OAAE Statement regarding action taken by State Board of Education on December 9, 2014, concerning the Operating Standards for Ohio Schools

On December 9, 2014, the State Board of Education approved, by a 14-5 vote, 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.

In the weeks leading up to this vote, the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (OAAE) worked with members of the State Board of Education to develop a “compromise amendment” to address 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, that had been passed out of Committee to the full board. In addition to significant changes to the content of the revised rules, we also asked for a new section to direct 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. The amendment the OAAE helped to craft with SBE members Ron Rudduck, Mike Collins, and other SBE members, and with input from numerous statewide stakeholder groups, was approved on December 9, 2014, before the Intent To Adopt resolution was approved.

In developing the amendment the OAAE set as its goals:

  • To restore the original purpose of educational service personnel from the 1983 Operating Standards, which was to encourage boards of education to employ licensed educators with expertise and skills to provide instruction and support to meet the needs of students.
  • To further the process for creating the best conditions for learning in Ohio’s schools.
  • To increase accountability and transparency regarding the employment of educational service personnel.

The OAAE believes the compromise amendment is a significant improvement over the revised rules 3301-35-05(A)(3) and 3301-35-01(B)(13) that had been passed out of Committee and were likely to be adopted. The amendment did not perfect Rules 1 and 5, but it did improve them.

Here are what the OAAE believes are the most important things to consider regarding Rules 1 and 5 as they now stand, with the amendment in place:

  • There is now reference to specific licensure for subjects to which teachers are assigned.
  • There is now specific language directing that “districts shall employ” educational service personnel
  • While the new Rule 5 has the same relative weakness as the original Rule 5, which directed boards of education to employ ESP in 5 of 8 areas, but without financial incentive or practical strength to ensure compliance, it now adds a new, specific direction to the ODE to report data regarding each area included in the definition of educational service personnel annually, on the school report card, by school, district, and state.
  • This data reporting provision will provide stakeholders important information to track employment of educational service personnel. We feel this in particular provides a strength these rules did not have even before the revision process, and an accountability piece that may prove to be extremely helpful.

What the OAAE found through this process is that there were SBE members on both side of the issue that were willing to work constructively with us, with each other, and with other stakeholders.  We commend all who were involved in the dialogue, and we believe there was tremendous value in the process. We hope that this experience will lead to better cooperation and open communication among all sides in the future. We believe that is important, and will be helpful for future discussions about strengthening education in all subject areas in Ohio schools.

Below, please see the text of Rule 1 and Rule 5 as they stood before the amendment that was passed on December 9th, and as they stand now, after approval of the amendment:

 

  • Rule 1 – Definition of Educational Service Personnel

 

Revised version, passed out of Committee on November 10, 2014:

Rule 3301-35-01 (Definitions)

(B) (13)”Educational service personnel” includes, but is not limited to, individuals employed by a school district in one or more of the following positions: nurse, librarian or media specialist, guidance counselor, physical education, fine arts, social worker, title 1 coordinator, ESL specialist, school resource officer, director of athletics, EMIS – data coordinator, technology coordinator, transportation supervisor, interpreter, audiologist, adapted PE, exceptional children program director, ECP pre-school director, reading specialist, school food service director, school nutritionist, or facilities administration.

 

Amended version, approved on December 9, 2014:

Rule 3301-35-01 (Definitions)

(B)(13) “Educational service personnel” are specially qualified individuals who possess the knowledge, skills and expertise to support the educational, instructional, health, mental health and college and career readiness needs for all students. All educational service personnel shall hold appropriate qualifications, including applicable special teaching certificates, multi-age licensure or specific licensure in the areas to which they are assigned.

(a) Educational service personnel that support educational, instructional and college and career readiness programs include, but are not limited to: fine arts, music, and physical education teachers, librarian or media specialists, school counselors and reading intervention specialists;

(b) Educational service personnel that support the learning needs of the special needs student population include, but are not limited to: gifted intervention specialists, adapted physical education teacher, audiologist, interpreter, speech-language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists and English as a second language specialist;

(c) Educational service personnel that support the health and mental health of the student population include, but are not limited to: the school nurse, social worker, school psychologist, and school resource officer.

  • Rule 5 – Focus of Educational Service Personnel

Revised version, passed out of Committee on November 10, 2014:

Rule 3301-35-05 (Faculty and Staff Focus)

(A)(3) Educational service personnel are credentialed staff with the knowledge, skills and expertise to support the educational, instructional, health, mental health and college/career readiness needs of students.

Amended version, approved on December 9, 2014:

Rule 3301-35-05 (Faculty and Staff Focus)

(A)(3) The local board of education shall be responsible for the scope and type of educational services in the district. The district shall employ educational service personnel to enhance the learning opportunities of all students. Educational service personnel assigned to elementary fine arts, music and physical education shall hold the special teaching certificate or multi-age license in the subject to which they are assigned.

 

NEW Section, approved as part of amendment:

Referral to Accountability Committee

The State Board of Education directs the Accountability Committee to develop a method to report education service personnel on the report card for each area defined in rule 3301-35-01(B)(13). This method shall specify how the data will be reported annually by school, district, and state, including the total number of educational service personnel and the number per 1000 students or less. The Accountability Committee shall direct the Ohio Department of Education to report this data on the report card as soon as it can be implemented, but no later than the 2015-2016 report card.

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About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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3 Responses to OAAE Statement regarding action taken by State Board of Education on December 9, 2014, concerning the Operating Standards for Ohio Schools

  1. fedynad says:

    Does thus mean that a teacher with a K-3, K-8, 4/5 endorsement are qualified to teach elementary art, gym and music because their licensure is multi aged? If so that is what will happen in order to save money on teachers with certifications in art,gym and music.

    • OAAE says:

      From Rule 1:
      “All educational service personnel shall hold appropriate qualifications, including applicable special teaching certificates, multi-age licensure or specific licensure in the areas to which they are assigned.”

      From Rule 5
      “Educational service personnel assigned to elementary fine arts, music and physical education shall hold the special teaching certificate or multi-age license in the subject to which they are assigned.”

      This language in these rules is not meant to include endorsements.

  2. Laura H. Chapman says:

    If teachers of art, music, and physical education are “educational service personnel hired to enhance the learning opportunities of all students, why not also include in this list teachers of science, social studies, ELA, math and so on. This language makes teachers of art, music, and physical education merely service providers, and not the persons who are primarily responsible for instruction in these subjects. The classification is wrong from the get-go, in my humble opinion. It is also inconsistent with the policies from ODE that require teachers in these subjects to be evaluated in exactly the same way as other teachers, via SLOs or VAM.

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