Awards and accolades were bestowed upon OAAE leaders Elayne Lowe and Donna Collins Friday night at the Ohio Art Education Association’s Professional Development Conference in Toledo. We offer our congratulations to Elayne and Donna, both were inducted into the OAEA Distinguished Fellows, a prestigious position given to members who have made long term marked contributions to the association and the advancement of art education. OAAE member, Barrie Archer, was the third inductee into the Distinguished Fellows this year. Congratulations ladies!
The OAEA Awards night, held on Thursday, was another opportunity for our executive director, Donna Collins, to be honored with the Supervision Division Award. It was a fabulous awards gala where many arts educators were celebrated, including Outstanding Art Teacher, Service, and Divisions awards. Sandra Noble was named the 2013 Ohio Art Educator of the Year. Our hats are off to all of these great art education leaders!
On Thursday and Friday, Dr. Michelle Muro and Donna Collins provided the Student Growth & Teacher Measures workshop series, providing in-depth professional development on the topics of standards, assessment, UDL, SLOs, and Student Growth Measures. The entire conference was a success with more than 500 educators taking part. Sarah Danner Hibdo, State Conference Chair, and everyone on the State and Local Planning Committees should be proud of the success.
Thinking about the OAEA awards, and all that happens across Ohio in all of our professional arts education associations, we are part of something great … the opportunity to bring quality arts education to Ohio’s children! Life is good.
Susan W. Witten, Ph. D.
Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
130th Ohio General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions and committee meetings this week.
The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, has scheduled hearings on Monday and Wednesday this week. On November 18, 2013 the committee will meet at 5:00 PM in hearing room 313 and receive testimony on HB111 (Duffey/Stinziano) State Universities-Student Board Members; HB181 (Brenner) Personal Identifiable Information – Students; HB193 (Brenner) High School Diploma Requirements; HB334 (Hayes/Hottinger) Student Expulsion; and HB342 (Brenner/Driehaus) Straight A Program.
The committee will also meet on November 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM in hearing room 313 and receive testimony on HB181 (Brenner) Personal Identifiable Information-Students; HB193 (Brenner) High School Diploma Requirements; and HB237 (Thompson) Common Core Initiative.
The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on November 19, 2013 at 9:15 AM in the South Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on SB229 (Gardner) Teacher Performance Evaluations and SB220 (Gardner) Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program.
Legislation Approved: The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Stebelton, approved on November 13, 2013 HB296 (Johnson/Duffey) Schools-Epinephrine Autoinjectors. The bill would permit public schools to procure epinephrine autoinjectors in accordance with prescribed procedures and to exempt them from licensing requirements related to the possession of epinephrine autoinjectors.
Straight A Fund Update: The Straight A Fund Governing Board met on November 15, 2013 to review applications for the first round of grants from the $100 million education fund. The Governing Board approved 359 out of 569 proposals for the next round of review. In the first review proposals had to show how they would be sustainable after funding for the Straight A Fund grant ends. The second review will exam how proposals meet the goals of the grant program, including increasing efficiency, student achievement, and/or classroom focus. Grant recipients will be announced in December 2013. The applications that will move forward in the process are available.
Federal Law Supports Access to Epinephrine in Schools: President Obama signed into law on November 13, 2013 the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094). The law provides a financial incentive to states that increase the availability of epinephrine in schools to prevent adverse reactions and deaths in children with severe food allergies. These states would receive preference for federal children’s asthma-treatment grants.
Prekindergarten Bills Introduced: U.S. Representatives George Miller (D-California) and Richard Hanna (R-New York) introduced in the U.S. House on November 13, 2013 The Strong Start for America’s Children Act (H.R. 3461). This bipartisan bill would increase access to prekindergarten programs for families with low and moderate incomes by providing states with federal start-up funds that would require a state match. The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Representative John Kline.
In the U.S. Senate, Senator Tom Harkin, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, has introduced a similar bill also entitled The Strong Start for America’s Children Act (S.1697).
According to an article in Education Week by Alyson Klein both bills would cost more than $30 billion over the first five years and face “…some major hurdles in a Congress consumed with trimming spending.” There are also some differences between the bills. The House bill authorizes $1.4 billion to increase Early Head Start, while the Senate version authorizes $4 billion.
See “House and Senate Preschool Bills: A Guide to the Latest Proposal” by Alyson Klein, Education Week, November 13, 2013.
Sequester Report Released: NDD United, an alliance convened by the National Skills Coalition, released on November 12, 2013 a report entitled Faces of Austerity: How Budget Cuts Have Made Us Sicker, Poorer, and Less Safe.
The report provides a comprehensive review of the effects of sequestration on education, housing, infrastructure, international affairs, job training, natural resources, public health, public safety, and science and data.
According to the report, the budget cuts caused by sequestration have affected most federal programs that support preK-12 education, including Head Start, Title 1, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Impact Aid, Pell Grants, and Career Technical Education.
- In FY13 sequestration slashed another $2.3 billion from non-defence discretionary (NDD) education programs and $414 million from Head Start.
- 90 percent of school administrators reported in a survey that their state would be unable to absorb or offset the cuts of sequestration.
- The sequester reduced the federal share of special education funding to the lowest level in 12 years.
- In FY13 Impact Aid was cut by $67.5 million, or more than 5 percent, due to sequestration and other cuts.
The report is available.
GAO Identifies Voucher Program Weaknesses : The U.S. Government Accountability Office released on September 30, 2013 a report entitled “District of Columbia Opportunity Scholarship Program: Actions Needed to Address Weaknesses in Administration and Oversight” (GAO-13-805)
The Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), a program which provides a voucher for students in the District of Columbia to attend private schools, was reauthorized by Congress in 2011 by the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results Act. Congress has provided almost $152 million for the program since its inception in 2004. Currently about 5000 students receive a voucher of $8000 for grades K-8, and about $12,000 for grades 9-12.
The report was commissioned by the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, to examine the extent to which the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (Trust) provides information that enables families to make informed school choices; whether the Trust’s internal controls ensure accountability for the Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP); and how the Department of Education (Education) and District agencies responsible for overseeing the Opportunity Scholarship Program have performed their stated roles and responsibilities.
According to the report, the GAO found the following areas of operations that needed to be improved:
- The Trust provides incomplete and untimely information about participating schools to OSP families.
- The Trust awarded scholarships to students several months after schools had completed their admissions and enrollment processes.
- The Trust’s internal controls do not ensure effective implementation and oversight of OSP, including financial reporting and compliance with applicable laws.
- The Trust’s policies and procedures do not include a process for verifying eligibility information that schools self-report.
- The Trust has failed to submit its financial reports on time.
- The Trust has failed to implement remedies for weaknesses identified in previous audits.
- The Department of Education has provided limited assistance to the Trust, even though assistance is required as part of the memorandum of understanding.
- District agencies were not notified to conduct required building, health, and safety inspections
The GAO makes the following recommendations regarding their audit of the OSP:
- Revise the June 2013 cooperative agreement between Education and the Trust to include Education’s expectations for the Trust regarding collaboration with District agencies to ensure they conduct required building, zoning, health, and safety inspections.
- Work with the Mayor of the District of Columbia to revise the memorandum of understanding that governs OSP implementation to include processes that will help ensure that the results of OSP school inspections, when they are conducted, are communicated to the Trust.
- Explore ways to improve Education’s monitoring and oversight of the Trust. For example, Education could require the Trust to develop and implement a plan for how it will address its timeliness in mandatory financial reporting.
- Conduct activities to ensure that the Trust: publishes the school Directory prior to participating schools’ application deadlines with more complete information; more closely aligns its scholarship time frames with schools’ admissions and enrollment schedules; and improves its OSP database.
- Require the Trust to update its policies and procedures in several key respects, and monitor the Trust’s activities to ensure that these updates are made.
The report is available.
Update on the State Board of Education Meeting: The State Board of Education, Debe Terhar president, met on November 11 and 12, 2013 during the Ohio School Boards Association’s Capital Conference in Columbus. Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Richard Ross, addressed the conference on November 11, 2013, and laid-out three priorities for the coming year: the Straight-A Fund; the Third Grade Reading Guarantee; and Start Talking, a substance abuse prevention program for middle school students. Following this general session, members of the State Board met in committees on November 11, 2013, and the board convened its business meeting on November 12, 2013.
November 11, 2013 Achievement Committee: The State Board’s Achievement Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, approved an amended version of Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Gifted Students Rule 3301-51-15 after three hours of debate. The proposed standards were approved by a vote of 3 to 2 and will be considered by the full board in December 2013.
A new draft of the standards was released on November 9, 2013. The draft attempted to address some of the issues raised by advocates for gifted education at the September and October meetings of the State Board of Education. However, the new draft still removes provisions regarding funding for gifted programs; includes a new sunset provision that affects requirements for case loads and minimum instruction time; and makes the coordinator position optional for school districts. There are also some technical issues that should be corrected.
Committee members Ann Jacobs, Sarah Fowler, and Tess Elshoff introduced several amendments. The draft was amended to clarify that the operating standards apply to all gifted students, not just gifted students receiving services, and requires the ODE to rescind a waiver for districts scoring a “B” or “C” on the gifted performance indicator for two consecutive years, and immediately rescind a waiver for districts scoring a “D” or “F”.
An amendment to remove the sunset provision for minimum instruction time and maximum case load requirements was defeated, along with an amendment restricting waivers specifically to case loads and minimum minutes of instruction. Another amendment, to restore the funding provisions that were removed from the current rule, was ruled out of order by the chair, C. Todd Jones.
The following is a summary of the rule based on the November 9, 2013 draft with the amendments:
- Changes child to student throughout the rule
- Requires two-whole grade screening opportunities for students
- Retains some inputs, such as maximum case loads and minimum instruction time, in some instructional settings
- Adds a sunset provision of June 30, 2015 for case loads and minimum instructional time requirements
- Allows the ODE to grant waivers for districts performing at an “A” level on the gifted performance indicator for two consecutive years. Requires that the ODE withdraw the waiver if a district receives a “B” or “C” on the performance indicator for two consecutive years, and remove the waiver immediately if a district drops to a “D” or “F”.
- Provides districts with an option to provide coordinator services
- Retains language allowing the ODE to reduce funding for districts in continued non-compliance
- Adds more reporting requirements for districts about services and funding on the annual self-report
- Adds requirements for districts to give parents more information about how students are meeting their written education plan (WEP) and provide parents of newly identified gifted students with a list of services that the district has previously provided to gifted students
- Removes provisions regarding the funding of gifted education programs
November 11, 2013 Committee on Urban Education: The committee, led by Dr. Mark Smith, changed its name to the Urban and Rural Renewal Committee to better reflect its work to increase student achievement in all low performing schools. The committee continued to discuss strategies to include in a comprehensive program to support low performing schools. The proposed strategies include establishing performance assistance teams and partnerships between low and high performing schools; working with business, civic, and social support organizations to identify resources; working with parents and community groups to increase involvement in the schools; etc.
The committee will continue to work with the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations (QISA) on My Voice Ohio. Dr. Michael Corso from Quaglia shared with the committee the results of the My Voice Ohio Report. According to this survey of teachers and students, 64 percent of Ohio educators who took the survey were excited about their careers in education, a drop of two points since 2011. The survey also shows that increasing student engagement and improving student experiences with teachers has the biggest impact on motivating students to be academically successful. The survey also found that non-white students felt less support from teachers than white students.
The committee intends to hold additional meetings with foundations and stakeholders to identify additional resources for schools.
November 11, 2013 Graduation Requirements Committee: The Graduation Requirements Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, received and approved new graduation requirements for Ohio’s students based on a draft distributed on November 11, 2013. The chair explained that the graduation requirements would be considered by the State Board during its business meeting as an emergency resolution, so that the board could take action on the resolution this month, (rather than wait until next month) and would be on record when the Ohio House considers HB193 (Brennan) Graduation Requirements.
There was an effort to amend the proposed graduation requirements by Board President Debe Terhar, who wanted to strike a provision regarding testing requirements for non-public school students who attend schools that are exempt from taking end of course exams. (These are schools that are members of the Ohio Association of Independent Schools.) According to President Terhar, this provision was not aligned with current law, which exempts these schools from administering end of course exams, pursuant to HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget. The amendment did not receive a second and so no action was taken. During the discussion about the proposed graduation requirements it was also noted by the chair that state law will need to be changed to implement the new requirements.
The document describing the new graduation requirements is divided into the following components:
- Course completion requirements. These are unchanged from current law. However, the draft did not include some curricular requirements, including the requirement that students complete two semesters or the equivalent in the fine arts in any grades 7-12.
- End of Course Exam requirements. There will be ten end of course exams across four content areas. Students will be able to earn between one and five points on each exam depending on their achievement level. Students will need to earn at least 25 points to graduate, and must earn minimum points in some content areas.
- Other End of Course Assessments. Students will have the option to take another end of course exam, such as an SAT subject assessment, to earn points toward graduation.
- Assessment Options. Districts will have the option to require students to take 10 or 8 end of course exams under certain conditions.
- Non-public schools exempted from taking the State’s end of course exams. This provision states that the State Board of Education will determine the assessments that will be administered by the nonpublic schools in lieu of the end of course exams. Students attending these schools will earn points toward graduation based on their level of achievement on these alternative exams.
- Alternative Demonstrations of Proficiency. Students who take the 10 state end of course exams, but do not earn 25 points, can earn an additional three or five points toward graduation by demonstrating college readiness or career readiness. Alternative options are also being developed for students in career-tech education, students in dropout recovery programs, students with disabilities, and participants in adult education programs.
- Endorsements and Recognitions. The State Board of Education will institute a process to endorse and recognize the exceptional academic and career efforts of students.
- Transition Plan
Board member Rose Mary Oakar said that she was going to introduce an amendment to require students to complete a course in world history as a graduation requirement when the State Board took-up action on the requirements during their business meeting.
Board member Stephanie Dodd asked the following questions:
- Which stakeholders were included in the development of the graduation requirements? Sasheen Phillips, ODE Senior Executive Director, Center for Curriculum and Assessment, replied that she would provide a list of stakeholders. Chairman Jones later read the comments about the graduation requirements that he had received from the Ohio School Boards Association, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Ohio Association of State Business Officials. (During the full board discussion about the requirements board member Mike Collins said that he would be interested to know the opinions of the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and the E & A Coalition.)
- Does this eliminate double testing? Senator Lehner explained that the Senate had tried to address the doubling testing issue in HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, but the provision was removed by the House. The Senator said that the Senate is looking for another opportunity to address the issue.
- What legislative language needs to be changed? Chairman Jones responded that the ODE was working with legislators to determine what needs to be changed in law to implement the graduation requirements.
- Who has seen the new assessments that will be administered in spring 2014? Sasheen Phillips responded that field tests will be administered in the spring 2014 by some districts and schools. All students will take the new assessments based on the Common Core standards in the 2014-15 school year.
Board member Mark Smith reported that some school districts are saying that they don’t have the technological capacity to administer the new assessments on line, and they don’t have the resources to update their technology at this time. Sasheen Phillips responded that some schools will need to administer the assessments on paper, and the ODE is prepared for that. The ODE has developed a tool to help school districts assess their readiness to administer the assessments online.
November 12, 2013 Operating Standards Committee: The Operating Standards Committee, chaired by Ron Rudduck, met on November 12, 2013 to discuss Rule 3301-35-04 and receive stakeholder feedback on changes to rules 3301-35-02 Governance, Leadership, Organization, Administration and Supervision and Rule 3301-35-03 Strategic Planning. The two previous rules were discussed at a meeting held on October 17, 2013.
The goal of the committee is to streamline Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools and Districts, Rules 3301-35-01 through 3301-35-14; increase flexibility for high performing schools; and use outputs, rather than inputs, to ensure accountability.
The committee received an update about the resources being developed to support the revision process. The ODE has created a web page to provide stakeholders with information about the new drafts of the rules, and receive stakeholder comments. Eventually the web page will become the home of the revised standards. The ODE is also developing an online handbook to accompany the rules, which will describe the rule; how it is interpreted; and how it could be implemented in schools. The web page is available.
The committee first reviewed the changes for Rules 3301-35-02 and 03, and then discussed proposed changes for Rule 3301-35-04 Student and Other Stakeholder Focus.
There were no suggested changes for Rule 3301-35-04 division A, which includes best practices and policies to support a high quality education system.
Under division B (required courses of study) the committee members noted that there are additional courses that school districts are required to offer (world languages, business, technology, family and consumer science, etc), but these courses are not included in the Revised Code. Most of these courses are electives at the high school level. It was suggested that the committee review these additional courses to determine if they should still be included.
Division C includes graduation requirements. Several of these components are already in law, and so it was suggested that division C3(a) – (c) could be moved to the handbook.
There were no changes recommended for Division D Graduation Requirements for Dropout Prevention and Recovery Programs; E Student Fees; F Earn Diplomas through a Variety of Methods; G Assessment System; and H Student Achievement.
The next meeting will be held on November 20, 2013, when the committee will discuss Rules 3301-35-05 Faculty and Staff Focus & 3301-35-06 Educational Programs and Support.
November 2013 Business Meeting: The State Board of Education convened its business meeting on November 12, 2013. The board received an update from Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Richard Ross; received the following public participation on agenda and non-agenda items; and took action on a number of resolutions, which are highlighted below:
Public Participation on Agenda Items
Dan Dodd from the Ohio Association of Independent Schools requested that the proposed graduation requirements not include a provision regarding non-public schools exempt from end of course exams. The proposed graduation requirements state that the State Board of Education will determine the assessment(s) that will be administered by non-public schools that are exempt from the end-of-course exams as part of the requirements for graduation. Independent schools accredited through the Ohio Association of Independent Schools were granted an opt-out provision from end of course exams in HB59 (Amstutz) Biennial Budget, but according to C. Todd Jones, the chair of the Graduation Committee, these schools must still comply with an alternative assessment option in order for students to earn a diploma. Mr. Dodd argued that it would not be fair to require non-public school students, who are exempt by law from taking end of course exams, to be required to take additional assessments and meet different achievement requirements for graduation than other Ohio students, especially when the available national assessments are not designed for that purpose.
Larry Keough from the Catholic Conference of Ohio also testified regarding the graduation requirements for students attending nonpublic schools. He suggested that the law shouldn’t single-out one organization and its members for exemptions from assessments. Schools in the Catholic Conference are questioning why the independent schools have this exemption, and not the Catholic Schools.
Public Participation on Non Agenda Items
Kimberly Curran, a parent of four gifted children attending Northridge Local Schools, asked the board to ensure that the rules for gifted education include mandates for how state funds for gifted education are spent.
Charlie Toland, a parent of two children in the Hilliard School District, described the problems that arise when outputs for gifted education are based on tests that are not aligned with the curriculum that the students are learning. He also explained why mandating funding for gifted students in gifted programs and setting minimum standards for instruction ensure that students who are gifted receive instruction that meets their needs.
Sandra McGuire and her daughter Sara McGuire, from the Olentangy School District, requested that all students identified as gifted receive services, and that all teachers be trained to teach gifted students. Mrs. McGuire asked the board to consider if they would want to fly in a plane operated by a company that has no standards for pilots, equipment, safety, number of work hours, etc. Operational standards exist to ensure that gifted students receive an education that “…includes identification, director services, true differentiation, appropriate acceleration, social and emotional support”.
Kathy Stanley testified that unless some mandates for gifted services are required they will not happen in all districts. There currently is no consistency for services for gifted children, and furthermore, most districts under serve gifted students.
Pat Farrenkopf, a gifted coordinator from the New Albany Plain Local School District, described how recommendations for increasing the quality of gifted education programs in Ohio were developed by the Commission on the Future of Gifted Education in 1991, but have not been actualized. She stated that “What is not mandated is the first to go when districts experience financial cuts.”
Sandra Freeman, a coordinator for gifted education at the West Buckeye Educational Service Center, described some of the issues that gifted students in rural schools face, including poverty, lack of resources, and isolation. She described a specific curricula designed to help gifted students from low income families reach their full potential. She also recommended that funding be mandated for gifted services to ensure that students receive the support they need.
Jared Weiss, a teacher in the Hillsboro City Schools, addressed the board about the lack of an exemption for educators who held a provisional license under the previous licensing system. He requested that the board exempt him and others in his situation from meeting the requirements of the Ohio Residential Educator Program. President Terhar asked the Legislative Committee to review this situation, which apparently affects many educators in Ohio.
The following resolutions were approved at the November 2013 State Board Meeting on November 12, 2013:
#4 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-44-01 to 3301-44-09 of the Administrative Code Regarding Post Secondary Enrollment Options (Volume 2, Page 12 of the Board Books) Capacity Committee
#5 Approved a Resolution of Intent to Amend Rules 3301-20-01, 3301-73-02 TO -06, 73-09 TO -17, AND 73-19 TO -26 of the Administrative Code Regarding Educator Disciplinary Process (Volume 2, Page 33 of the Board Books)
#18 Approved a Resolution of Appointment to the Educator Standards Board (Volume 4, Page 4 of the Board Books) Superintendent Jeffrey Brown, representing the Buckeye Association of School Administrators.
#19 Approved a Resolution to Adopt Twelve Additional New Ohio Assessments for Educators and Associated Qualifying Scores for Various Ohio Licensure Areas (Volume 4, Page 20 of the Board Books).
#20 Added to the Agenda: Approved a Resolution to Require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to post on the ODE web site the Ohio Revised Code regarding local district curriculum choices.
#21 Added to the Agenda: Approved an Emergency Consideration for an Amended Resolution to Approve Graduation Requirements. The resolution was amended to require students to complete a unit in world history as a graduation requirement.
Analysis Finds Some Districts Shortchanged: An article by Denise Smith Amos on November 11, 2013 in the Cincinnati Enquirer describes Ohio’s new state formula for funding schools and finds that it is shortchanging school districts in Southwest Ohio with high enrollments of minority students.
According to the article, an analysis conducted by the Enquirer of state per student aid shows that, “…Southwest Ohio’s 10 highest minority-population districts will average $3,837 in state aid per student, while the region’s 10 least diverse districts will average $4,027 in aid per student.”
The current state school funding formula, included in HB59 (Amstutz) the state’s biennial budget, provides a per pupil amount of state aid to each district, including extra money to support students with disabilities, students from low-income families, students with limited English proficiency, students in gifted education programs, and students who need more support to read by the third grade. The state aid amount is then adjusted for local wealth, including property values and median income. School funding expert Howard Fleeter suggests that the adjustments for local wealth might be a greater “driving force” in the state aid formula than the state aid adjustments for poverty. The new school funding law also caps the amount of state aid school districts can receive, providing another explanation for the decreases in state aid for some districts.
Even though schools are receiving more state aid than in the past, local superintendents interviewed for the article say that the increase “….doesn’t make up for the budget cuts over the past four years, which widened financial disparities among districts.”
See “High-minority schools can get less state funding” by Denise Smith Amos, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 11, 2013.
Ways for Schools to Use $400 Million: Innovation Ohio released on November 13, 2013 a report by Stephen Dyer showing how $400 million in state revenue saved as a result of the expansion of the federal Medicaid program could be used to support public schools rather than provide income tax relief. The report is in response to legislation introduced by Senator Chris Widener to use the $400 million in state savings to reduce the state’s income tax rates.
The Innovation Ohio report recommends instead, that the $400 million in state savings be used to increase state support for public schools either through specific state programs or by increasing state aid per student. For example, $400 million is more than the current amount the state is spending for economically disadvantaged students ($368 million); six times more than what is allocated for K-3 literacy ($64 million); more than what has been allocated for the Third Grade Reading guarantee, plus Gifted Education, plus Career Technical Education, plus Limited English Proficiency, and plus half of the state’s six Special Education categories ($399.7 million); and more than state aid for transportation ($357 million).
The report also provides information about the impact of $400 million on school district budgets if the savings were distributed per pupil through the current state school funding formula. For example, Cleveland would receive an additional $25 million; Columbus an additional $15 million; Toledo an additional $12 million.
There could also be an effect on property tax rates if $400 million were distributed to schools. The report finds that, “Overall, the average district would receive the equivalent of 2.29 mills in property taxes – or about $80 per $100,000 home – if $400 million in new state money were distributed among districts.”
“Some districts that are “property-poor” would see substantially more relief. Trimble Local schools in Athens County, for example, would see the equivalent of nearly 11 mills infused into its coffers.”
The report concludes by saying, “…Innovation Ohio believes that using the savings from Medicaid expansion to partially offset previous state budget cuts to schools and local governments would not only be fairer, but also bring the greatest good to the greatest number of Ohioans.”
See “The Impact of $400 Million on Ohio Schools” by Stephen Dyer, Innovation Ohio, November 13, 2013.
HB345 (Barborak) Lost Revenue-Tax Incentives: Requires the Director of Development Services to estimate the revenue that would be foregone by the state as a result of each tax incentive proposed to the Tax Credit Authority and publish that estimate on the web site of the Development Services Agency.
HB348 (Henne/Hagan) Higher Education-Student Health Care Plan: Prohibits state institutions of higher education from requiring students to be covered by a health insurance policy or a health care benefits plan as a condition of enrollment or from automatically enrolling students in such policies or plans.
SB231 (Gardner) School Property Sales Proceeds: With respect to the distribution of proceeds from the sale of school district real property.
SB233 (Hughes) State Country Music Group: Designates Rascal Flatts as the official country music group of the state.
SB236 (Hughes) Official Country Song: Designates the song entitled “My Wish” as the official state country music song.
SB237 (Jordan) Common Core Initiative Academic Standards: With respect to the Common Core Initiative academic standards, powers of the State Board of Education, and the distribution of student information.
SB238 (LaRose) Absentee Voting: Reduces the days for absent voting.
SB239 (Schaffer) Student Expulsion: With respect to the expulsion of a student from a school district, community school, or STEM school for actions that endanger the health and safety of other students or school employees and to declare an emergency.
Research Examines the Effect of Musical Skills on Brain Development: An article by Sarah D. Sparks in Education Week’s Inside School Research blog describes the work of neuroscientists to understand how music affects brain development. Antonio Demasio, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute, is a lead investigator in a longitudinal study comparing two groups of matched students: those who participate in music and those who don’t. The study is called the Effects of Early Childhood Musical Training on Brain and Cognitive Development. The two groups of students in the study (ages 6-7 and 11-12) are matched based on age, socioeconomic status, and prior cognitive ability. The Youth Orchestra in Los Angeles is providing instruments and lessons for the students who are studying music. The study will track the cognitive, socio-emotional, and physiological brain development among the two groups of students along with their musical skill and creativity.
See “Neuroscientists Seek Creativity in the Brain” by Sarah D. Sparks, Education Week Inside School Research on November 10, 2013.
News from Americans for the Arts:
VANS Custom Culture 2014 Contest: Americans for the Arts is partnering again with Vans on its 2014 Custom Culture Contest. This is a national contest for public and private high schools to compete for a $50,000 grand prize to support arts education programs. Registration to compete in the program is limited to the first 2000 schools. Registration opens on January 6, 2014 and closes on February 14, 2014.
Registered schools will receive four pairs of blank sneakers to be customized in four themes: Art, Music, Action Sports, and Local Flavor. The custom designed sneakers must be submitted to Vans by April 7, 2014. Vans staff will select a group of 50 semifinalists (10 schools per region, five total regions), and public voting online will narrow this group of 50 down to the final five, who will receive an all-expense paid trip to New York City, where the grand prize winner will be announced in June 2014.
Information about how to register is available.
STEAM Caucus Meets: Representatives of Americans for the Arts joined the Congressional STEAM Caucus and experts from industry and education in a workshop led by the Rhode Island School of Design. The workshop focused on building awareness for including the arts in STEM education programs, and developing strategies to include the arts in the America Competes Act. The America Competes Act supports investments in innovation through research and development to improve American competitiveness. The Act is due for reauthorization, and hearings are being held in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.
Increasing Youth Engagement in Afterschool Arts Programs: The Wallace Foundation released on November 12, 2013 a report entitled Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts. The report provides after-school program providers with information about how to overcome a variety of barriers and “…bring high-quality arts experiences to more youngsters from disadvantaged urban areas.”
The report is based on the work of Next Level SMG and researchers who spoke to hundreds of teens throughout the nation to find out the types of arts programs they wanted, and compared that information with research on successful arts programming for youth.
The report proposes the following principles to create and deliver high quality out of school time (OST) arts programs:
- Instructors are professional, practicing artists, and are valued with compensation for their expertise and investment in their professional development.
- Executive directors have a public commitment to high-quality arts programs that is supported by sustained action.
- Arts programs take place in dedicated, inspiring, welcoming spaces and affirm the value of art and artists.
- There is a culture of high expectations, respect for creative expression and an affirmation of youth participants as artists.
- Programs culminate in high-quality public events with real audiences.
- Positive relationships with adult mentors and peers foster a sense of belonging and acceptance.
- Youth participants actively shape programs and assume meaningful leadership roles.
- Programs focus on hands-on skill building using current equipment and technology.
- Programs strategically engage key stakeholders to create a network of support for both youth participants and the programs.
- Programs provide a physically and emotionally safe place for youth.
One of the more interesting findings of the report was that the term “arts” can actually be a “turn-off” for some teens, who narrowly associate it with visiting museums.
A free webinar about the report is going to be held on November 21, 2013. Information about the webinar is available.
See “Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs From Urban Youth and Other Experts” by Denise Montgomery, Peter Rogouin, and Neromanie Persaud, The Wallace Foundation, Next Level Strategic Marketing Group, November 2013.