Arts on Line Education Update June 29, 2015

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
June 29, 2015

Please note:  The next Arts on Line Education Update will be published on September 8, 2015.  Additional information about Sub. HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget will be forthcoming when available.  Have a great summer!  

1)  Ohio News

131st General Assembly: The Ohio House and Senate have scheduled sessions this week as lawmakers complete work on several bills before the summer break.  The Ohio House and Senate approved mainly along party lines last week Sub. HB64 (Smith), the $71.2 billion spending plan for FY16 and FY17.  Governor Kasich has until June 30, 2015 to sign the bill into law and is expected to veto some provisions.   The House could also take action on Sub. HB2 (Dovilla/Roegner) Charter School Reform, which was sent over from the Senate on June 25, 2015, after the Senate added SB148 to the bill.

More on HB64:  As lawmakers concluded negotiations about the state’s two-year budget, HB64, they opted for a smaller tax cut than first proposed by Governor Kasich, increased the rainy day fund to $2 billion, and adopted the Senate’s school funding plan with changes.

Sub. HB64 reduces state taxes overall by $1.8 billion, income taxes by 6.3 percent, and taxes for small businesses. The bill also reduces the per-pack cigarette tax hike from 40 to 35 cents, and adjusts the tax change for electric utility property.

Lawmakers also increase funding for primary and secondary education by $900 million, and ensure that no school district receives less than 2015 levels of state aid.  In addition HB64 provides funds to support the Straight A Fund, adds $20 million per year for state assessments, and extends safe harbor provisions for two years.

HB64 increases the state share of instruction for public colleges and universities, but also freezes tuition for the next two years, and requires that institutions of higher education reduce the overall cost of earning a degree by 5 percent.

The budget plan also includes a 27.5 percent increase for the Ohio Arts Council’s (OAC) budget.  The general revenue fund appropriation for the OAC will be $14.2 million in FY16 and $14.7 million in FY17 for a total of $28.9 million over the biennium.

More details about the education provisions included in HB64 as approved by the House and Senate are included below.

Legislative Update: The House and Senate approved last week a slew of bills as both chambers prepared for the summer recess.

In the Senate lawmakers voted 31 to 1 to approve SB63 (LaRose), which allows Ohioans to register to vote online.  Voters will also be able to declare their party affiliation online.

The Senate also approved by a vote of 18 to 14 HB70 (Brenner/Driehaus) Community Learning Centers.  The Senate added a controversial amendment that replaces the current structure and procedures for an academic distress commission with specific consequences, and allows the commission to appoint a CEO with complete operational control over a failing school district.  The amendment was aimed at Youngstown, which has been under an academic distress commission for years.  The House concurred with the Senate bill by a vote of 54 to 40, over the objections of Representative Driehaus, one of the original sponsors of the bill. Democrats and some Republicans objected to the last minute changes in HB70, which has had bipartisan support throughout the legislative process, and focuses on grass-roots community engagement to improve schools rather than through the “top-down” process as outlined in the amendment.

The Senate also approved unanimously Sub. HB2 (Dovilla-Roegner) Charter School Reform, which now includes many of the changes in charter school law proposed in the bipartisan bill SB148 (Lehner/Sawyer). The House did not take action on the bill last week.

The House also approved House Joint Resolution 4 (Smith/Curtin), a constitutional amendment to prohibit special interests groups from using the citizen-initiative process to change the state’s constitution to establish monopolies for their own personal profit.  The resolution aims to prevent a proposed constitutional amendment, which would legalize marijuana, from being enacted if approved by voters.  The amendment is sponsored by ResponsibleOhio. The vote on HJR4 was 81 to 12, with some Democrats voting “no”, because they believe that the resolution is too broad, and could apply to most constitutional amendments proposed.  The Ohio Senate must act on the resolution before August 5, 2015 for it to appear on the November 2015 ballot.

The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, reported on June 25, 2015 the following bills:  SB168 (LaRose) Student Violent Behavior Information; HB28 (Anielski) Suicide Prevention-Higher Education; and SB130 (Gentile) Disability History and Awareness Month.

Charter Schools With High Student Mobility Not Counted:  Doug Livingston reports for the Akron Beacon Journal that the Ohio Department of Education doesn’t include on the report cards the scores of first-year students attending 175 charter schools, because the students are considered highly mobile.  According to the article, the ODE found that many of these students do a poor job in their first year at charter schools, and so the law was changed two years ago to omit the first year test results from school report cards if 25 percent or more of students are there for less than a year. Only a few traditional public schools qualify for this exemption.

The article goes on to explain that omitting the test score results of highly mobile students affects the new rating system for charter school sponsors.  The Plain Dealer reported a few weeks ago that the test scores of students attending online and computer-based schools and dropout recovery schools were not included in the sponsor ratings as well.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that along with the online charter schools, the student test results of 114 charter schools were not included in the recent sponsor ratings report issued by the ODE.

See “Ohio online charter schools not accountable for students who do poorly in first year,” by Doug Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal, June 28, 2015 at http://www.ohio.com/news/break-news/ohio-online-charter-schools-not-accountable-for-students-who-do-poorly-in-first-year-1.603886.

2)  National News

Obama Administration Changes Focus of Higher Ed Accountability System:  Last week Inside Higher Education reported that the Obama administration will not implement a controversial rating system being developed for colleges and universities. Instead, the U.S. Department of Education will report data about colleges and universities to provide college applicants and parents with more information to make informed decisions about the education options available to them.  The new tool will be ready by the end of summer.  According to the article, the administration is still going forward with an accountability system for “for-profit” institutions of higher education, which will examine how many students become “gainfully” employed after graduation.

See “Ratings Without….Rating” by Paul Finn, Inside Higher Education, June 25, 2015 at

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/06/25/education-department-says-rating-system-will-be-consumer-tool-rather-comparison

House Committee Approves Spending Plan for Education: The House Appropriations Committee approved on June 23, 2015 appropriations for the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services for FY16, which begins October 1, 2015.  The $64.4 billion spending plan for the U.S. Department of Education would reduce funding for primary and secondary education programs by $2.8 billion by eliminating 19 federal education programs, including the Arts in Education at the U.S. DOE, and would reduce funds for other programs.  The plan also includes automatic spending caps, known as sequestration,  first applied in 2013 under the Budget Control Act.  President Obama has announced that he will veto any spending bill that includes those caps, which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to eliminate.

See a summary of the provisions of the bill at http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394272

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) issued on June 24, 2015 a letter to the Appropriations Committee outlining their opposition to the proposed spending plan for the U.S. Department of Education and the continuation of sequestration.  The CEF is a nonprofit coalition of 118 national education associations and institutions working to achieve adequate federal support for our nation’s education system.  See http://cef.org.

See “House Appropriations Committee OKs Fiscal 2016 Education Spending Plan” by Lauren Camera, Education Week, June 24, 2015 at

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2015/06/house_appropriations_committee.html

Senate Also Proposes Cuts in Spending for Education in FY16: The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved by a vote of 16 to 14 on June 25, 2015 $65.5 billion in appropriations for the U.S. Department of Education for FY16.  The full title of the bill is the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016.

The proposed spending plan is $1.7 billion less than FY15 levels, but still includes increases for Title 1, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Pell Grant award, and charter schools. The proposal also eliminates several federal education programs.

The bill also prohibits the Department of Education from expanding the Federal government’s role in higher education, including implementing a college ratings system and an accountability framework for teacher preparation programs.

See a summary of the provisions in the bill at http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/sites/default/files/hearings/062515-FY2016-Labor-HHS-Full-Committee-Markup-Web.pdf.

See “Senate Committee Approves Bill Cutting Ed. Dept. by $1.7 Billion in FY 2016”, by Lauren Camera, Education Week, June 25, 2015 at

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2015/06/senate_appropriations_committe_1.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS3

3)  Highlights of Sub. HB64:  Last week the HB64 (Smith) Conference Committee finalized a new version of the biennial budget bill, and the House and Senate concurred with the changes in the bill.

HB64 allocates $7.605 billion in FY16 and $7.925 billion in FY17 to the Ohio Department of Education through the General Revenue Fund. Total GRF for the Ohio Department of Education is $15.525 for the biennium. This includes $13 billion for Foundation Funding Line Item 200550, and about $2.1 billion in Lottery Profits.

Over the weekend Governor Kasich announced that he will sign the bill either Monday or Tuesday, but was considering several vetoes.

As of this writing, an updated text of the bill was not available, but the Legislative Service Commission had prepared a comparison document with the Executive, House, Senate, and Conference Committee versions of HB64.  The following highlights of the bill are prepared from that document at http://www.lsc.ohio.gov/fiscal/comparedoc131/cc/default.htm. Additional information about HB64, will be forthcoming when available.

Summary of the Provisions for Primary and Secondary Education Included in Sub. HB64 (Smith) Biennial Budget

Section 3317 and 263.230 Traditional school district funding: Increases the dollar amount used for calculating the opportunity grant (the formula amount) to $5,900 in FY16 and $6,000 in FY17 (from $5,800 for FY15)

-Increases the dollar amounts for special education categories 1-6.

-Increases the dollar amounts for the K-3 literacy component.

-Maintains the dollar amount for economically disadvantaged funds from FY15 ($272) for both years of the biennium.

-Maintains the dollar amounts for the three categories of limited English proficient students from FY15 for both years of the biennium.

-Maintains the dollar amounts for gifted identification funds ($5.05) and for each gifted unit ($37,370) from FY15 for both years of the biennium.

-Increases the dollar amounts for career- technical education categories 1-5.

-Increases the dollar amount for career-technical education associated services to $236 in FY16 and $246 in FY17 (from $227 for FY15).

–Applies the capacity measure only to the calculation of certain school district tangible personal property tax replacement payments.

-Specifies “average valuation” as a three-year average of total taxable valuation for tax years 2012 through 2014 for all districts.

-Uses a district’s median Ohio adjusted gross income for tax year 2013 and incorporates an average income measure in the computation of a district’s income index, which is equal to 0.5 times (the district’s median Ohio adjusted gross income divided by the median district’s median Ohio adjusted gross income) plus 0.5 times (the district’s three-year average federal adjusted gross income per pupil divided by the statewide average per pupil.

-Makes changes to the current wealth index and calculates the state share index in a manner similar to current law.

-Makes changes for calculating targeted assistance.

-Provides an additional payment of capacity aid funds to school districts based on how much one mill of taxation will raise in revenue.

-Eliminates the Senate’s technology supplement.

-Provides a graduation bonus equal to a district’s four-year graduation rate times 7.5 percent of the formula amount ($443 in FY16 and $450 in FY17) and multiples the calculation by the state share index.

-Provides a third grade reading bonus equal to a district’s third grade reading proficiency rate times 7.5 percent of the formula amount times the number of students scoring proficient or higher times the district’s state share index.

-Guarantees that each school district receives at least the same amount of state aid in FY16 and FY17 as was received in FY15, but exempts career-technical education and career-technical education associated services funds from the guarantee in FY17, and adjusts the transitional aid guarantee base in FY17 by removing such funds for FY16.

-Limits foundation funding to 1.075 times the district’s state aid in the prior year, but exempts capacity aid, the transportation supplement, the graduation bonus, and the third grade reading bonus from the cap in both FY16 and FY17, and career-technical education and career- technical education associated services funds from the cap in FY17, and adjusts the cap base in FY17 by removing career- technical education and career-technical education associated services funds for FY16.

-Guarantees that each school district will receive at least 20 percent of the formula amount for each pupil, subject to a phase-in of 15 percent in FY16 and 25 percent in FY17 (the calculation for this payment is made after a district’s guarantee and limit in aggregate operating funding are determined).

-Clarifies that, in any given fiscal year, prior to school districts submitting the first required student enrollment report for that year at the end of October, enrollment for the districts must be calculated based on the third report submitted by the districts for the previous fiscal year (the report submitted at the end of June).

Section 3314.08 and 3326.33 Community and STEM school funding: Retains the overall structure of the formula to calculate per pupil deductions from school districts and transfers to community and STEM schools.  Calculates the per pupil deductions for the opportunity grant, special education additional aid, economically disadvantaged funds, limited English proficiency funds, and career- technical education funds using the same dollar amounts as traditional school districts for FY16 and FY17, and calculates the per pupil deduction for K-3 literacy funds using dollar amounts of $305 in FY16 and $320 in FY17 (amounts that are equal to the sum of the dollar amounts used in calculating K-3 literacy funds for traditional districts).

-Provides community schools and STEM schools with performance bonus payments related to four-year graduation rates, and community schools with performance bonus payments for third grade reading proficiency, both of which are paid directly by the state, but changes the calculation. The bonus payments are estimated at $2.8 million in FY16 and $3 million in FY17.

Section 3317.0212 Pupil Transportation Funding: Decreases the minimum state share applied to a district’s calculated transportation cost from 60 percent to 50 percent.

-Provides a transportation supplement for low density school districts.

-Allocates $489 million in FY16 and $512.4 million in FY17 for transportation, including $17.9 million in FY16 and $32.8 million in FY17 for the transportation supplement.

Section 263.325 School District TPP Supplement: Pays supplemental foundation aid to guarantee districts do not receive less funding in each fiscal year than their combined funding from state foundation aid and tangible personal property fixed rate operating reimbursements for FY15. Excludes career-technical education funds from the calculation of the supplement in FY 17 (these funds are moved outside of the guarantee and cap in the main school funding formula in FY17).

-Requires the Director of Budget and Management to transfer $12 million cash each fiscal year from the GRF to the School District TPP Supplement Fund (Fund 5RE0).

-Appropriates $38 million in FY16 and $66.03 million in FY17 for School District TPP Supplement payments.

Section 263.390 Educational Service Centers Funding: Increases the per pupil payment amount for ESCs to $33 in FY16.  Increases the per-pupil payment amount for non-high-performing ESCs to $33 in FY17, and postpones the date by which the State Board must adopt rules governing the distribution of state funds to ESCs for FY17 to December 31, 2015.  Earmarks $37.95 million for ESCs in FY16.

Section 263.560 School Transportation Joint Task Force:  Creates the School Transportation Joint Task Force consisting of members appointed equally by the Speaker of the House and by the President of the Senate, and requires it to study the appropriate transportation funding formula and relationship, duties, and responsibilities between school districts, community schools, and nonpublic schools regarding student transportation and submit a report to the General Assembly by February 1, 2016.

Section 3310.09 Ed Choice Scholarship Amount: Increases the maximum scholarship amount for a high school student to $5,900 in FY16 and $6,000 in FY17 and thereafter. Increases the maximum amount of a scholarship that may be awarded to an elementary school student from $4,250 to $4,650.

Sections 3310.41 and 3310.56 Autism and Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program: Increases the maximum amount of a scholarship awarded under the Autism Scholarship Program to $27,000 (from $20,000 under current law). Increases the maximum amount of a scholarship awarded under the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program to $27,000 (from $20,000 under current law). Based on the number of students receiving scholarships in FY15, deductions for all school districts could increase by as much as $22.1 million in fiscal year 2016 and $22.2 million in fiscal year 2017. Higher scholarship amounts may also increase participation, thereby increasing deductions from school district aid.

Section 3313.975 Cleveland Scholarship Limit: Removes the limitation on the number of Cleveland pilot project scholarships that may be awarded to students who were already enrolled in a nonpublic school when the students applied for the scholarship. (The current limit is 50 percent of all Cleveland Pilot Program scholarships awarded.)

Section 3313.976 Qualification of private schools for the Cleveland Scholarship Program: Allows certain private secondary schools, that are not located in Cleveland, to participate in the Cleveland Scholarship Program.

Sections 145.012, 3307.01, 3307.011, 3309.01, 3309.011, 3309.013, and 3314.075. STRS and SERS membership and community school operators:  Removes this provision.

Section 3313.411 Community School Property: Prohibits community schools and college-preparatory boarding schools that have purchased unused school district real property, under the current provision requiring a district to offer such property to those schools, from selling that property for 5 years, unless the property is sold to another community school or college-preparatory boarding school located in the district. Also requires boards of education to offer unused school facilities first to high performing community schools.

Section 3314.02 Definition of an e-school: Changes the definition of “internet-or computer-based” community school to assure inclusion of a community school that offers career-technical education even if that instruction provides some classroom-based instruction.

Section 3314.091 Transportation of Students: Clarifies that payments made to a community school for transporting students be calculated “on a per rider basis.” Makes other changes. Clarifies that a community school may determine that it is impractical to transport certain pupils.

Section 3314.50 Community school surety bond:  Eliminates the Senate provision that permitted a written guarantee of payment by a community school of audits conducted by the Auditor of State in lieu of a surety bond or cash payment.

Section 263.660 Community school sponsor: Requires the Department of Education, not later than July 1, 2016, to submit and present to the House and Senate Education Committees a plan that proposes the expansion of the Department’s authority to directly authorize community schools and recommendations for a ratings rubric for community school sponsor evaluations.  (Lawmakers are interested in implementing a plan to evaluate community school sponsors used in California.)

Sections 5705.21 and 5705.212 Community School Tax Levies:  Expands the authority of school districts to levy property taxes for community schools to include any school district that contains a community school sponsored by an “exemplary” sponsor. (Under current law, only the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Columbus City School District have the authority to propose such a levy.)

-Authorizes school districts other than the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to levy a property tax solely for and on behalf of one or more community schools located in the district that is sponsored by an “exemplary” sponsor. (Current law does not cap the percentage of levy revenue that may be allocated to community schools, but could imply that at least a portion must be levied for the school district’s own expenses.)

-Retains the authority of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to levy a property tax to be shared with certain community schools, but removes the criteria that was enacted specifically to enable the Columbus City School District to levy such a tax.

-Makes other changes in the law.

Section 263.590 Gifted community school feasibility analysis: Restores a House provision that requires the ODE in conjunction with an Ohio educational service center association and an Ohio gifted children association, to complete and submit to the chairpersons of the House and Senate education and finance committees, and subcommittees, a feasibility analysis of the establishment of 16 regional community schools for gifted children throughout the state.

Section 3319.22 Educator licenses and pupil activity program permits: Requires the State Board by July 1, 2016 to adopt rules exempting consistently high performing teachers from certain requirements for educator license renewal in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.  Exempts consistently high performing teachers from the requirement to complete any additional coursework for the renewal of an educator license.  Defines consistently high performing teacher.

Section 3319.67 Teacher of the Year Program: Permits the State Board of Education to establish an annual Teacher of the Year recognition program for outstanding teachers.

Section 3319.113 and 3319.61 Student Career Counseling: Requires that the Educator Standards Board develop standards for school counselors; requires the State Board of Education to develop and adopt an evaluation for school counselors; requires boards of education to adopt and evaluate school counselors based on standards;  requires each school district to include procedures for implementing the evaluation framework beginning in the 2016-17 school year; requires school districts to submit a report to the ODE regarding the implementation of the evaluation policy.

Section 3319.114, 263.630 and 263.650 Teacher and Principal Evaluations: Revises the alternative teacher evaluation and principal evaluation frameworks as follows:

-Decreases the student academic growth measure to account for 35 percent of an evaluation instead of 42.5 percent to 50 percent;

-Requires the teacher performance measure to account for 50 percent of an evaluation, instead of 42.5 percent to 50 percent;

-Specifies that the remaining 15 percent of each evaluation be one or a combination of student surveys, teacher self-evaluations, peer reviews, student portfolios, and any other component determined appropriate by the district or school rather than only one the options listed.

-Permits, instead of requires, each district or school to use instruments approved by ODE for the remaining 15 percent of each evaluation.

-Replaces the House provision with a provision that prohibits districts and schools from using value-added ratings from the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years for evaluations or employment decisions, unless the district or school collectively agrees with its teachers or principals to use them.

-Repeals the current law provision related to the 2014- 2015 school year. Requires ODE to request a waiver for the federal No Child Left Behind Act to account for this prohibition.

-Requires that evaluations be based solely on performance if a value-added rating applies and no other measure of student academic growth is available.

Section 3319.223 Ohio Teacher Residency Program: Allows any teacher to mentor candidates of the Teacher Residency Program during the first two years of the program.

-Modifies the required counseling component of the program by specifying that the district or school must determine if counseling is necessary.

-Specifies that one of the required measures of progression through the program must be the performance-based assessment required by the State Board for resident educators in the third year of the program.

-Specifies that a career-technical education instructor teaching under an alternative resident educator license may not be required to complete the conditions of the first two years of the Ohio Teacher Residency Program, and may apply for a professional educator license after successful completion of the requirements of the last two years of that Program, as it existed prior to the effective date of this provision.

Section 3319.271 Bright New Leaders for Ohio Schools Program: Requires the State Board of Education to issue an alternative principal license or an alternative administrator license, as applicable, to an individual who successfully completes the Bright New Leaders for Ohio Schools Program and satisfies rules adopted by the State Board. Appropriates up to $2 million in each fiscal year for the program through an earmark of GRF appropriation item 200550, Foundation Funding.

-Removes the requirement that the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit corporation that created and implements the Bright New Leaders for Ohio Schools Program include a provision that requires The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business to serve as fiscal agent for the corporation.

Section 263.20 Early Childhood Education: Makes a variety of changes in law regarding early childhood education programs.  The bill appropriates $60.3 million in FY16 and $70.3 million in FY17 to GRF appropriation item 200408 for the program, including an earmark of 2 percent for ODE’s administrative costs

Sections 3301.0711, 3310.03, 3310.14, 3313.612, 3313.619 Exemption from end of course exams for chartered nonpublic school students: Exempts students enrolled in a chartered nonpublic school that is accredited through the Independent School Association of the Central States (ISACS) from the state high school graduation assessment requirements and the requirement to take the high school end-of-course exams, unless the student is attending the school under a state scholarship program.

-Eliminates a provision that delays until October 1, 2015, an exemption from high school end of course exams for nonscholarship students attending a chartered nonpublic school that publishes the results of the college and career readiness assessments.

-Creates an additional pathway for high school graduation for students enrolled in a chartered nonpublic school that is not accredited through ISACS if a student attains a designated score on an alternative assessment approved by ODE and selected by the student’s school.

-Requires ODE to designate passing scores on approved assessments.

Sections 263.283, 263.620, and 610.17 State achievement assessments: Prohibits GRF appropriations from being used to purchase an assessment developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for use as the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments.

-Prohibits federal Race to the Top program funds from being used for any purpose related to the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments.

-Requires the Superintendent to verify, within 30 days after the bill’s effective date, that the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments that are administered in the 2015-2016 school year will be administered once each year, not over multiple testing windows, and in the second half of the school year, and the length of those assessments will be reduced as compared to the assessments that were administered in the 2014-2015 school year, “in order to provide more time for classroom instruction and less disruption in student learning.”

-Specifies that the restriction on state assessments being administered in the second half of a school year does not apply to a high school end-of-course exam for a course that was completed during the first semester of the school year.

-Requires, if the 2015-2016 state achievement assessments do not meet the conditions described above, the Superintendent to take the steps necessary to find and contract with one or more entities to develop and provide assessments that meet the prescribed conditions.

-Establishes deadlines for testing results to be returned to school districts.

Section 3302.02 State report card measures:  Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules to establish proficiency percentages to meet each report card indicator that is based on a state assessment.  (Under current law, adopting rules to establish such measures for the 2014-2015 school year and each school year thereafter is optional for the State Board.)

Sections 263.620, 263.640, and 690.10 Safe Harbor Provision: Changes the school year by which overall letter grades on the state report card must be first issued from the 2015-2016 school year, as under current law, to the 2016-201 school year.

-Extends by two years (through the 2016- 2017 school year) the following safe harbor provisions in effect for only the 2014-2015 school year.

-Authorizes ODE, at the discretion of the State Board, to not assign an individual grade to each component that comprises the state report card.

-Prohibits ODE from ranking school districts and schools based on operating expenditures, performance achievements, and other specified items.

-Prohibits the report card ratings from being used to determine Educational Choice Scholarship Program eligibility, community school closure, academic distress commissions, and other prescribed provisions.

-Extends by two years (through the 2015-2016 school year) a provision in effect for only the 2014-2015 school year that prohibits a district or school from utilizing a student’s score on any elementary-level state assessment or high school end-of- course exam as a factor in any decision to retain the student, promote the student to a higher grade level, or grant course credit.

-Requires each school district, community school, and STEM school to report to ODE the number of students who did not take a state achievement assessment that was administered in the 2014-2015 school year and who was not excused from taking the assessment, and to report that number as a whole and as a percentage.

Section 3302.03 High School Measure:  Permits rather than requires the ODE to develop a high school measure of student academic progress. Prohibits, if the measure is developed, a grade being assigned for it sooner than the 2017-2018 school year, and it ever being included in the overall letter grade.

Section 3313.534 Zero Tolerance: Eliminates Senate provisions related to updating zero tolerance policies.

Sections 263.530-263.540 Statewide plan on subject area competency: Requires the State Board of Education, not later than December 31, 2015, to update its statewide plan regarding methods for students to earn high school credit based on the demonstration of subject area competency to also include methods for students enrolled in 7th and 8th grade to meet curriculum requirements based on such competency. Requires school districts and community schools, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, to comply with the updated plan, and to permit students enrolled in 7th and 8th grade to meet curriculum requirements accordingly.

Sections 3313.608, Section 263.550 Administration of the reading diagnostic assessment: Requires the reading skills assessments administered annually under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee to be completed by September 30, and the kindergarten assessment to be completed by November 1st.

Section 3313.614 Graduation Pathways:  Designates three pathways to earn a diploma:  score at “remediation-free” levels in English, math, and reading on nationally standardized assessments, attain a cumulative passing score on the end-of-course examinations, or attain a passing score on a nationally recognized job skills assessment and obtain either an industry-recognized credential or a state agency or board-issued license for practice in a specific vocation. (Current law requires such students to pass all areas of the Ohio Graduation Tests in order to graduate from high school.)

-Makes eligible for high school graduation an individual who entered the ninth grade for the first time prior to July 1, 2014, and who has not passed all areas of the Ohio Graduation Tests, if the person meets a combined graduation requirement established by rules adopted by the State Board of Education. Requires the State Board to adopt such rules by December 31, 2015.

Section 3313.617 GED: Makes a variety changes in the requirements for earning a GED.

Section 3313.619 Diplomas for home-schooled and non chartered nonpublic school students: Specifies that a person who has completed the final year of instruction at home and has successfully fulfilled the high school curriculum applicable to that person may be granted a high school diploma by the person’s parent, guardian, or other person having charge or care of the person.

-Requires, beginning July 1, 2015, that a home schooled student’s diploma include either: a certification signed by the superintendent of the student’s district of residence that the student and student’s parent have fully complied with the requirements of state home instruction law or the official letter of excuse issued by the district superintendent for the student’s final year of home education.

-Requires the district superintendent to sign any diploma presented to the superintendent if the student and parent have complied with the requirements of state home instruction law.

-Specifies that a person who has graduated from a nonchartered nonpublic school in Ohio and who has successfully fulfilled that school’s high school curriculum may be granted a high school diploma by the governing authority of that school.

-Specifies that a diploma granted under these provisions serves as proof of the successful completion of that person’s applicable high school curriculum and is satisfactory to fulfill any legal requirement to show proof of graduation.

-Requires that, for the purposes of an application for employment, a diploma granted under these provisions be considered proof of completion of a high school education, regardless of whether the person to which the diploma was granted took any of the state high school achievement assessments.

Section 3313.902 Adult Diploma Pilot Program:  Makes changes to the Adult Career Opportunity Pilot Program and renames it the Adult Diploma Pilot Program. Appropriates $3.75 million in FY16 and $5 million FY17.

Sections 314.38, 3317.01, 3317.036, 3317.23, 3317.231, 3317.24, 3345.86 High school diploma programs for those age 22 and older:  Modifies the program in current law and earmarks $1.25 million in each fiscal year for payments to education entities for serving students in the program.

Section 3319.323 School District Records:  Prohibits a school district or school from altering, truncating, or redacting any part of a student’s record so that any information on the record is rendered unreadable or unintelligible during the course of transferring that record to an educational institution for a legitimate educational purpose.

Section 263.350 Straight A Program: Allocates $15 million in each fiscal year to support the program from the DPF Fund 5RBO Line Item 200644 for grants. This is a reduction from the $181.5 million requested in the Executive Budget.

Section 610.17 Online administration of assessments Senate: Amends H.B. 487 of the 130th G.A. to extend for one year (through the 2015-2016 school year), the current prohibition in effect for the 2014-2015 school year only that prohibits school districts and schools from being required to administer the state achievement assessments in an online format, permits a district or school to administer such assessments in any combination of online and paper formats at the discretion of the district board or school governing authority, and requires ODE to furnish, free of charge, all required state assessments for the school year. Specifies that school districts and schools are encouraged to administer the assessments in an online format.

Section 263.490 Ranking school districts and schools:  Temporarily, for the 2014-2015 school year only, prohibits ODE from ranking school districts, community schools, and STEM schools according to academic performance measures.

-Extends until January 31, 2016, the deadline for ODE to rank districts, community schools, and STEM schools according to expenditures for the 2014-2015 school year.

Sections 263.510, 263.520 Deadlines related to the report cards: Extends the deadline for the 2014-2015 state report card from September 15, 2015, to January 15, 2016.

-Extends until January 31, 2016, the deadline for the Department of Education’s reports regarding students with disabilities for the 2014-2015 school year.

Section 263.40 Alternative education programs:  Earmarks $500,000 each fiscal year for Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates; earmarks $1.25 million in each fiscal year for students ages 22 and above who enroll to earn a high school diploma; and earmarks $350,000 in each fiscal year to create a clearinghouse for the identification and intervention for at-risk students;

Section 263.220 Foundation funding: Allocates $3.8 million in each fiscal year to fund gifted education units at ESCs; allocates $37.95 million in FY16 and $41.4 million in FY17 for ESCs;  allocates up to $29.9 million in FY16 and up to $38 million in FY17 for school choice programs; allocates up to $11.9 million in each fiscal year to the Cleveland School District for the school choice program; allocates $500,000 each fiscal year for the College Credit Plus Program for home-instructed students; allocates $150,000 in each fiscal year to support programming at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History; allocates $930,000 in FY16 and $2 million in FY17 for the establishment of academic distress commissions.

Section 263.340 Straight A Fund/College Credit Plus Credential:  Earmarks $5 million in FY16 for the DPF Fund 5RBO line item 200644 Straight A Fund.  Earmarks $5 million in FY16 for competitive grants to universities for teachers to become credentialed for college credit plus courses. Earmarks $2 million in FY16 to the Ohio-West Virginia Youth Leadership Association for the development of The Cave Lake Center for Community; Earmarks $250,000 in FY16 to the We Can Code IT organization in Cleveland to support programming.

Section 263,330 Community School Facilities: Allocates $150 per equivalent pupil in each fiscal year for facilities related costs for brick and mortar community schools, and $25 per pupil for internet- or computer-based community schools.

Section 263.360 Lottery Profits Education Reserve Fund: Creates the Lottery Profits Education Reserve Fund (Fund 7018). Permits the OBM Director to transfer cash from Fund 7018 to the Lottery Profits Education Fund (Fund 7017) in both fiscal years.

Section 263-330 Lottery Profits Education Fund: Specifies that SLF Fund 7017 appropriation item 200612, Foundation Funding, be used in conjunction with GRF appropriation item 200550, Foundation Funding, to provide formula aid payments to school districts. Requires ODE, with the approval of the Director of Budget and Management, to determine the monthly distribution schedules of items 200550 and 200612.

Section 512.70 Medicaid Reserve Fund Balance:  Requires the OBM Director to transfer from the Medicaid Reserve Fund $72 million to the School District TPP Supplement Fund (5REO) used by the Department of Education.

Sections 321.24, 4909.161, 5705.34, 5709.92, 5709.93, 5727.031, 5727.06, 5727.11, 5727.111, 5727.15, and 5727.75, 5727.94 and 5727.09; Section 375.10 Repeal of tax on electric company generation property: Exempts electric company generation, and “other” tangible personal property that is not transmission and distribution (“T&D”) property or energy conversion equipment, from property taxation. (Under current law, the assessment rate for such property is 24 percent.) Preserves the current tax treatment of rural electric companies’ generation property. Holds local governments harmless for the loss in property tax revenue. Reimbursements will be made from the Production Equipment Property Tax Replacement Fund (Fund 7102). May increase electric utility rates for ratepayers.

-Makes adjustments to eliminate the effects of the resulting property value increases and decreases under the school funding formula, and changes how taxing units are compensated.

Sections 5709.92, 5727.84, 5727.85, 5751.20, and 5751.21 Tangible personal property tax replacement payments – schools:  Beginning in FY16, resumes the phaseout of the state’s payments to school districts that partly reimburse districts for the loss of general business and public utility tangible personal property (TPP) tax revenue based on a district’s combined general business and utility property tax replacement payments in FY15.

-Prescribes different phase-out schedules for different classes of tax levies.

-Appropriates from the Property Tax Replacement Phase Out – Education (Fund 7047) $361.8 million for FY16 and $251.6 million in FY17 for TPP reimbursement payments for school districts and JVSDs.

Section 718.04 Municipal income tax sharing with school districts:  Allows a municipal corporation that shares at least 70 percent of its territory with a school district to enter into an agreement to share municipal income tax revenue with the school district, provided that a portion of the remaining 30 percent of school district territory lay within another municipal corporation with a population of 400,000 or more. (The only municipality in Ohio with a population over 400,000 is Columbus; therefore, this provision is only applicable to those municipal corporations adjacent to Columbus.)

4)  Bills Introduced

HB269 (Smith/Latouretter) Income Tax-Sound Recording:  Authorizes a refundable income tax credit for individual investors in a sound recording production company equal to a portion of the company’s costs for a recording production or recording infrastructure project in Ohio.

FYI ARTS

Which Has the Greater Return on Investment?  Music or Football?: John R. Gerdy writes in Education Week that when resources are scare, boards of education must make funding decisions based on facts rather than anecdotal evidence, and should consider which programs will provide students with the skills and knowledge that they will need in the 21st Century.  He believes that music programs provide the broadest impact and return on investment over time for students, schools, and communities, and a growing body of research supports this view.

For example, he conducted an analysis comparing the learning experiences of students participating in football and those participating in music in the areas of student engagement; development of positive character traits such as self-discipline, teamwork, and personal responsibility; and capacity to bring people together to build community.

Although he believes that football has a place in society, he questions its place within the education system.  He found that, “When considering the broadest impact on education over the longest period of time, music programs are far superior to football programs in return on dollars invested.”

“Music produces results much more in sync with a creative, information-based global economy and world community.”

See “Football or Music? What’s the Best K-12 Investment?” by John R. Gerdy, .Education Week Commentary, June 23, 2015 at http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/06/23/football-or-music-whats-the-best-k-12.html.

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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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