Arts on Line Education Update December 12, 2016

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
Joan Platz
December 12, 2016

 

 

131st GENERAL ASSEMBLY

The Ohio House and Senate have not officially adjourned “sine die” the 131st General Assembly, but have not scheduled sessions this week. There might be a chance that Governor Kasich vetoes one or more bills passed last week by the House and Senate, and lawmakers want to make sure that they can re-convene to over-ride any veto.

A few committees are meeting, including the Joint Education Oversight Committee, which will meet on December 15, 2016, at 9:00 AM in the South Hearing Room.  The committee will receive presentations about school transportation and teacher preparation programs in Southeast Ohio.

Legislative Update:  The Ohio House and Senate completed work on a number of bills that run the gamut from abortion restrictions to unemployment compensation, and sent them off to Governor Kasich to sign. In fact Christmas arrived early for some lobbyists, as lawmakers added controversial provisions to bills already passed by one chamber, speeding-up the legislative process.

The number of significant changes in education law, relating to teacher licensing, suspensions, truancy, graduation requirement, and assessments, will take time to register, and will require school districts and schools to make significant changes in how they operate.

The following is a summary of some of the education-related bills that were approved and have been sent to the governor to sign into law.

-Sub. HB493 (Sears, Ryan) Child Abuse Legislation:  The original bill would clarify the role of a health-care professional in reporting child abuse or neglect.

With little warning this bill was amended on the floor of the Senate to include the controversial “heartbeat” bill, HB69 (Hagen, Hood), which would prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which occurs around the 6th week of pregnancy.

After heated procedural challenges were found out of order by Senate President Keith Faber, the Senate approved the bill with all Democrats and three Republican Senators, Gayle Manning, Bill Seitz, and Bill Coley, voting against it.

Later the Ohio House concurred with the Senate amendments, and the bill was sent to Governor Kasich to sign.

House and Senate lawmakers have been debating bills that include this provision for years, but Democratic lawmakers were surprised when a heartbeat bill was amended into a bill with a completely different subject. Similar laws restricting abortion have been struck down in other states as unconstitutional.   But Ohio Republicans were emboldened by the election of Donald Trump, who as president will appoint the next member of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Republicans hope that a more conservative court will overturn Roe v. Wade, and make abortion a state by state decision.

Opponents of the heartbeat provision are urging Governor Kasich to veto it, saying that it will cost the state millions to defend it in the courts.  The bill includes an appropriation, so the governor could use a “line-item” veto to eliminate this provision.

-Sub. SB235 (Beagle, Coley) Industrial/Commercial development-tax exemption:  The House Finance Committee decorated this bill like a Christmas tree, including a variety of amendments “associated” with “tax policy.”

The bill was already controversial, and was opposed by most statewide education organizations, because of its potential impact on the ability of local school districts to raise local revenue.

The original bill would allow local government authorities to grant a temporary tax exemption for land planned for industrial or commercial development, thus freezing the value of the property, and preventing taxing authorities, such as school districts, from receiving increased revenue as the property value increased.

The House Finance Committee amended the bill to clarify that the development property has to be part of an existing tax increment financing district (TIF), and that authorities considering taking advantage of this provision must notify boards of education and other local government agencies of their intent.

The committee also adopted an “omnibus amendment” that included a variety of unrelated provisions dealing with pawnbrokers; wandering chickens; oversight of rock wall climbing facilities; tax exemptions on digital jukebox downloads, TV series productions, oil and gas production, and small business investment companies; hospital board meetings using telecommunications; water and sewer development in Stark County, and more.

The committee also amended the bill to include changes in the unemployment compensation fund (UCF).  The changes were negotiated among lawmakers after opponents halted action on HB620 (Schuring) Unemployment Compensation Fund Reform.

The compromise amendment provides a temporary solution to improve the solvency of the UCF until April 1, 2016, when lawmakers and labor and business leaders agreed to work out a permanent solvency plan.

The UCF amendment would freeze unemployment benefits for two years starting in 2018, and increase from $9000 to $9500 the employer taxable wage base.  Also repealed is an automatic tax increase on businesses that would go into effect if the state has to borrow from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits in the state, which happened during the last recession.

The Senate approved the House amendments on December 8, 2016, sending the bill to Governor Kasich to sign.

-Sub. HB410 (Rezabek, Hayes) Habitual and Chronic Truancy and Compulsory School Attendance. The bill mandates new reporting requirements for school districts when students are truant, and requires some schools to create absence intervention teams and plans for truant students to increase school attendance.

The bill was approved by the Ohio Senate after the Senate Education Committee added the following amendments:

-Exempts school districts and schools with rates of chronically absent students 5 percent or less;

-Prohibits student suspensions from being carried over the summer;

-Permits districts to allow students to make-up courses as a result of suspensions;

-Changes the effective date of the law;

-Creates a pilot project for intervention teams;

-Requires schools to create tiered discipline models; and

-Changes a deadline for an attendance officer to file truancy complaints with the courts.

The House concurred with the amendments, sending the bill to the governor to sign into law.

-Am. HB438 (Patterson) Public Education Appreciation Week: The original bill would designate the week prior to week of Thanksgiving Day as “Ohio Public Education Appreciation Week.”

The Senate Education Committee added two unrelated bills, HB137 (Grossman, Phillips) and HB148 (Patterson, LaTourette).

HB137 would require health curricula to include information on organ donation.

HB148 would change the formula used by the Ohio School Facilities Commission to calculate state contributions for school construction projects to benefit school districts that have merged.

The committee also accepted two other amendments. One would provide an evaluation process for school counselors, and the other amendment would streamline the bidding period for the sale of district school buildings.

The House concurred with the amendments, sending the bill to Governor Kasich to sign.

-Am. SB3 (Hite, Faber) High Performing School Districts:  The House Education Committee added several amendments to this bill before it was approved by the full House and Senate, and sent on to Governor Kasich to sign.

The original bill would exempt about 18 “qualified” high-performing school districts from certain laws.

“Qualified” school districts are defined as those that meet the following criteria:

-Earn at least 85 percent of total possible points on the performance index score;

-Earn a grade of “A” for performance indicators met;

-Demonstrate a four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 93 percent; and -Demonstrate a five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 95 percent.

The bill exempts these school districts from meeting the state’s maximum class-size ratio of 25 students-per-teacher across a district; exempts them from meeting teacher requirements under the third-grade reading guarantee; and exempts them from laws that affect teacher licenses:

-Section 3302.16 (A)(4) exempts high performing school districts from requiring teachers to be licensed specifically in the subject area or grade level in which they are teaching.

-Section §3302.16 (B) (1) allows 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.”

The original bill also reduces standardized testing time to no more than 2 percent of the school year with no more than 1 percent of the year spent on practice tests; permits school districts to contract with hospitals, health care professionals, and educational service centers for school health services; revises the competitive bidding threshold for school building and repair contracts; and requires the School Facilities Commission to develop a legislative proposal assisting high-performing school districts in purchasing technology, building expansion, and physical alterations to improve school safety or security.

Additional amendments to the bill require an unlicensed teacher to “register” with the Ohio Department of Education and pass a criminal background check; prohibit school districts from hiring unlicensed teachers that have committed felonies and sex crimes; change the effective date of the law to the 2017-18 school year; and specify that the duration of exemptions earned by qualified school districts is three years.

The following are just some of the unrelated amendments added to the bill:

-Incorporates three other bills into SB3:  HB487 (Roegner) Seal of Biliteracy, HB441 (McColley) Allow Private School Students to Play Sports in School Districts, and HB416 (Schuring) Joint Self-Insurance Pools for Colleges and Universities

-Exempts the Nationwide Arena from property taxes.  The Columbus City Schools had already agreed to this provision, and will receive about $500,000 a year in lieu of the property taxes.

-Provides the auditor with permissive authority for conducting performance audits of educational service centers

-Gives priority to students to enroll in a charter school in which a parent also works, but limits enrollment to five percent of the total enrollment

-Addresses errors in 2012-2014 affecting the Granville and Clearfork local schools

-Allows career-tech students to take an ODE approved career-based math course in lieu of Algebra II

-Specifies the proficiency scores on the Advanced Placement as a score of two and International Baccalaureate exams as a score of two or three, which can be substituted for end of course exams

-Extends eligibility status for students currently receiving EdChoice scholarships through the 2018-2019 school year

-Identifies the conditions for exemption from the statewide administration of the SAT or ACT

-Requires school districts to notify students of advanced educational programs beginning in sixth grade rather than in eighth grade

-Expands the grade levels in STEM schools to K-12

-Requires the ODE to accept an industry-recognized credential as an acceptable measure of technical skill attainment

-Specifies that exemptions from teacher license requirements do not apply to special education teachers

-Changes the requirements of a school district superintendent regarding the high school diploma of students who are homeschooled

-Modifies the law regarding the Bright New Leaders of Ohio nonprofit corporation

-Modifies the definition of “immediate relatives” for membership on community school governing boards to include in-laws residing in the same household as the person serving on the governing authority.  Current law prohibits members of community school governing boards from being an owner, employee, or consultant of the community school’s sponsor or operator within the last year.

-Allows boards of education to elect not to conduct an evaluation of a teacher who is participating in the teacher residency program

-Prescribes components of a teacher residency program for career-technical teachers in the third and forth year of the program

-Allows superintendents to permit a student enrolled in a nonpublic school to participate in an extracurricular activity under certain conditions

-Changes membership requirements for Joint Vocational School Districts

-Exempts certain students from college and career readiness assessments

-HB384 (Schaffer, Duffey) Performance Audits Higher Education Institutions:  The Senate Finance Committee on December 6, 2016 approved several amendments to HB384, which would allow higher education institutions to undergo performance audits by the state auditor’s office. The bill also includes a series of tax law changes that were included in an “omnibus amendment.”  Some of the amendments were similar to those added to SB235.

The House concurred with the Senate amendments, sending the bill to the governor to sign.

See the text and status of the bills at the Ohio Legislative Service Commissions’ website at http://www.lsc.ohio.gov

See “Chickens, climbing walls loaded into Ohio legislators’ lame-duck “Christmas tree’ bill,”by Jim Siegel, The Columbus Dispatch, December 7, 2016 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/07/chickens-climbing-walls-loaded-into-christmas-tree-bill.html

See “Temporary fix for jobless fund rolled out, many questions remain,” by Catherine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch, December 6, 2016 at http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2016/12/05/jobless-fund-bill-on-shaky-ground.html

 

 

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION

The State Board of Education, Tom Gunlock president, will meet on December 12 & 13, 2016 at the Ohio Department of Education, 25 South Front Street, Columbus, OH.

This will be the final meeting for seven board members, whose terms end on December 31, 2016.  They include elected board members A.J. Wagner, who recently resigned; Ann Jacobs, Mary Rose Oakar, and Mike Collins, who are term-limited; Ron Rudduck, who did not seek a second term; and Roslyn Painter-Goffi, who lost her bid for re-election.  The term of C. Todd Jones, an appointed member to the board, will also end on December 31, 2016.

The terms of Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings, Melanie Bolender, and Frank Pettigrew expire on December 31, 2016, but they are eligible for reappointment by Governor Kasich.

On Monday, December 12, 2016 the committee meetings will start at 8:00 AM and run consecutively, breaking for lunch and resuming at 1:00 PM.

There will be a Chapter 119 hearing on Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-16-02:  Criteria for Awarding the Diploma with Honors, followed by an Executive Committee meeting to discuss the professional development recommendations.

The Urban & Rural Renewal Committee and the Accountability Committee will meet at the same time, followed by the Achievement Committee and the Capacity Committee.

The Urban and Rural Renewal Committee, chaired by Mary Rose Oakar, will discuss the ESSA stakeholder summary, which was presented to the board last month.

The Accountability Committee, chaired by Melanie Bolender, will discuss and approve the overall grade calculation for the Career-Technical Report Card.

The Achievement Committee, chaired by Rebecca Vazquez-Skilling, will discuss exemptions for students with limited English proficiency.

The Capacity Committee, chaired by Frank Pettigrew, will discuss OAC Rule 3301-102-07, Revocation of Community School Sponsorship Authority, and receive a presentation about Teach for America.

The State Board will convene its business meeting at 1:00 PM and receive three presentations. Dr. Joseph Keferi, Dean, College of Education and Human Services, Wright State University, will discuss the Pax Good Behavior Game; Montgomery County ESC officials will discuss data; and the committee will receive an overview of the Gifted Education rules, OAC 3301-51-15.

The board will then move into Executive Session and adjourn when finished.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2016 the Standards & Graduation Requirements Committee, chaired by C. Todd Jones, will meet at 8:00 AM and review an update of the English language arts and math standards.

The committee will also discuss a proposal to temporarily ease Ohio’s new high school graduation requirements, offered last month by SBE Vice President Tess Elshoff.  The proposal would require students in the Class of 2018 to earn 15 points on end of course exams.  The number of end of course test points required to graduate would increase by one point each year until it reached 18 in 2022. The requirement that the points be earned in different subjects would be waived until 2022.

The proposal was developed in response to reports from superintendents and educators about the number of high school students who are not on track to graduate, because of the stricter requirements.  According to the ODE’s own preliminary analysis, 29 percent of 11th grade students are not on track to graduate in 2018.

The graduation standards for the Class of 2018 and beyond were approved by the legislature in 2014.  In addition to meeting certain course requirements in law, Ohio students in the Class of 2018 can earn a high school diploma in the following three ways:

1) Earn 18 points on 7 end of course exams in English I and English II; algebra I and geometry or integrated math I and II; biology; and American history and American government. Students must earn a minimum of four points in math, four points in English, and six points across science and social studies.

Students studying Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses in biology, American history, or American government can substitute test scores in these subjects for end of course state exams.  Students also may substitute grades from College Credit Plus courses in science and social studies subjects for end of course state exams.

2) Earn a “remediation-free” score on a college entrance exam, such as the ACT or the SAT, in English language arts and mathematics.

3) Earn an industry credential and workforce readiness certificate.  Students are required to earn 12 points through a State Board of Education approved industry-recognized credential or group of credentials in a single career field, and achieve a workforce readiness score on the WorkKeys assessment.

Following the Standards and Graduation Requirements Committee meeting the board will reconvene its business meeting, which includes public participation on voting items; voting on the report and recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; public participation on non-agenda items; old business; and new business.  The board will then adjourn.

Report and Recommendations of the Superintendent of Public Instruction:

1)  Approve a Resolution to Rescind Rule 3301-40-01 through 3301-40-02 and 3301-40-06 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC); to Amend Rules 3301-40-03 and 3301-40-05; and to Make No Change to Rules 3301-40-04 and 3301-40-07, Entitled Nonpublic Schools Administrative Cost Reimbursement.

2)  Approve a Resolution to Rescind Existing Rule and Adopt New OAC Rule 3301-51-15, Entitled Operating Standards for Identifying and Serving Students Who Are Gifted.

3)  Approve a Resolution to Adopt Updated Rules 3301-102-02 through 3301-102-05 of the OAC Regarding Community Schools.

4)  Approve a Resolution to Rescind OAC Rule 3301-102-08 and File New OAC Rule  3301-102-08, Entitled Standards for Measuring Sponsor Compliance with Applicable Laws and Rules.

12) Approve a Resolution to Confirm the Recommendations of the Hearing Officer and to Approve the Transfer of School District Territory from the Benjamin Local School District, Logan County to the Triad Local School District, Champaign County, Pursuant to Section 3311.24 of the Ohio Revised Code, but not until such time as the Territory Boundaries are Re-configured to Conform with Existing Property/Parcel Boundaries and that a Map of the Territory is Resubmitted Clearly Delineating the Property/Parcels Encompassed within the Territory.

See http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Meetings

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Government Shutdown Averted: The U.S. House and Senate agreed on December 9, 2016 to a continuing resolution to keep the government running until April 28, 2017.  The measure also authorizes water projects, and includes provisions to extend health insurance to retired coal miners for four months.

Senate Democrats led by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, and Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, hoped to find a permanent solution for more than 23,000 retired and active coal miners, who could lose health benefits in the next few months.  The coal miners had worked for mining companies that have since gone bankrupt, or are out of coal-mining business, and their health care plans are running out of money. Coal miners were guaranteed lifetime health and retirement benefits under President Harry S. Truman in 1946.

The continuing resolution also includes a provision that exempts retired General James Mattis, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of defense, from a law that requires that former members of the military wait seven years after they leave the military before being hired to work in another government post.

See “Senate approves spending bill minutes before deadline, averting government shutdown, by Kelsey Snell, The Washington Post, December 9, 2016 at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/12/09/red-state-democrats-flirt-with-a-brief-government-shutdown-over-coal-miners-healthcare/?utm_term=.150d0c129df4

SSAE Webinars Offered: The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) is offering the following series of webinars for school and district leaders who want to take advantage of the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA) Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grant program under Title IV:

-January 12, 2017: Overview of the Department of Education Non-Regulatory Guidance: Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) Grants

-January 26, 2017: The role of state educational agencies, local application requirements, and implementing effective SSAE program activities

-February 9, 2017: Allowable activities to support well-rounded educational opportunities, safe and healthy students, and the effective use of technology.

The purpose of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) program, which is authorized under subpart 1 of Title IV, Part A of ESSA, is to increase the capacity of State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), schools, and local communities to: provide all students with access to a well-rounded education; improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.

In October 2016, the U.S. DOE released non-regulatory guidance for SSAE, which provides key information about the provisions of the new SSAE program, including a discussion on the allowable use of funds, role of the SEA, fiscal responsibilities, and the local application requirements.

The Webinar series will share information from the Non-Regulatory Guidance.

All webinars will be held from 2:00 to 3:30 PM eastern time.

Recordings and slides of each Webinar will be posted within a week of the event, and the responses to questions will be posted as soon as possible.

See https://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/resources/essa-title-iv-part-A-SSAE-non-regulatory-guidance-webinar-series

 

 

OHIO NEWS

State Revenue Down in Ohio: Governor John Kasich addressed the Ohio House on December 6, 2016 and reported that the state was “on the verge of a recession.”

A combination of lower than estimated tax revenue and the loss of $1.5 billion in sales tax revenue from Medicaid managed care organizations, could lead to an austere FY2018-19 state budget.

The General Revenue Fund has been running below estimates by 2.8 percent or $259 million so far this year.

The downward trend is a concern for state leaders in the long term, although the state has resources to balance the budget this fiscal year, which ends on June 30, 2016.

The Akron Beacon Journal responded to the governor’s projection in an editorial on December 11, 2016.  In it the newspaper cites that the National Association for Business Economics predicts growth in the national economy at least until 2018.  Ohio’s recent economic growth has been steady, but slower than the national average.

The newspaper offers another reason why tax revenue is below estimates.  The General Assembly under Republican control and the Kasich administration have reduced tax rates by “roughly one-third” over the past six years.  The amount of revenue foregone by tax cuts is about $3 billion per year.

According to the article, “A fraction of that sum would cover the current shortfall in revenue. Reduce the tax reductions by half, and the state would have more resources available to invest in the foundation of a strong economy–in early education, in more affordable college tuition rates, in local services and learning in poor rural and urban classrooms.”

The article asks “What is the governor admitting?” and suggests that perhaps lawmakers and the governor have “cut taxes too much.”

See “They cut taxes and now a recession?  The governor projects a recession for the state,” by the Beacon Journal Editorial Board, The Akron Beacon Journal, December 11, 2016 at http://www.ohio.com/editorial/editorials/they-cut-taxes-and-now-a-recession-1.732897

The Ohio Department of Education App: The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced on December 6, 2016 a new app to navigate the ODE’s web site.

The app provides access to ODE resources including report card information, updates and notifications, and can contact schools directly.

The app is available free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store by searching for “Ohio Department of Education.”

 

 

FYI ART

Plan to Participate in the Vans Custom Culture Contest: The Vans Custom Culture shoe design contest was created to “inspire and empower high school students to embrace their creativity through art and design and to bring attention to diminishing arts education budgets.”

Students in participating schools create a customized design on a pair of blank Vans Shoes based on a specific theme, and submit their designs between March 1 and April 10, 2017.

Fifty designs are selected to compete for the top five school designs, which are selected by the voting public, and go on to compete in the final event.

The schools with the top five designs are invited to a judging in Los Angeles on June 5-8, 2017, when the school selected with the top design will win $50,000 for its art program.

Registration for the 2017 Vans Custom Culture Contest begins on January 3, 2017 and runs through February 10, 2017. Designs must be submitted between April 26 – May 10, 2017.

See http://sites.vans.com/customculture/


Arts On Line serves 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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