanding Medicaid, reinstating the severance tax on oil and gas drilling, and increasing funding for environmental programs.
The recommendations for education were presented by Senator Nina Turner. She said in testimony before the Senate Finance Committee that lawmakers need to make the investments in education necessary for Ohio’s citizens to remain competitive in the global marketplace.
Although “pleased” that the House increased the base cost per pupil from $5000 to $5,732, Senator Turner said that the formula amount was not enough to keep pace with rising school expenses and unfunded mandates, and “fails to meet the fundamental needs of school districts.” She added, “Now, I fear that we have given up and have again resigned ourselves to residual budgeting.”
The following are the recommendations that the Senate Democrats are proposing for education:
- Define the amount necessary to educate our students, and then fully fund that amount.
- Create a new Targeted Investment Fund that focuses on districts that are struggling. The fund would provide an additional $433 million over the biennium in state aid per pupil to districts. School districts would be categorized into five groups based on their poverty level, Kindergarten readiness, and student achievement. School districts in the quintiles with the highest needs would receive more additional state aid per student.
- Fund transportation and career technical education outside of the funding formula.
- Fund transportation outside of the guarantee and the cap, and increase the transportation appropriation across the board.
- Study the need for increased investment in transportation funding to address the widening transportation reimbursement gap, including the excise tax reimbursement rate.
- Remove the provision regarding “payment in lieu of transportation.”
- Remove the provision prohibiting the use of public transit options for school transportation for grades K-5.
- Commit additional, targeted funds toward early childhood education to expand access statewide.
- Restore the Straight A Fund back to $300 million, but revise the governing board to include teacher representatives and minority appointments, and require that grant applications have sign off from both school administrators and staff.
- Change the criteria for English Language Learners based on time spent in school in Ohio, not the United States.
- Increase the appropriation for special education catastrophic costs.
- Provide full reimbursement for special needs students from the catastrophic fund to make traditional public school districts equivalent to charter schools and STEM schools.
- Eliminate the “contract-out” provision.
- Remove the provisions that expand the two voucher programs and require a comprehensive study of the effectiveness of the Ed Choice voucher program.
- Require charter schools to comply with the same public records laws and audit laws as traditional public schools.
- Require charter schools to comply with the same teacher evaluation framework as traditional public schools.
- Apply the same gain cap to charter schools and traditional public schools.
- Prohibit students from transferring from a traditional public school to a lower ranked charter school.
- Reinstate the $6.50 per pupil deduction from foundation funding for ESCs.
- Remove the Academic Distress Commission expansion to districts that knowingly manipulate data.
- Reinstate the state minimum salary schedule.
- Provide more flexibility to implement teacher evaluations.
- Increase investments in higher education.
- Increase state funds to the Ohio College Opportunity Grant and distribute OCOG Funds equitably to all sectors of the higher education community, or allow two year community colleges to have access to alternative grant funding.
- Restore the introduced version of the College Credit Plus plan to standardize post-secondary enrollment options for students across the state.
- Maintain House funding for the Co-Op Internship program.
- Remove the provision regarding student voting and tuition payments.
To provide additional funds for education, Senate Democrats recommend eliminating the proposed income tax cut for those earning over $106,150 annually, now included in the House version of HB59. That would save about $508 million over the biennium to support the Targeted Investment Fund and increased funding for school transportation.
Information about the Senate Democrat recommendations is available.
Update from the ODE:
Preview the New ODE Website: The Ohio Department of Education has revamped its website, which will be launched on May 29, 2013. The current website will be archived at that time.
To preview the new website go to http://preview.education.ohio.gov/
The following are some of the changes made to the website:
- The site is organized by frequently requested information
- A “How do I?” function directs users to answers for the most frequently asked questions
- An improved search feature helps to find relevant information
- Thousands of outdated items have been removed
- Page loading is much faster, even during peak usage times
- It is easier to share individual pages with colleagues through social media and email
- Pages can be printed more easily
- The site auto-adjusts how its pages display to accommodate smartphones and tablet computers
- While many existing links will automatically connect to the new website, some bookmarks may need to be changed.
The ODE is collecting feedback about the new website at WebCommSupport@education.ohio.gov.
Corrective Action Plans: The Department of Education said last week that Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross has approved corrective action plans from 49 schools and districts that had student data reporting errors in their 2010-11 reports. The errors were found after State Auditor Dave Yost conducted audits of school enrollment data last year. The corrective action plans address issues such as lack of documentation, missing student files, and incorrect withdraw codes used when school personnel submit student information to the Educational Management Information System – EMIS.
Ohio ASCD Summer Conference: The Ohio Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) will host its summer conference, The Journey to 2014: Implementing Rigor, Relevance and Relationships in Ohio Classrooms on June 25, 2013 in Columbus, OH. Speakers include Sasheen Phillips, senior executive director at the Ohio Department of Education, and Bobby Moore, Battelle for Kids. Conference topics include transformational leadership, the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System pilot process, Ohio’s college and career readiness standards, PARCC assessments, and more. For a conference brochure and registration, please visit the ASCD website at http://www.ohioascd.com/ or call (937) 996-4211.
HB168 (Hagan) Certified Apprenticeship Programs: Creates a subprogram of the Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program that permits students to participate in certified apprenticeship programs.
HB175 (Dovilla) Ohio State Government Expenditure Database: Requires the Treasurer of State to establish the Ohio State Government Expenditure Database.
SB135 (Tavares) Tax Credits-Donations Community Service Providers: Authorizes nonrefundable tax credits for authorized donations to projects of nonprofit entities and municipal agencies providing community services.
Artful Connections with Math Program: According to a report aired by KPCC, Southern California Public Radio, Jefferson Elementary School, part of the Pasadena Unified School District in California, is implementing the Artful Connections with Math Program, which places teaching artists with classroom teachers to help them teach integrated arts lessons. The program was developed by the Pasadena Unified School District and the Armory Center for the Arts and is funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The program gives students hands-on experiences to explore math concepts, including geometry, and opportunities to develop problem solving skills through project-based learning. Students see how math can be used across the curriculum.
According to the report, the California Alliance for Arts Education is planning to pilot the program in other schools in California this fall. The Alliance is encouraging Title I schools, which receive extra federal funding to support low income students, to use those funds for arts-based instruction of core subjects.
For more information read Math by way of art: For Pasadena school, arts plus math is really adding up by Mary Plummer, May 10th, 2013, KPCC Southern California Public Radio.
More Reasons to Support Arts Education: An article in Education Week on May 14, 2013, Children’s Spatial Skills Seen as Key to Math Learning by Sarah D. Sparks, describes how researchers at the University of Virginia’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning have found that tasks such as coloring within lines, cutting out shapes, and copying patterns, develops skills that young children need to have acquired in order to understand mathematical concepts, learn to read, and learn self-control.
Claire E. Cameron, one of the researchers, presented this information recently at the Learning and the Brain Society Conference. The researcher found that when young children copy onto paper a picture on the blackboard they develop the executive function and fine motor skills that they need to learn math and read.
Another researcher, David W. Grissmer, has found that children from high poverty preschools often have never built things with construction paper, blocks, or modeling clay to develop fine motor skills and executive function skills, such as following directions. Developing fine motor coordination and executive function skills might be more critical than subject content for early childhood education programs, according to the findings of this research, which has been supported by a $1 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The article is available.
Teaching the Arts for Its Own Value: Peter DeWitt questions why student achievement and success has to be measured and tied to math, science, and reading performance standards in Education Week’s Finding Common Ground blog entitled, Does Arts Education Matter? published on May 15, 2013.
The author believes that current education reforms, which focus on students and schools meeting accountability standards in STEM and reading, are marginalizing arts education and opportunities for students to be creative.
According to the blog, many school leaders believe that studying the arts is something that students do to “feel good”, rather than as a pathway to college. As a result, arts education advocates and researchers have conducted research to prove that learning in the arts contributes to students achieving academic content standards and skills in addition to those in the arts.
Some of these researchers have shown that students who study the arts also do well academically, and are more civic-minded. Citing the work of Dr. James Caterall et. al. in 2006 the author writes, “Teenagers and young adults of low socioeconomic status (SES) who have a history of in-depth arts involvement show better academic outcomes than do low-SES youth who have less arts involvement. They earn better grades and demonstrate higher rates of college enrollment and attainment.”
Other researchers, such as Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland, have found that arts education does not improve academic performance of students, but does benefit students in other ways, which are described in their book entitled Studio Thinking.
The author writes, “The arts should be important because it gives students the opportunity to express themselves in different ways. The arts provide an outlet for students who may not have other opportunities once they step outside of school. They may not always lead to increased student achievement, but they may lead to increased self-esteem or an increase in student confidence that may lead to improved performance over time.”
The blog is available.
Update on the Early STEM/Arts Program: Doug Herbert, Special Assistant, Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, writes for the U.S. DOE Blog about a program that helps preschool children learn about STEM through the arts.
The Early Childhood STEM Learning Through the Arts program (Early STEM/Arts) brings together teaching artists from the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and preschool educators in the Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools, to develop an innovative, research-based arts integration model. The program is supported by a $1.15 million Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination grant from the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII).
The Early STEM/Arts program will disseminate their results in early 2014. The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts is expected to implement the new model in 16 locations in the 2013-14 school year.
Young Children Learn Math Through the Arts was posted on the U.S. DOE Blog on May 21, 2013 by Doug Herbert.
Information about Wolf Trap’s Early STEM/Arts is available.
Summer Concerts at the Statehouse: The Summer Fridays at the Statehouse free concerts begin on May 31, 2013. The concerts, which are supported by 10TV and CD101, will be staged on the West Plaza (High Street) area of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus beginning at noon. Performances will be canceled in the event of inclement weather. Up to the minute performance information will be posted on the front page of the Ohio Statehouse website at http://www.ohiostatehouse.org.
The first concert will be a performance of La Boheme presented by Opera Columbus. This year’s participating performing arts groups include a cross section of central Ohio’s arts organizations:
June 7 – One Way Gospel Singers, Gospel and Country
June 14 – (Flag Day) RMT Presents, Songs of America
June 21 – Franklin Xpress, Classic Rock
June 28 – Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus
July 5 – NO CONCERT
July 12 – Ohio Dance
July 19 – Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra Pops
July 26 – Alliance of Greater Central Ohio, Barbershop Harmony
Aug. 2 – Ladies of Longford, Celtic
Aug. 9 – Grassahol Band, Bluegrass
Aug. 16 – Big Iron, Country, Bluegrass, Gospel
Aug. 23 – The Smoking Guns, Blues, Country, Rock
Aug. 30 – Steve Ball, music of the Civil War
CALL FOR CLASSROOMS VSA Ohio Arts Residency Program
School Year 2013 – 2014
VSA Ohio, the state organization on arts and disability, is pleased to invite applications from Ohio schools (PreK-12) to participate in the arts residency program, Adaptation, Integration, and the Arts (AIA) during the 2013 – 2014 academic school year.
AIA provides arts education opportunities to classrooms inclusive of students with and without disabilities. Experienced Teaching Artists will partner with educators to integrate the arts with other subject areas to provide a unique opportunity to experience the power of the arts to support student creativity and innovation.
The primary objectives of AIA align with the Ohio Department of Education’s Race to the Top priorities:
- Children will increase academic achievement levels
- Children will be better prepared for life, work, and post-secondary education
- General, special, and arts educators will be better prepared to support learning and inclusion
To be considered for this creative, fun, and free learning opportunity, download the Call for Classrooms application, read the program overview and expectations, fill it out, and return the form to VSA Ohio.
The link above will download the application as a fill-able PDF, which requires the latest version of Adobe Acrobat. For alternative formats call VSA Ohio.
To download a copy of the AIA Residency Application
in Word visit www.vsao.org/programs/aia.
Application Deadlines: June 21 & September 30
For more information contact: