The State Board of Education will meet on December 8 & 9, 2014 and will vote on an “Intent to Adopt Resolution” regarding revised Administrative Code Rules 3301-35-01 through 10, entitled Operating Standards for Ohio Schools and Districts in Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade.
The intent to adopt resolution starts the formal approval process to add, change, or rescind administrative code rules. The process includes a hearing and approval by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR), approval by the Common Sense Review Commission, a public hearing conducted by the State Board of Education, and State Board approval of an adopt resolution. As far as we know the State Board expects to consider a final adopt resolution in February or March 2015.
The Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) has been working with members of the State Board of Education over the past month to develop a “compromise amendment” that addresses our most serious concerns with revised Rule 3301-35-05 (A)(3) Educational Service Personnel; Rule 3301-35-01 (B)(13) Definitions-Educational Service Personnel; and directs the State Board’s Accountability Committee to develop a method to report on the state report card the total number of educational service personnel employed in each area by district, school, and state and per 1000 or less students.
In developing the amendment the OAAE set as its goal to restore the original purpose of educational service personnel from the 1983 Operating Standards and encourage boards of education to employ licensed educators with expertise and skills to provide instruction and support to meet the needs of students; create the best conditions for learning in Ohio’s schools; and increase accountability and transparency regarding the employment of educational service personnel.
The amendment that was developed and is expected to be introduced at the State Board meeting on December 9, 2014 addresses several of our concerns with revised Rules 3301-35-05 (A)(3). It includes a specific directive for boards of education to employ educational service personnel; it refers to the fine arts, including music, which is the term used in the Ohio Revised Code, rather than the arts; and it includes the requirement that educational service personnel teaching the fine arts, music, and physical education hold the appropriate multi-age licenses.
The amendment also removes most of the areas for employing educational service personnel added to Rule 3301-35-01 (B)(13) Definitions. Many of these areas are not licensed educators with direct contact with students, which dilutes the original intent of the rule to encourage school districts to employ educators with expertise to meet student needs.
The amendment also directs the State Board’s Accountability Committee to develop a methodology to report educational service personnel on the report card by 2015-16.
The compromise amendment is an improvement over the current revised rules 3301-35-05(A)(3) and 3301-35-01(B)(13), but doesn’t include everything that the OAAE wanted. For example, in lieu of the requirement that boards of education employ five full time equivalent educational service personnel per 1000 students in five of eight areas, the amendment includes the reporting requirement on the report card, which should provide stakeholders important information to track employment of educational service personnel in school districts and schools.
Members of the State Board of Education are expected to introduce other amendments to Rules 3301-35-01 through 10, including an amendment to restore the original language for Rule 3301-35-05 (A)(3) Educational Service Personnel and Rule 3301-35-01(B)(13).
The OAAE would support this amendment also, but would want it to include the directive for the Accountability Committee to develop a methodology to report educational service personnel on the local report card, because the Ohio Department of Education is not monitoring the current Rule 3301-35-05(A)(3), which lacks accountability and consequences.
The OAAE appreciates the efforts by the members of the State Board to address our most serious concerns with the revised educational service personnel rule and understands that a compromise means that the parties will make concessions.
The OAAE will continue to work with the State Board to amend the rules regarding educational service personnel through amendments that direct boards of education to employ educational service personnel; include licensure requirements; and provide for accountability.