Arts on Line Education Update January 9, 2017

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
January 9, 2017
Joan Platz


This Week at the Statehouse: The Ohio House and Senate have cancelled sessions this week.

The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission and its committees will meet on January 12, 2017 beginning at 9:30 AM at the Statehouse.  To see a schedule of the meetings visit

New General Assembly Convenes: The 132nd Ohio General Assembly convened on January 3, 2017 in Columbus. The Ohio House includes 66 Republicans and 33 Democrats, while the Ohio Senate includes 23 Republicans and 9 Democrats.  The Senate Republican caucus still needs to fill the 7th Senate District seat formerly held by Senator Shannon Jones, who resigned after being elected to the Warren County Commission in November 2016.

Leading the House Republican caucus are House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring, Majority Floor Leader Dorothy Pelanda, Asst. Majority Floor Leader Sarah LaTourette, Majority Whip Thomas F. Patton, and Asst. Majority Whip Robert McColley.

Leading the House Democratic caucus are Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, Asst. Minority Leader Nick J. Celebrezze, Minority Whip Nickie J. Antonio, and Asst. Minority Whip Emilia Sykes.

Leading the Senate Republican caucus are Senate President Larry Obhof, President Pro Tempore Bob Peterson, Majority Floor Leader Randy Gardner, and Majority Whip Gayle Manning.

Leading the Senate Democratic caucus are Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, Asst. Minority Leader Charleta Tavares, Minority Whip Edna Brown, and Asst. Minority Whip Cecil Thomas.

131st General Assembly Legislative Update: The 131st Ohio General Assembly adjourned sine die on December 28, 2016.  Before adjourning House and Senate Republicans considered returning after Christmas in order to override Governor Kasich’s vetoes of some bills and provisions in bills approved during the lame duck session.  But in the end lawmakers decided to take action on the vetoes in the new legislative session.

Governor Kasich vetoed HB493 (Sears-Ryan), which would have prohibited abortions after the heartbeat of the fetus is detected, and provisions in SB235 (Beagle-Coley) that would give energy companies $264 million in tax credits; give a tax exemption to the digital jukebox industry; and carryover appropriations for sporting events.

The governor also vetoed two bills:

  • HB554 (Amstutz) would have delayed for two years Ohio’s renewable energy standards.
  • SB329 (Faber) would have established a process to automatically sunset executive branch state agencies after four years, unless the agencies were reapproved by the legislature.  Currently the legislature reviews state agencies every two years when they consider their budgets.

The governor also signed into law the following education-related bills:

  • SB235 (Beagle, Coley)  Industrial/Commercial Development Tax Exemption – Unemployment Compensation:  Although Governor Kasich vetoed some provisions of SB235 (see above), he signed into law on December 27, 2016 a controversial provision relating to tax exemptions for property being developed, and changes to Ohio’s unemployment compensation system.
  • HB384 (Schaffer, Duffey) Higher Education Audits:  Governor Kasich signed this bill into law on January 4, 2017.  The law allows higher education institutions to undergo performance audits by the state auditor’s office. The law 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, and were also vetoed by the governor.
  • HB410 (Rezabek, Hayes) Habitual and Chronic Truancy-National Guard Scholarship:  Governor Kasich signed this bill into law on January 4, 2017.  The law 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.
  • HB438 (Patterson) Public Education Week-Organ Donation Curriculum:  Governor Kasich signed this bill into law on January 4, 2017.  The law designates the week prior to week of Thanksgiving Day as “Ohio Public Education Appreciation Week.”  The law also requires the health curricula to include information about organ donation; changes the formula used by the Ohio School Facilities Commission to calculate state contributions for school construction projects to benefit school districts that have merged; provides an evaluation process for school counselors; and streamlines the bidding period for the sale of district school buildings.
  • SB3 (Hite, Faber) High Performing School Districts:  Governor Kasich signed the bill into law on December 15, 2016.

The law exempts about 18 “qualified” high-performing school districts from certain laws; 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 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 also included in the law:

  • Incorporates three other bills:  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



New Congress Takes Office:  The 115th Congress of the United States convened on January 3, 2017 in Washington, D.C.  The U.S. Senate membership includes 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats, while the U.S. House of Representatives includes 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats.

House and Senate Republican leaders have proposed an active agenda to start 2017, including the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), revising the U.S. tax code, and repealing many regulations enacted by the Obama administration associated with the environment and the banking industry.

The U.S. Senate will also be busy with confirmation hearings for President Elect Trump’s choices for cabinet positions and whoever is appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

President Obama will give his farewell address on January 10, 2017 in McCormick Place in Chicago.  President-Elect Trump will take the oath of office on January 20, 2017.

House Republicans Tackle Rule-Making: House Republicans approved last week two bills to overhaul the rule making process.

Republican lawmakers have long opposed certain regulations enacted by the Obama administration, including regulations about overtime, ESSA accountability requirements, changes in retirement account commissions, and blacklisting those who violate federal contracts. The two bills would take some rule-making authority away from the executive branch and make it easier to repeal regulations.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act of 2017 (H.R. 26) would require Congress to approved all new major regulations proposed by the executive branch of government.

The House also approved the Midnight Rules Relief Act, which would allow Congress to repeal any rules finalized in the last 60 days of a president’s term of office with a single vote.  Currently the Congressional Review Act allows Congress to overturn regulations one by one.

Both bills must be approved by the Senate and signed into law before they go into effect.

President Obama has said that he will veto the bills, but he probably won’t get a chance before President-Elect Trump takes office.  The President Elect supports the bills.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have been especially outspoken in their opposition to the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to formulate rules to implement “supplement, not supplant” (SNS) rules under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The “SNS” provision ensures that federal Title I funds are not used to replace state and local funds for education in schools serving low-income students.

The rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Education outline several formulas that school districts could use to show that they are not replacing state and local funds with federal funds.

But opponents of the rule, which include some national education organizations and Republican lawmakers, contend that the law prohibits the U.S. DOE from requiring local schools to demonstrate compliance beyond what the law already dictates.

The changes in the rule making process would address what Republic lawmakers consider to be “overreach” by the U.S. Department of Education under the Obama administration.


Hearings on Betsy DeVos Set for January 11, 2017: Senate confirmation hearings on President-Elect Donald Trump’s controversial candidate for U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, are scheduled to begin on January 11, 2017 in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander. This is in spite of the fact that financial disclosure information and other background information for the candidate is incomplete.

Betsy DeVos is a billionaire Republican from Michigan, and until recently, was the chair of the American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy group that worked to promote charter schools and vouchers in several states, including Ohio.

Several Democratic Senators, including Senators Tom Udall (NM), Ed Markey (MA), Bernie Sanders (VT), and Sherrod Brown (OH), have signed a letter asking DeVos to pay $5.3 million in fines that an organization that she formerly led, All Children Matter, Inc., owes Ohio, after the Ohio Elections Commission found it in violation of campaign finance laws in 2008.

See “Senate schedules confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, Turmp’s pick for education secretary,” by Emma Brown, The Washington Post, January 4, 2017 at



The State Board of Education will meet on January 9, 2017 at the Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front Street in Columbus.

The first order of business of the 19-member board will be the swearing in of newly elected and appointed members.

The State Board includes 11 elected members and 8 members appointed by the governor.  The four year terms of both elected and appointed members are staggered.

The newly elected members include Linda Haycock from District 1; Lisa Woods from District 5; Antoinette Miranda from District 6; Nick Owens from District 10; and Meryl Johnson from District 11.

Members appointed by the governor include Charlotte McGuire of Centerville to replace A.J. Wagner, who resigned the District 3 seat in November 2016; Eric Poklar from Worthington to replace Melanie Bolender; and Martha Manchester of Lakeview to replace Frank Pettigrew. Both Bolender and Petigrew were eligible for reappointment.  The governor also reappointed Rebecca Vazquez-Skillings of Westerville to the board.


The governor also is expected to replace C. Todd Jones, an appointed member whose term expired on December 31, 2016.  According to The Columbus Dispatch, Jones can continue to serve on the Board until his replacement is named.  (See “Kasich names incumbent, 3 new members to state education board,” by Catherine Candisky, The Columbus Dispatch, January 7, 2017 at

The Board will also elect new leadership.  Tim Gunlock, who has served as president for the past two years, said recently that he will not run for the position this year.  The current vice president is Tess Elshoff.

The Board will also receive updates from Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria about the Ohio Leadership Advisory Council (OLAC), the revised math and English language arts standards, graduation requirements, and establishing an Ohio Post-secondary Credential Attainment Goal.

During its business meeting, the State Board will take action on the following resolutions:

#4 Approve a Resolution to Adopt Updated Rule 3301-102-07 of the Administrative Code Regarding Revocation of Sponsorship Authority.

#14 Approve a Resolution to Allow the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District Board of Education’s Payment in Lieu of Transportation of Certain Students Attending Miami Valley Christian Academy, The Seven Hills School, The Springer School and Center, St. Ursula Villa School, and Summit Country Day School in Hamilton, County, Ohio.

#15 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Approve Changes to Sections (F) and (G) of the Board’s Policies and Procedure Manual.

#16 Approve a Resolution to Adopt a Framework for the Overall Grade for the Career-Technical Education Report Card.

#17 Approve a Resolution of Intent to Refer the Jonathon Alder Local School District’s Determination of Impractical Transportation of Certain Students attending St. Brigid of Kildare School in Franklin County, Ohio to a Hearing Officer.


Ohio’s ESSA Plan: The Ohio Department of Education is expected to release soon a summary of a proposed plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.  The summary will be followed by a more detailed draft plan to be released in February 2017, which will be open for public comment.  The deadline to submit Ohio’s ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education has been extended to April 3, 2017.  The plan is still expected to go into effect for the 2017-18 school year.


Survey Deadline January 9, 2017: The Ohio Department of Education’s survey regarding the update of Ohio’s Learning Standards in science, social studies, and financial literacy closes on Monday, January 9, 2017 at midnight.  The survey is the first step in a process to gather initial feedback about the current standards.  The comments will be used by advisory groups and work groups of teachers and other educators to revise the standards over the next year.  The survey is available at

Local Governments Lose $1 Billion: Policy Matters Ohio released on January 3, 2017 a new study about state funding cuts to local governments over the past seven years.

According to the report entitled State Cuts Sting Ohio Localities by Wendy Patton, compared to 2010, local governments in Ohio have lost $1.176 billion in revenue adjusted for inflation.

Local governments include counties, municipalities, and townships.

The loss in revenue is due to state policy decisions, including the elimination of the estate tax, ending reimbursements for the loss of tangible personal property tax revenue, and a 50 percent cut in the state-funded Local Government Fund.

As a result, local governments have had to cut programs and services in their communities.  According to the report, “The cuts have slowed recovery in communities hit by the foreclosure crisis, shuttered recreation centers in others, eroded human services like Meals on Wheels and children’s services, caused hikes in fees for services from trash pickup to swimming pools, driven privatization of critical services and left local officials with diminished ability to maintain streets and roads.”

The report also notes that other funding sources, such as casinos and the Medicaid provider tax, have not produced enough revenue to replace the lost revenue for some local governments.

Policy Matters recommends restoring the Local Government Fund, because local governments are facing new challenges, including a statewide drug epidemic; changes in the Medicaid provider tax, which will reduce sales tax revenue; increased costs for maintaining infrastructure; and municipal tax revisions.

The report also recommends the following:

  • Retain the Managed Care Organization (MCO) tax or replace lost revenues to counties and transit.
  • Increase spending for public transit.
  • Restore the estate tax on estates worth over a million dollars.
  • Increase the state share of health and human services costs, children’s services, community mental health and addiction treatments.




Education Week Releases Annual State Education Report: The annual Education Week report which rates state education systems was released on January 4, 2017.

This year the report is entitled, Quality Counts 2017:  Under Construction–Building, and includes overall summative grades for state education systems using a 100 point scale based on scores in three categories:  Chance for Success Index, School Finance, and K-12 Achievement Index.

This year’s report also features articles on how states plan to implement the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in the 2017-18 school year. The report examines some of the decisions that some states have already made about their ESSA plans, including how states will determine school quality or student success beyond test scores, and the capacity of states to implement the new law.

According to the report, the nation’s state education systems earned this year an average score of 74.2 points (C) out of a total of 100 points.  This score is similar to the national average last year of 74.4 points.

The state systems earning the highest scores are Massachusetts (86.5 – B), followed by New Jersey (85.6 – B), Vermont (83.8 – B), New Hampshire (83.4 – B), Maryland (82.8 – B), and Connecticut (82.7 – B).

The state systems earning the lowest scores are New Mexico (66.3 – D), Mississippi (65.8 – D), and Nevada (65 – D).

Most states (34) earned a C ranking, including Ohio.

The report also grades states in the three categories, and provides updated information in two of the categories, the Chance for Success Index and School Finance:

Chance for Success Index:  Massachusetts and New Hampshire earned an A- on the Chance for Success Index, which is based on 13 indicators that measure role of education in promoting positive outcomes for students throughout their lives.  The nation earned an average C- in this category.

School Finance:  Scores for state School Finance systems were updated based on 2014 data.  This category examines state spending on education and equity in funding across districts based on 8 indicators.  Overall the nation earned a C, which has not changed in over 7 years.  Wyoming earned the highest score of A-, while New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Maryland all earned a B+.  The state with the lowest average score was Idaho, with an F, but 24 other states also earned an “F” in the spending category.  The nation’s average per pupil spending is $12,156 after adjusting for regional differences.  Vermont spends the most at $19,654 per student.

K-12 Achievement Index:  The K-12 Achievement Index was last updated in 2016 based on scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).  It includes 18 indicators about student academic achievement, improvement, and poverty-based gaps.  The national average was a C-. Massachusetts earned a B and New Jersey earned a B-,  Most other states earned less than a C+ in this category.

Status of Ohio’s School System:  Ohio’s state school system earned 74.2 points for an overall “C” rating, and placed 22nd among the states and the District of Columbia.

Ohio’s school system was ranked 23rd last year, but had scored 5th in the nation in 2010.

Ohio earned a C+ (78.1) on the Chance for Success Index; a C (73.8) on the School Finance analysis; and a C- (70.7) for K-12 Achievement.




Symposium on ESSA:  The Arts Education Partnership, Americans for the Arts, the Education Commission of the States, and the Kennedy Center will host a State Policy Symposium on March 18, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

The symposium will provide an opportunity for arts education advocates to discuss implementation strategies for the Every Student Succeeds Act to maximize the law’s intent to ensure that students have access to a quality, well-rounded education, that includes the arts!

Registration for the symposium opens on January 11, 2017.  For more information see

Arts On Line keeps arts education advocates informed about issues dealing with the arts, education, policy, research, and opportunities.

The distribution of this information is made possible through the generous support of the Ohio Music Education Association (, Ohio Art Education Association (, Ohio Educational Theatre Association (; OhioDance (, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (


About OAAE

Since our founding in 1974, by Dr. Dick Shoup and Jerry Tollifson, our mission has always been to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Working at the local, state, and federal levels through the efforts of a highly qualified and elected Board of Directors, our members, and a professional staff we have four primary areas of focus: building collaborations, professional development, advocacy, and capacity building. The OAAE is funded in part for its day-to-day operation by the Ohio Arts Council. This support makes it possible for the OAAE to operate its office in Columbus and to work statewide to ensure the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. Support for arts education projects comes from the Ohio Arts Council, Ohio Music Education Association, Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Educational Theatre Association, VSA Ohio, and OhioDance. The Community Arts Education programs of Central Ohio are financially assisted by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and the Greater Columbus Arts Council. We gratefully acknowledge and appreciate the financial support received from each of these outstanding agencies and organizations.
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