The State Board of Education approved on April 13, 2015, by a vote of 11-7, revised Administrative Code Rules 3301-35-01 through 10, entitled Standards for School Districts and Schools Kindergarten Through Twelfth Grade, also known as “operating standards”.
The controversial standards changed Rules 3301-35-05(A)(3) Educational Service Personnel and 3301-35-01(B)(13) Definitions, Educational Service Personnel, known as the “five of eight” rule, and eliminated the requirement that boards of education employ five of eight educational service personnel per 1000 students in the areas of school nurse, social worker, counselor, visiting teacher, and elementary art, music, and physical education teacher.
The new rule that replaced the “five of eight rule” directs boards of education to employ educational service personnel, but does not require a specific teacher/student ratio per area; requires that educational service personnel in the areas of fine arts, including music and physical education, hold the multi-age license for the subjects they are teaching; and expands the definition of educational service personnel to include more school employees.
As a result of negotiations about the elimination of the student teacher ratios, the new rule also directed the State Board of Education’s Accountability Committee to develop a method to report on the state report card the total number of educational service personnel employed in each area by district, school, and state, and per 1000 or less students.
The 2015-16 report cards now include a table entitled “Educators in your District” with information about educational service personnel. The information is located under District Details, which is located on the Home page of the district report card.
After clicking District Details, the “Educators in your District” table is toward the bottom of the page.
The table includes the number of educators; the percent of educators per 1000 students; and the state average percent of educators per 1000 students. Information is provided about general educators, school counselors, school nurses, library or media specialists, school social workers, gifted intervention specialists, fine arts teachers, music teachers, physical education teachers, etc.
This new report card feature provides a “baseline” for determining the number of educators per area of teaching and per 1000 students, and will enable arts education advocates to monitor the number of arts and music teachers in school districts in future years. This is important information to know, because the new rule will be up for review in five years. If there is a decrease in the number of arts and music teachers, this information could be used to change the rule.