Arts on Line Education Update February 16, 2015

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
February 16, 2015

1) Ohio News

•131st General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate will hold sessions and hearings this week. For more details about the hearing schedule, please see This Week at the Statehouse.

•Safe Harbor Bill for Students Passes: The Ohio House approved HB7 (Buchy) Assessment Score Determination on February 11, 2015, as an emergency measure, which means that it would go into effect immediately after being signed into law. The bill prohibits individual student scores from certain elementary and secondary achievement tests administered for the 2014-15 school year from being used to determine promotion, retention, or to grant credit; prohibits the release of student scores except to a student’s school and parent; allows students to retake any end of course exams; and requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to make available to a student an end of course exam that was missed due to an absence from school. The provision about student individual scores does not apply to the third grade English language arts assessment.

The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate Education Committee, where hearings on it will be held this week, pending introduction.

•Report on Teacher Preparation Programs Released: The third annual report entitled 2014 Ohio Educator Performance Report is available on the web site of the Ohio Board of Regents. The report includes information about classroom teachers traced back to their teacher preparation programs, including the pass rates on licensing exams, teacher candidate survey results, Value-Added Data, candidate academic measures, and more. The report includes data for individual universities and colleges in Ohio (public and private), and how many teachers are rated as “ineffective,” “developing,” “skilled,” and “accomplished” categories between 2010-13.

See “The 2014 Ohio Educator Performance Report”, Ohio Board of Regents, February 2014 at

•Higher Education Task Force Created: Governor John Kasich signed an executive order on February 11, 2015 creating the Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency in Higher Education. The task force is required to develop recommendations to improve the efficiency of colleges and universities, and submit a report by October 1, 2015. The task force will examine the use of assets, personnel, and resources, with a goal to reduce costs and tuition increases for students.

2) This Week at the Statehouse:

•The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, will meet on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 4:00 PM in the Finance Hearing Room. The committee will receive testimony on HB7 (Buchy) Assessment Score Determination and SB3 (Hite/Faber) High Performing School District Exemption, which would exempt high-performing school districts from certain laws.

HB7 would prohibit individual student scores from certain elementary secondary achievement assessments administered for the 2014-2015 school year from being used to determine promotion or retention or to grant course credit.

More information about SB3 is included below.

•The House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Hayes, will meet on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 8:00 AM in Hearing Room 121. The committee will receive testimony on two bills:

HB25 (Kunze) Food-Drink School Sales, would require the State Board of Education to adopt rules regarding the sale of beverages and food during the regular school day in connection with a school-sponsored fundraiser.

The committee will also receive testimony on HB2 (Dovilla/Roegner) Charter School Sponsorship, which would make several changes to charter school law to increase accountability.

More information about HB2 is included below.

•The House Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, chaired by Representative Duffey, will meet on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 2:00 PM in hearing room 311 or after session. The subcommittee will receive presentations from the Inter-University Council, AICUO, Ohio Association of Community Colleges and Ohio Association of Career Colleges and Schools, and an overview of the higher education provisions included in HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget.

•The House Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education, chaired by Representative Duffey, will also meet on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM at the Ohio Historical Connection, 800 E. 17th Ave. The following agencies will be presenting on HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget:
– Library Board of Ohio
– Ohioana Library Association
– Ohio Historical Connection

•The House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education, chaired by Representative Cupp, will meet on Thursday, February 19, 2015 9:00 AM in Hearing Room 116. The following agencies will be presenting on HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget:
Agencies to be heard include the following:
– LSC funding formula presentation (9-11 AM)
– Ohio Casino Control Commission
– Ohio Lottery Commission
– Ohio State Dental Board
– Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs
– Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainers Board – Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

3) HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget Introduced: The language for Governor John Kasich’s FY16-17 Biennial Budget was introduced on February 12, 2015 as HB64. The bill makes operating appropriations for the biennium beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2017, and provides authorization for the operation of state agencies, departments, boards, commissions, and programs.

The Legislative Service Commission now has on its web site the text of HB64 and “Budget in Detail”, which provides the line-item requests for each department and agency in the Ohio government. Hearings on various parts of the bill have begun in the House Finance Committee and its subcommittees. (See

•Superintendent Richard Ross Presents Testimony on HB64: State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Richard Ross, presented testimony on February 10, 2015 to the House Finance Committee regarding HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget. Dr. Ross told the committee that he and Governor Kasich believe that, “we need to take Ohio to the next level and create more pathways and more opportunities for Ohioans to succeed.“

He also said in his testimony that his “vision for K-12 education in Ohio”, and the priorities of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) include providing “the basic education funding necessary to support student success and achievement.”

Dr. Ross then highlighted the bill’s key provisions that provide “flexibility, focus on student success and create quality choices for students and families.” A summary of his testimony follows:

•Increased Funding: According to Dr. Ross, HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget includes “GRF and lottery appropriations for the department of education at their largest amounts ever: $8.7 billion in FY16 and $9.1 billion in FY17. This represents growth of $401.1 million, or 4.9 percent, in FY16 and another $345.8 million, or 4 percent in FY17.”

•Regulatory Relief: The budget bill provides regulatory relief for all school districts in the following areas:
-raises the competitive bidding threshold for schools from $25,000 to $50,000
-permits schools to contract with a hospital or other licensed health care program to provide health care services to students
-eliminates district and school EMIS reporting, and the department’s posting, of information related to extracurricular services offered to students
-eliminates the need for a concurrent educational service center resolution in cases where a local school board determines that transportation of certain students is impractical
-removes the requirement that consistently high-performing teachers complete additional coursework to renew their license
-provides “accomplished” teachers flexibility regarding the annual teacher evaluation requirements
-provides an option for local boards of education to exempt new teachers from the annual teacher evaluation requirements in the year the new teacher takes the Resident Educator Summative Assessment.
-reduces the Resident Educator program mentoring requirements and allows districts to make local decisions regarding the professional development needs of Resident Educator program participants
-eliminates the current requirements that certain school districts establish a site-based management council to operate a poor-performing school building using state board rules
-expands opportunities for districts to contract with providers of academic remediation and intervention services to serve all grades outside regular school hours without state board rules
-modifes the duration for which a pupil-activity program permit is valid for licensed educators.

•Exemptions for High Performing School Districts: The proposed budget bill includes provisions to exempt “High Performing School Districts” from certain laws and rules. A high performing school district is defined as one that has received a grade of A in overall Value-Added; at least 95 percent of third grade students scored proficient or higher on the third grade reading assessment; and has a four-year cohort graduation rate of 93 percent or higher. Another requirement, at least 75 percent of students are remediation-free on a nationally standardized assessment that measures college and career readiness, will be added beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

High Performing School Districts would be exempt from the following:
-Teacher credential qualification requirements under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee
-Minimum or maximum class size requirements
-Service agreement with an educational service center
-Consultation with an educational service center to provide services to children with disabilities
-Employment of licensed teachers. According to Dr. Ross’ testimony, “A high-performing school district also will be permitted to hire qualified nonlicensed staff to teach for up to 40 hours a week and will have the opportunity to request from me a waiver from additional statutory requirements, which I will approve or deny on a case-by-case basis.”

•Reduced Testing Requirements: HB64 includes the following provisions to reduces testing requirements:
-Reduces the number of hours students spend testing by 18 percent.
-Limits the amount of time a student takes tests at the state and district levels to 2 percent of the school year and limits the amount of time students spend practicing for tests to 1 percent of the school year.
-Shifts the fall administration of the third grade reading test to a summer administration of the test for students who need it, and allows districts to use a state-approved alternative test as a way for their students to show they are reading at grade level.
-Permits rather than requires the administration of the state’s diagnostic tests in mathematics and writing for students in first through third grades.
-Eliminates the use of Student Learning Objective tests (SLOs) as part of the teacher evaluation system for grades preK-3 and for teachers teaching in non-core subject areas in grades 4-12. “Teachers teaching in these grades and subject areas will demonstrate student growth through the expanded use of differentiated shared attribution. We estimate that eliminating these SLOs would reduce the average amount of time students spend taking tests by 3.1 hours per grade level.”

•New Competency-Based Program: A new provision in HB64 would support a three-year competency-based pilot program for 10 districts and schools. The bill also includes grants of up to $250,000 each year for planning in FY16 and implementation in FY17.

•Innovation School Waiver Pilot Program: The budget bill also expands the Innovative School Waiver Pilot Program to 10 additional school districts, STEM schools, and community schools. The program will seek waivers from the U.S. Department of Education for alternative state-approved assessment systems for up to 10 applicants.

•Straight A Fund: Support continues for the Straight A Fund, which would receive $200 million in lottery proceeds over the biennium.

•Community Connectors Program: Support also continues for the Community Connectors Program, which would receive $30 million over the biennium, and match $3 for every $1 provided by local partners.

•Early Childhood Education Program: Additional support of $40 million over the biennium for early childhood education is also included in HB64. The added funds would serve an additional 6,125 children in early childhood education programs. Also included is $10 million for the Ohio Department of Mental Health to provide mental health counselors to work with educators to reduce the preschool expulsion rate.

•Third Grade Reading Guarantee: To support the Third Grade Reading Guarantee Program HB64 includes up to $2.5 million in each fiscal year to provide grants for summer literacy camps.

•Guidance Counselors: A new provision in HB64 directs the State Board of Education to adopt standards for school counselors and a framework for evaluating school counselors. Each board of education would be required to adopt a policy that conforms to the statewide framework, which will be implemented during the 2016-17 school year. HB64 also includes $2 million over the biennium to improve access to school counseling services for all students, and directs the Ohio Department of Education and the Board of Regents to provide professional development services for school counselors.

•Support for Persons with Disabilities: The budget bill includes $5 million over the biennium for Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) to use as matching funds to draw down federal funding for vocational rehabilitation services. There is also an additional $5 million in the proposed budget for the ODE to build capacity to deliver a regional system of training, support, coordination, and direct services for secondary transition services for students with disabilities beginning at age 14.

•Credit Flexibility: A new provision in HB64 would extend credit flexibility to seventh and eighth grade students. According to Dr. Ross’ testimony, Governor Kasich also charges the state board and ODE to update the statewide plan, rebrand credit flexibility, and work with schools to reduce barriers to participation for students and businesses. As part of this rebranding, the department will implement a coordinated communications and outreach plan to inform schools of the updated statewide plan and guidelines.

HB 64 also provides $18.5 million dollars over the biennium to support more teachers in disadvantaged high schools to earn the necessary credentials to teach college-level courses, and would reward school districts that have the highest student participation in college credit plus and advanced placement courses.

•Career-Technical Education: The proposed budget bill would allocate $1 million each year to reimburse career-technical education providers for the cost of the credentialing exam.

•HB64 includes funds for up to five additional sites in the next fiscal year for the Adult Diploma Program. The budget also proposes the payment structure for the existing sites, and appropriates $15 million over the biennium to fully fund students once they enter these programs.

•Several provisions are included in HB64 to change laws regarding charter schools, and require all community school sponsors to be subject to the approval of the ODE. Every charter school sponsor, or authorizer, would be subject to a sponsorship agreement with the ODE. That agreement would govern each sponsor’s scope and authority to sponsor community schools, and would be tied to the rating received as part of the sponsor evaluation system. The ratings are: exemplary; effective; ineffective; and poor. A sponsor rated poor would have its authority to sponsor community schools revoked and the existing schools it sponsors would be required to find a new sponsor.

The following are other changes in charter school law included in HB64:
-strengthens in law a community school’s governing board’s autonomy to create more transparency
-prohibits a sponsor from selling services to a community school it sponsors
-eliminates a provision that allowed a community school operator from appealing a school’s decision to terminate its contract to the school’s sponsor
-eliminates current law that provides a way for an operator to replace the community school’s governing board if it disagrees with the board’s decision to terminate services with them
-requires community school governing boards to hire fiscal officers and, if they so choose, attorneys, accountants and audit firms that are independent of a school’s contracted operator
-gives the ODE’s Office of School Sponsorship the ability to strengthen its own sponsor application process
-permits exemplary sponsors to receive locally generated revenue, if approved by local school boards and voters
-provides access to exemplary sponsors to a new $25 million community school facilities grant program to be administered by the Ohio School Facilities Commission in collaboration with the ODE. The purpose of this fund would be to increase the supply of seats in effective schools, serve specific unmet student needs through community school education
-allows community schools sponsored by exemplary sponsors to have the opportunity to offer general education preschool and be eligible to receive early childhood education funding.

•Expands Vouchers: HB64 includes a provision to increase in the amount of an EdChoice scholarship for eligible high school students. The maximum amount of a scholarship that may be awarded to a high school student using a voucher would be raised from $5,000 to $5,700. The bill would also appropriate funding in both years of the biennium for the expansion of the EdChoice program to economically disadvantaged students in second and third grades.

Superintendent Ross’ testimony is available at

4) Governor’s School Funding Plan Raises More Questions: Several newspapers ran articles last week about reactions to the new school funding formula proposed by Governor Kasich in HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget. As testimony on HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget continued on February 10, 2015 in the House Finance Committee, chaired by Representative Smith, both Republicans and Democrats questioned the way the proposed formula works.

According to the Plain Dealer (February 10, 2015), legislators noted during the hearing that in some cases school districts with high median income levels would receive more state funds than school districts with low median income levels, and school districts with low enrollments and high concentrations of agricultural land seem wealthier than large urban or suburban districts.

Representative Debbie Phillips is quoted as saying that New Albany, with a median income of $159,000 receives a larger increase in state aid than Federal Hocking and Trimble Local Schools, with median income levels between $30,000-$40,000.

The article goes on to say, “Representatives Jeff McLain, an Upper Sandusky Republican, and Gary Scherer, a Circleville Republican, said they were upset with rural districts seeing losses, presumably because the value of farmland has risen in recent years, making the districts seem rich. Reineke said state law won’t let districts collect more taxes even as those values increase, without a new levy.”

Tim Keen, director of the Office of Budget and Management, responded to lawmakers by describing several factors that could cause a seemingly wealthy or poor district to gain or lose state aid based on the components of the new formula. He assured the committee that the philosophy behind the formula is to ensure that districts that are poorer in “capacity” get more state resources than districts with higher capacity. The major factors that affect the formula and amount of state aid vary for each district, but include median income, property valuation, dependency on tangible personal property tax and kilowatt hour tax reimbursements, changes in enrollment, and increases in the value of agricultural land.

According to another article in the Plain Dealer entitled “How much money should schools get from the state? Democrats and Governor’s office spar over funding plans”, the Legislative Service Commission shows that the percent of the state budget allocated for elementary and secondary education in FY15 is the lowest amount since 1997 at 27.7 percent. This information was shared at the House Finance Committee meeting on February 10, 2015 by Representative Denise Driehaus. The proposed foundation formula does increase state funds from $7 billion in FY15 to $7.4 billion in FY16 and $7.7 percent in FY17 (about $700 million), but as the article points-out, the governor’s plan also reduces state reimbursements to school districts for the loss of the tangible personal property tax and the kilowatt hour tax. The actual statewide increase is closer to $250 million in FY16 and $209 million in FY17.

Constitutional questions have also been raised by Democrats, who, according to the Plain Dealer, believe that state surpluses should be used to increase funding for elementary and secondary education, and reduce reliance on property taxes to fund schools. This was a directive of the Ohio Supreme Court in the DeRolph school funding decisions. The Plain Dealer quotes House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn as saying, ‘We’re not being accountable for what an equal branch of government instructed us to do 17 years ago, and that’s not right.’

Tim Keen has responded by suggesting that cash-strapped school districts can raise local revenue through levies. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Governor Kasich believes that school districts can use their cash reserves to offset losses in state aid.

Stephen Dyer from Innovation Ohio also produced an analysis last week that estimates the amount of state aid that school districts would receive for FY16 and FY17 compared to estimated charter school deductions for each school districts. He found that about 100 school districts will actually lose more state aid to charter schools than they would receive in the new formula.

See Testimony by Tim Keen, House Finance Committee, February 10, 2015 at

See “Lower state funding has many school districts upset with Gov. Kasich’s plan” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, February 4, 2015, at

See “How much money should schools get from the state? Democrats and Governor’s office spar over funding plans” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, February 13, 2015 at

See “Kasich budget could mean more local tax issues for rural and suburban schools, legislators complain” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, February 10, 2015, at

See “Kasich suggests school districts use cash reserves to offset budget cuts,” Charlie Boss, Columbus Dispatch, February 15, 2015 at

See “Budget Briefing: Funding Impacts of Charter Schools” by Stephan Dyer, Innovation Ohio, February 9, 2015 at

5) Investigative Report Published About Pearson: Politico reporter Stephanie Simon published on February 10, 2015 an investigative report on testing company Pearson, John Fallon CEO. The report is based on “hundreds of pages of contracts, business plans, email exchanges, tax filings, lobbying reports, and marketing materials” from Pearson.

The report provides background information about how the British company Pearson, with a global adjusted operating profit for 2013 of $1 billion, has became a leading textbook and testing company, earning 55 percent of its profit in North America.

It also describes Pearson’s involvement in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) consortium, which is developing assessments aligned to the common core standards being implemented in many states, including Ohio, this school year; its influence on state governments and departments of education; and its involvement in several no-bid contract deals, which are now being questioned.

According to the article, the company started in Yorkshire, England in 1844 as a construction company, but expanded into the publishing business by purchasing Penguin Random House and later American textbook publisher Addison-Wesley in 1988.

Pearson currently employs about 40,000 people world-wide, and focuses on education. The company provides a variety of products and services in the U.S. including the following:

-Holds 39 percent of the market for assessments and has the contracts for standardized assessments in 21 states and Washington D.C., New York City, and Puerto Rico earning $258 million.

-Holds contracts to administer and score exams aligned to the common core in 10 states that are part of the PARCC consortium. The contracts are worth $138 million.

-Provides other K-12 products and services, including textbooks, workbooks, test preparation software, tutoring services, consultants to coach teachers, software to evaluate teachers, professional development, and teacher licensing exams.

-Provides marketing and support for online degree programs for Arizona State University, Rutgers, George Washington University, and Texas A&M,

-Operates a network of three dozen online public schools.

-Co-owns the for-profit company that now administers the GED.

-Maintains student data bases and products that can even track what students are reading.

-Spends $1 million per year lobbying Congress and about $1 million lobbying states.

-Runs English-language schools in China and Brazil.

-Works with the World Bank and the United Nations to encourage investments in education as a member of the board of the Global Partnership for Education.

The article also describes several Pearson projects that have failed to live-up to contract requirements, but notes that the company seldom is penalized, and often is rehired to fix the problems.

According to the article, some of the projects that have failed were the result of no-bid contract deals that Pearson made with states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Arizona. A lawsuit has been filed in New Mexico regarding Pearson’s involvement in the PARCC assessment contract.

See “No profit left behind: In the high-stakes world of American education, Pearson makes money even when its results don’t” by Stephanie Simon, February 10, 2015 at

6) More on SB3: The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, received sponsor testimony on February 10, 2015 on SB 3 (Hite/Faber) Testing/High Performing School District Exemption. The bill addresses two issues that are also included in Governor Kasich’s biennial budget, HB64: limits the amount of testing for students, and provides high performing school districts some relief from certain mandates in law and rule. The following is a summary of the bill prepared from the Legislative Service Commission’s analysis, and the bill itself:

•Sections 3301.079 and 3301.0715 Eliminates the current requirement that school districts and schools administer diagnostic assessments to students in grades one through three in writing and mathematics, but retains diagnostic assessments for kindergarten students and reading assessments for students in grades one through three beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

•Section 3301.0711(B)(1)(a)(b) Removes the requirement that school districts administer the English language arts assessment to students in the third grade twice a year starting in the 2015-16 school year.

•Section 3301.0728 (A) (1) Limits the cumulative amount of time spent on the administration of state assessments to 2 percent of the school year beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. The limit applies to Ohio Achievement Tests in grades 3-8 and end of course exams, and any assessment required by the district or school to be administered district-wide or school-wide to all students in a specific area or grade level.

•Section 3301.0728 (A) (2) Limits the cumulative amount of time used for taking practice or diagnostic assessments used to prepare for state assessments to 1 percent of the school year beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

•Section 3301.0728 (B) Exempts from the time limitation assessments administered to students with disabilities, diagnostic assessments for students who fail to attain a passing score on the third-grade reading guarantee, and for alternatives to certain end-of-course examinations. These alternative exams include Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Exams.

•Section 3301.028 (C) Allows the board of education of each city, exempted village, and local school district to exceed the limitations by approving a resolution of the district board. However, prior to the adoption of such a resolution, the board is required to conduct at least one public hearing on the proposed resolution.

•Section 3301.0711(B)(1)(a)(b) Requires that school districts and schools administer the English language arts assessment to third graders at least once annually, instead of twice as under current law beginning with the 2015-2016 school year.

•Section 3302.16 (1) Exempts a high performing school district from the following:
(1) The teacher qualification requirements under the third-grade reading guarantee. This exemption does not relieve a teacher from holding a valid Ohio license in a subject area and grade level determined appropriate by the board of education of that district.
(2) The mentoring component of the Ohio teacher residency program, so long as the district utilizes a local approach to train and support new teachers.
(3) Any provision of the Revised Code or rule or standard of the state board of education prescribing a minimum or maximum class size.
(4) Any provision of the Revised Code or rule or standard of the state board requiring teachers to be licensed specifically in the subject area or grade level in which they are teaching, except unless otherwise prescribed by federal law. This exemption does not relieve a teacher from holding a valid Ohio license in at least some subject area or grade level determined appropriate determined appropriate by the district board.

(B)(1) Allows the superintendent of a high-performing school district to employ an individual who is not licensed as required by sections 3319.22 to 3319.30 of the Revised Code, but who is otherwise qualified based on experience, to teach classes in the district, so long as the board of education of the school district approves the individual’s employment and provides mentoring and professional development opportunities to that individual, as determined necessary by the board.
(2) As a condition of employment under this section individuals shall be subject to a criminal records check as prescribed by section 3319.391 of the Revised Code.

(C) States that noncompliance with any of the requirements listed in divisions (A) or (B) of this section does not disqualify a high-performing school district from receiving funds under Chapter 3317. of the Revised Code.

(D) (1) Defines “High-performing school district” as a city, local, or exempted village school district that meets all of the following benchmarks on the most recent report card issued for that district under section 3302.03 of the Revised Code:
(a) The district received at least eighty-five per cent of the total possible points for the performance index score
(b) The district received a grade of an “A” for performance indicators
(c) The district has a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least ninety-three percent and a five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least ninety-five percent.

•Section 3: Requires the School Facilities Commission, by December 15, 2015, to develop and submit to the General Assembly a legislative proposal assisting high-performing school districts to receive funding under the Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.

•Section 3313.72 Permits school districts to contract with hospitals, licensed health care professionals, and educational service centers for the services of a school physician, dentist, or nurse.

•Section 3313.46 (A) Increases the competitive bidding threshold for school building and repair contracts from $25,000 to $50,000.

7) More on HB2: Hearings on HB2 (Dovilla/Roegner) Charter School Sponsorship, began last week in the House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Hayes.

The bill includes changes in charter school law which are similar to the changes Governor Kasich has proposed in HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget. The changes respond to mounting criticism about the academic and operational performance of charter schools in Ohio, and the call from Governor Kasich to raise standards for charter school sponsors. In December 2014 the Thomas B. Fordham Institute released two reports identifying ways to improve the quality of charter schools in Ohio. The first report was based on a study conducted by CREDO (the Center for Research on Education Outcomes) at Stanford University, which analyzed the academic performance of students attending charter school, while the second report, entitled The Road to Redemption, by Bellwether Education Partners, analyzed Ohio’s charter school laws. These reports were followed in January 2015 by an analysis of student enrollment in 30 charter schools by State Auditor David Yost. The report, entitled “Report on Community School Attendance Counts”, includes additional recommendations about how to make charter school law more uniform and accountable.

HB2 includes some of the recommendations identified in the reports. It focuses on strengthening accountability requirements for the sponsors, or authorizers of charter schools, and operators, or management companies. The following is a summary of HB2 prepared from the Legislative Service Commission analysis, and the bill:

•Amends Ohio Revised Code sections 3302.03, 3314.011, 3314.02, 3314.023, 3314.03, 3314.19, and 3314.23.

•Enacts sections 3314.025, 3314.031, 3314.032,
3314.034, and 3314.46, and new Section 3 in session law.

•Repeals section 3314.026 of the Revised Code with regard to sponsorship and management of community schools.

•Section 3302.03 Performance Ratings (I) Requires that the grades of dropout recovery and prevention conversion charter schools be included with other report card indicators for the school districts sponsoring those schools on and after July 1, 2016.

•Section 3314.011 Requires that the fiscal officer of a community school be employed by the governing authority. The auditor may require that the fiscal officer execute a bond.

•Section 3314.02
(E)(5) Governing Authority: Prohibits an employee of a school district or educational service center or the employee of a vendor that is engaged under a contract with a school district or service center to serve on the governing authority of any community school sponsored by that school district or service center.

(6) Requires each member of the governing authority of a community school to annually file a disclosure statement with the names of any immediate relatives or business associates employed by the sponsor or operator of that community school, school district, or educational service center that has contracted with that community school, or a vendor that is currently engaged in business or has previously engaged in business with that community school.

•Section 3314.023 Sponsor Monitoring and Technical Assistance: Requires that when a representative of a sponsor meet monthly with the treasurer or governing authority, that copies of financial and enrollment records be furnished to the community school sponsor, members of the governing authority, and the fiscal officer.

•NEW 3314.025 (A) Requires that each sponsor of a community school shall annually submit a report describing the amount and type of expenditures made to provide oversight and technical assistance to each community school it sponsors.

(B) Requires the state board of education not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, to establish requirements and a reporting procedure to aide each sponsor in complying with division (A) of this section.

•Section 3314.03 Contracts between schools and sponsors:
(A)(4) Requires sponsors to evaluate performance standards by which the success of the school will be evaluated, including but not limited to all applicable report card measures.
(9) Requires that the contract between the community school governing authority and the sponsor include an addendum outlining the facilities to be used and their locations; and include at least the following information:
(a) A detailed description of each facility
(b) The annual costs associated with leasing each facility
(c) The annual mortgage principal and interest payments
(d) The name of the lender

(10) Qualifications of teachers, including a requirement that the school’s classroom teachers be licensed, except that a community school may engage noncertificated persons to teach up to twelve hours per week pursuant to section 3319.301 of the Revised Code.

(11) That the school will comply with the following requirements:
(a) The school will provide learning opportunities to a minimum of twenty-five students for a minimum of nine hundred twenty hours per school year.
(b) The governing authority will purchase liability insurance, or otherwise provide for the potential liability of the school.
(c) The school will be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and will not be operated by a sectarian school or religious institution.
(d) Includes all of the provisions that charter schools must comply with.

(15) Requires that a “financial plan” be developed detailing an estimated school budget for each year of the period of the contract and specifying the total estimated per pupil expenditure amount for each such year. The school’s financial plan is subject to review and approval by the ODE. In the case of an existing school, the contract must include the school’s two most recent financial statements.

(B) Comprehensive plan: The ODE, in consultation with the auditor of state, shall provide guidance to assist each community school in the creation of policies and procedures related to internal financial controls.

•NEW Section 3314.031
(A) Requires beginning December 31, 2015 that the ODE do the following:
(1) Maintain an accurate record of the names and identifying information of all entities that have entered into a contract with the governing authority of a community school to manage or operate that school;
(2) Receive from the governing authority of each community school a copy of the contract between a governing authority and its operator.

(B) Requires the ODE not later than July 1, 2016, to develop and publish an annual performance report for all operators of community schools in the state. The report shall be made available on the department’s web site.

(C) For purposes of this section, “operator” has the same meaning as in division (A)(8) of section 3314.02 of the Revised Code.

•NEW Section 3314.032 Requires that on and after the effective date of this section, any new or renewed contract between the governing authority of a community school and an operator shall include at least the following:
(A) Criteria to be used for early termination of the operator contract;
(B) Required notification procedures and timeline for early termination or non renewal of the operator contract;
(C) A stipulation of which entity owns all community school facilities and property including, but not limited to, equipment, furniture, fixtures, instructional materials and supplies, computers, printers, and other digital devices purchased by the governing authority or operator.

•NEW Section 3314.034. Requires ODE approval of community school contracts with new sponsors on and after December 31, 2015, if either of the following conditions apply;
(A) The community school has received a grade of “D” or “F” for the performance index score, under division (C)(1)(b) of section 3302.03 of the Revised Code, and an overall grade of “D“ or “F” for the value-added progress dimension or another measure of student academic progress if adopted by the state board, under division (C)(1)(e) of that section, on the most recent report card issued for the school pursuant to that section.
(B) The community school is one in which a majority of the students are enrolled in a dropout prevention and recovery program, and it has received a rating of “does not meet standards” for the annual student growth measure and combined graduation rates on the most recent report card issued for the school under section 3314.017 of the Revised Code .

•Section 3314.19 Sponsor assurance to ODE before school opens:
New (N) Requires that, for any school that operates using the blended learning model, as defined in section 3301.079 of the Revised Code, the sponsor has reviewed the following information submitted by the school:
(1) An indication of what blended learning model or models will be used;
(2) A description of how student instructional needs will be determined and documented;
(3) The method to be used for determining competency, granting credit, and promoting students to a higher grade level;
(4) The school’s attendance requirements, including how the school will document participation in learning opportunities.

•Section 3314.23 Internet or computer-based school:
(C) Requires that the sponsor of each internet- or computer-based community school be responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the online learning standards described in division (A) and (B) of this section and shall report a school’s failure to comply with these standards to the ODE.

•NEW Section 3314.46 As used in this section, “sponsor” includes any officer, director, employee, agent, representative, subsidiary, or independent contractor of the sponsor of a community school.
(A) Except as provided in division (B) of this section, no sponsor of a community school shall sell any goods or services to any community school it sponsors.
(B) If the sponsor of a community school entered into a contract prior to the effective date of this section that involves the sale of goods or services to a community school it sponsors, the sponsor shall not be required to comply with division (A) of this section with respect to that school until the expiration of the contract.

•Section 3. Requires the State Board of Education not later than December 31, 2015, to make recommendations to the General Assembly, in accordance with section 101.68 of the Revised Code, and the Governor regarding the following:
(A) Performance standards for community schools in which a majority of the enrolled students are children with disabilities receiving special education and related services in accordance with Chapter 3323. of the Revised Code;
(B) The feasibility of removal of the exemption from permanent closure, prescribed by division (A)(4)(b) of section 3314.35 of the Revised Code, for schools described in division (A) of this section.

8) Bills Introduced

SB34 (Tavares) School District Policy-Disruptive Behavior: With respect to school district policies for violent, disruptive, or inappropriate behavior.

HB54 (Anielski) Vocational School Boards-Office Terms: Revises the law regarding terms of office of members of certain joint vocational school district boards of education.

HB55 (Sprague) Third Grade Reading Guarantee: Specifies deadlines for the administration of reading skills assessments for purposes of the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee.

1) Focus on Equity: Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) will present its first session of the 2015 Web Conference Series on February 24, 2015 at 2:00 PM. The program is entitled, Achieving Equity through Arts Education Policy, and it will be presented by Alex Nock, Executive Vice President for the Penn Hill Group. The cost is $35 for nonmembers.

The presentation will focus on some GIA advocacy efforts in Congress and with the Obama Administration to inform lawmakers about the number of low-income students and students of color who lack access to quality arts education programs, and ways to overcome those inequities. “This systemic denial of the arts and instruction through the arts translates into children who are ill-prepared for advanced study in high school and are behind in the skills they need to be successful in the workforce and college.”


This update is written weekly by Joan Platz, Research and Knowledge Director for the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education.  The purpose of the update is to keep arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.  The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (, Ohio Art Education Association (, Ohio Educational Theatre Association (; OhioDance (, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (


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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