Arts on Line Education Update June 1, 2015

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
June 1, 2015

1)  Ohio News

  • 131st Ohio General Assembly:  The Ohio Senate has scheduled a session on Wednesday, but cancelled sessions on Tuesday and Thursday.  The Ohio House and Senate education committees are not meeting this week.

After several hectic weeks of hearings, lawmakers in the House and Senate are taking it easy this week.  The next Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, will be held on June 8, 2015, when the Senate’s version of Substitute HB64 will be released.  Hearings on the substitute bill will be held on June 9-12, 2015, with a floor vote expected on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

According to news accounts, Senate President Keith Faber announced last week that the Senate’s plan for the biennial budget bill, HB64 (Smith), will include an overall net reduction in state taxes, a new severance tax, and tax cuts for small businesses.  The Senate will also propose an increase in funding for schools based on the current funding formula, and incorporate a plan to eliminate the use of caps and guarantees in the future.

The Senate President also reported that he expects charter school reforms to be approved before the summer recess.  The Senate Finance-Education Subcommittee, chaired by Senator Hite, has been receiving testimony on two bills – HB2 (Dovilla-Roegner) and the more comprehensive SB148 (Lehner/Sawyer).  HB2 will probably be amended to include SB148, because HB2 has already been approved by the House, and the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bills can be worked-out in a conference committee.

See “Ohio Senate Republicans eye larger tax cuts in their budget plan” by Jeremy Pelzer, Northeast Ohio Media Group, Cleveland.com at

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2015/05/ohio_senate_republicans_eye_la.html

See “Ohio Senate leader disagrees with House on school-funding plan” by Jim Siegel, Columbus Dispatch, May 29, 2015 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/05/29/lawmakers-disagree-on-school-funds.html

  • HB153 Sent to the Governor: The Ohio Senate approved HB153 (Dovilla) Primary Elections on May 27, 2015.  The bill would move Ohio’s 2016 presidential primary election to the week of March 15th rather than the first Tuesday after the first Monday, March 8th.  The move would allow the winner of the Republican party primary election to take all Ohio delegates to the Republican presidential convention in Cleveland.  Based on the rules adopted by the Republican National Committee, if the Republican primary is held earlier in March, the delegates would be awarded proportionately to candidates. The bill now moves to the governor to sign into law.
  • Ohio Awarded NSC Grant: The National Skills Coalition (NSC), Andy Van Kleunen CEO, announced on May 29, 2015 that Ohio, California, Mississippi, and Rhode Island will participate in its State Workforce and Education Alignment Project (SWEAP). Each state will receive $180,000 to implement new data tools to better align workforce development and higher education programs with industry, employer, and employee needs. In Ohio the NSC will partner with the Ohio Board of Regents. The National Skills Coalition was founded in 1998 as the Workforce Alliance to ensure that state and federal policies are aligned with the employment needs of industries.  The NSC has more than 3,200 members in 25 states and is funded by JPMorgan Chase, Ford Foundation, and USA Funds.

See http://www.nationalskillscoalition.org

  • Cincinnati Organizing Preschool for All: Education Week reports that the Cincinnati Preschool Promise is developing a proposal to publicly fund a preschool program for young children in the Cincinnati area.  Details about the program have not been finalized, but the program could provide free preschool for four-year-olds, or three and four-year-olds,  in the city or throughout Hamilton County.   The program would be funded by a tax, which voters would have a chance to consider on the November 2016 ballot.

See “Cincinnati Leaders Launch Preschool-for-All Initiative” by Christina Samuels, Education Week, May 26, 2015 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/early_years/2015/05/cincinnati_leaders_launch_preschool-for-all_initiative.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3

  • Report on Charter Audits Released:  The Akron Beacon Journal published on May 31, 2015 an analysis of audits conducted by the State Auditor’s office last year, and found that no other sector of government misspends tax dollars more than charter schools.  According to the article, “While there were fewer than 400 charter schools among the 5,800 [audits], they accounted for 70 percent of all the tax dollars found to be misspent, often intentionally and illegally, according to 14 years of audits reviewed by the Beacon Journal”.  Since 2001 state auditors have identified $27.3 million in improper spending by charter schools.  The article goes on to explain how the State Auditor’s Office is rethinking its practice of outsourcing charter school audits to private companies after concerns were raised about the financial stability of some of the privately audited charter schools.

See two articles:

“State auditors try to pinpoint ill-spent funds”by Doug Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal, May 31, 2015 at http://akronbeaconjournal.oh.newsmemory.com/?token=5eaf3cb3b11f783f2838e9be81e4ce80_556b09f3_21aa&selDate=20150531&goTo=A01&artid=art_0.xml

“Charter Schools Misspend Millions in Ohio” by Doug Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal, May 31, 2015 at http://akronbeaconjournal.oh.newsmemory.com/?token=5eaf3cb3b11f783f2838e9be81e4ce80_556b09f3_21aa&selDate=20150531&goTo=A01&artid=art_0.xml

2)  Update on HB64:  The Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Senator Oelslager, received reports last week from several subcommittees reviewing the state’s biennial budget proposal, Sub. HB64 (Smith). Each of the chairs of the subcommittees provided a recap of the testimony presented, which was followed by a response from the ranking Democrats on the subcommittees.

According to Hannah News Service, the Senate Republican summaries of the budget hearings highlighted concerns about a number of issues, including the shortfall in the budget for developmental disabilities; addiction services for inmates; cuts to the Emergency Management Agency, Homeland Security, and Criminal Justice Services; college affordability; food insecurity; additional funds for absentee voting; tax cuts and tax reforms; and more.

The Senate Republican caucus’ recommendations for primary and secondary education are likely to include increasing state aid over current levels; using the current school funding formula to create a consistent and stable school funding formula; and finding a way to phaseout the use of caps and guarantees.

Senate Democrats reported that the biennial budget should focus on ways to support the middle class by lowering the unemployment rate, securing living wage jobs, and strengthening Ohio’s economy.

Among the overall budget recommendations, Democrats support increasing funds for local governments and libraries; ensuring Medicaid eligibility; investing in small businesses; and restoring the collective bargaining rights of health and child care workers.  The caucus also opposes tax cuts, when so many Ohioans are struggling and need government services.

Senator Tom Sawyer, Vice Chair of the Senate Finance-Education Subcommittee, presented to the Finance Committee the Democratic caucus’ priorities and vision for K-12 education in Sub. HB64.  He said that after hearing from hundreds of witnesses, there are concerns about the uncertainty and adequacy of the state’s funding system for schools and the decision to phaseout the Tangible Personal Property Tax reimbursements (TPP).

According to his testimony, Senate Democrats agree that the caps, guarantees, and reimbursements for TPP must go, but he goes on to say, “However, the bottom line is this: we believe that the system is still woefully underfunded, and there are still many districts throughout the state that simply do not have the resources necessary to offer the variety of educational opportunities that students need.”

The Democrats propose the following amendments be included in HB64 regarding primary and secondary education:

-Maintain the structure of the Governor’s formula and his vision to eliminate guarantees and TPP, but infuse substantial additional funding into school districts to meet the goals of DeRolph.

-Increase by 2 percent sub-group funding for gifted, limited English proficient, and economically disadvantaged populations.

-Fund transportation outside of the guarantee and cap to enable districts to realize the full amount of their transportation funds.

-Restore the minimum state share applied to a district’s calculated transportation cost to 60%.

-Revise the Transportation Task Force to include three school district representatives (rural, suburban, urban), and minority chamber appointees.

-Revise the Transportation Task Force’s topics to be studied to include, but not be limited to, the motor fuel excise tax, the cost and lack of funding for school buses, operational challenges associated with transporting to district, charter, and nonpublic school buildings, and barriers to considering alternative fuels.

-Add SB148 (Lehner/Sawyer) as an amendment to HB64.

-Require that, in the event that a district approves the submission of a levy proposing to share funding with a charter, that the levy be separated from the levy of the sponsoring district, and that the charter school bear all levy costs for their levy.

-Remove the bill’s provisions allowing all school districts to contract out their health services.

-Clarify the language to allow non-licensed teachers in high performing districts to participate in STRS.

-Remove the Cleveland voucher expansion in its entirety.

-Remove language prohibiting GRF funds from being used to purchase PARCC assessments, and restore the Student Assessment line item to Executive levels.

3)  National News

  • Wisconsin Bill Would Eliminate Teacher Training Requirements: The Minneapolis StarTribune reported on May 28, 2015 that lawmakers in Wisconsin are considering legislation to create an alternative teacher licensing process that eliminates teacher coursework and training requirements, but requires a school or district to prove that a teaching candidate is proficient in the subject(s) to be taught.  According to the article,

“Under the change, anyone with relevant experience could be licensed to teach non-core academic subjects in grades six through 12. They would not need a bachelor’s degree and they could even be a high school dropout.”

“Anyone with a bachelor’s degree could be licensed to teach in core subjects of English, math, social studies or science.”

The provision is included in the state’s budget proposal, and is not the only controversial provision in the bill.  The budget bill would also cut $300 million for higher education and $130 million for K-12 education; expand vouchers; and increase funds for charter schools.

Lawmakers in Ohio are also considering legislation that would lower teacher licensing requirements for high performing school districts. The House approved version of HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget, expands from 12 to 40 the number of hours that an unlicensed teacher can teach.  The Ohio Senate approved in March 2015 Sub. SB3 (Hite/Faber), which exempts high performing school districts from requiring teachers to be licensed specifically in the grade levels in which they are teaching.  The bill would also allow the superintendent of a high performing school district, with board approval, 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.”

See “Wisconsin may be first state to license teachers who don’t have bachelor’s degree,” by Scott Bauner (Associated Press), Minneapolis StarTribune, May 28, 2015 at http://www.startribune.com/wisconsin-may-be-first-to-license-teachers-without-degree/305380021/

  • States Receive NCLB Exemptions:  Alyson Klein reports for Education Week that the U.S. Department of Education has granted exemptions from school rating systems consequences this year to five states that do not have “waivers” from the No Child Left Behind Act. The exemptions were granted to California, Montana, North Dakota, Vermont, and Washington as they implement new tests aligned to new standards.  States will still be required to publish assessment data.

See “Five Non-Waiver States Will Get to Pause School Ratings For a Year” by Alyson Klein, Education Week, May 21, 2015 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2015/05/five_non-waiver_states_will_ge.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3.

4)  Latest Condition of Education Released:  The U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, released on May 28, 2015 an annual report to Congress about the nation’s education system entitled The Condition of Education 2015.  

The report includes the status and condition of preK, K-12, higher education, and private schools based on 42 indicators. According to the report,  “These indicators focus on population characteristics, such as educational attainment and economic outcomes, participation in education at all levels, as well as aspects of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education, including international comparisons. New to the report this year are three spotlight indicators that describe approaches to learning behaviors for first-time kindergartners, disparities in educational outcomes among male youth of color, and differences in postsecondary degree completion by socioeconomic status.”

The following are some highlights from the report:

-The nation spent $620 billion in federal, state, and local dollars on public schools in 2011-2012, compared to $553 billion in the 2001-2002 school year.

-91 percent of young adults ages 25 to 29 had a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2014, and 34 percent had a bachelor’s or higher degree.

-20 percent of school-age children (10.9 million) lived in poverty in 2013.  This is an increase of 6 percent in the poverty rate from 2000 when one in seven school-age children lived in poverty.

-65 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds were enrolled in preschool in 2013, which is about the same as in the previous year.

-In the fall of 2012, nearly 50 million students were enrolled in public schools.

-Charter school enrollment increased from 300,000 students in 1999-2000 to 2.3 million students in 2012-2013. The proportion of public school students who attend charters increased from 0.7 percent to 4.6 percent.

-42 percent of students attending charter schools are White; 35 percent are Black; and 20 percent are Hispanic.

-Private school enrollment for preK through grade 12 decreased from 6.3 million in 2001–2002 to 5.3 million in 2011-2012.  The percent of all students in private schools decreased from 12 percent in 1995-96 to 10 percent in 2011-12.

-The total number of private school students attending Catholic schools decreased from 2.7 million in 1995–96 to 2.1 million in 2011–12, and the share of private school students in Catholic schools declined from 45 percent in 1995–96 to 40 percent in 2011–12.

-Postsecondary enrollment was at 20 million students in the fall of 2013, including 17 million undergraduate and 3 million graduate students.

-In school year 2011–12, some 3.1 million public high school students, or 81 percent, graduated on time with a regular diploma.

-66 percent of 2013 high school completers enrolled in college the following fall: 42 percent went to 4-year institutions and 24 percent went to 2-year institutions.

-The percentage of 16- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and do not have a high school credential, declined from 11 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2013.

-In 2013, over 1 million associate’s degrees, over 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees, and over 750,000 master’s degrees were awarded.

-In 2012 in Ohio, less than 45 percent of staff in public elementary and secondary schools were teachers. This is less than the national average of 50.3 percent.

See “The Condition of Education 2015,” by Grace Kena, Lauren Musu-Gillette, Jennifer Robinson  (National Center for Education Statistics); Xiaolei Wang, Amy Rathbun, Jijun Zhang Sidney Wilkinson-Flicker (American Institutes for Research); and Amy Barmer, Erin Dunlop Velez (RTI International).  U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, at http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2015/2015144.pdf

See “One in five U.S. schoolchildren are living below federal poverty line”, by Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post, May 29, 2015 at http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/one-in-five-us-schoolchildren-are-living-below-federal-poverty-line/2015/05/28/2402f164-0556-11e5-bc72-f3e16bf50bb6_story.html

5)  A Different Path to Ensure Successful Schools:  ASCD released on May 20, 2015 its Global Policy Agenda for 2015.  The agenda includes goals and strategies for a comprehensive public education system that moves beyond the priority that all students be college, career, and citizenship ready.  Instead the policy agenda sets as its goal the successful development of the whole child, which includes a well-rounded education in all academic subjects and social-emotional learning supports.

The Global Policy Agenda includes the following recommendations to promote the success of students, educators, schools, and communities:

  • Establish a multi-metric accountability system:  A comprehensive accountability model for schools should incorporate multiple measures of performance, include all subjects, nonacademic factors, and promote continuous improvement and support.  Community level data should be reported to highlight the shared responsibility for student success, and governments must be held accountable for the progress and ongoing support for the most needy students.
  • Reduce the reliance on standardized testing: “Many existing testing requirements are woefully inadequate to determine whether students possess the knowledge, skills, and traits needed for school and career success.”  The results of standardized testing provide an incomplete assessment of student achievement and school quality, and should never be used for high-stakes purposes, or to rank students, educators, or schools.
  • Promote a whole child education: “A whole child approach can best prepare students to be college, career, and citizenship ready,” and includes comprehensive opportunities in all academic subjects, including the arts; social and emotional learning; mental health and counseling services; meaningful student and parental engagement; early childhood education and affordable postsecondary learning; and appropriate and necessary supports for each child across multiple sectors.
  • Honor and support the education profession: Efforts should be made to recruit, train, and induct teachers into a teaching profession.  All educators should participate in an induction process that provides time to “….reflect and refine their practice, and personalized professional development that recognizes their strengths and allows them to grow.” Time and resources are needed to provide ongoing professional development for teachers and school leaders.

ASCD represents over 125,000 superintendents, principals, teachers; advocates from more than 138 countries; and is dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading,

See ASCD Global Policy Agenda 2015 at http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/policy/2015-Global-Policy-Agenda.pdf

6)  Bills Introduced:  

  • HB231 (Grossman/McClain) Property Valuation Complaints:  To require counties, municipal corporations, townships, and school boards that file complaints against the valuation of property they do not own, to pass a resolution approving the complaint and specifying the compensation paid to any person retained to represent the county, municipal corporation, township, or school board in the matter of the complaint.
  • SB173 (Jordan) Special Elections:  To eliminate the ability to conduct special elections in February and August.

FYI ARTS

  • A Place for the Arts in the STEM Curriculum: Melissa Beattie-Moss asks where the arts fit into the school curriculum that is more focused on science, technology, engineering, and math in an article for PhysOrg.com.  In an interview with Christine Marmé Thompson, director of the Penn State School of Visual Arts Art Education, she learns that, “The visual arts are a powerful language for communicating concepts and theories in any field, both during the process of being developed and once they are finished ‘products’ to be shared with others.”

The article goes on to say that an important concept for students to learn in order to be successful in today’s creative economy is understanding that the knowledge and skills that they are learning are interconnected and can be applied to other situations.  The arts help students to better understand this concept, and make connections among the lessons they are learning during the day.

In addition to all the practical reasons for supporting the arts in school, the author also writes that participating in the arts makes children and adults happy, proud, and confident, and supports the development of creative thinkers.

See “Probing Question: Is art an essential school subject?” by Melissa Beattie-Moss, Phys/Org, May 25, 2015 at

http://phys.org/news/2015-05-probing-art-essential-school-subject.html


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 (www.omea-ohio.org),Ohio Art Education Association (www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).

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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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