Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
January 23, 2017
132nd OHIO GENERAL ASSEMBLY
This Week at the Statehouse: Both the Ohio House and Senate will meet on January 25, 2017 at 1:30 PM.
The first meeting of the Controlling Board for this legislative session will take place on January 23, 2017 at 1:30 PM in the South Hearing Room.
Members include Senators Bill Coley (R-West Chester), Scott Oelslager (R- Canton), and Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus); and Representatives Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell), Scott Ryan (R-Newark), and Jack Cera (D- Bellaire).
The Controlling Board is established in law to provide legislative oversight over certain capital and operating expenditures by state agencies, and has authority over other state fiscal activities.
At this meeting the board will consider 78 items, including funding requests from the Attorney General’s Office, state universities and community colleges, the Department of Higher Education, the Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Facilities Commission, and more.
New President Takes Office: President Trump was sworn into office on January 20, 2017 becoming the 45th President of the United States.
In his inaugural address the President presented a rather bleak picture of the United States, describing mothers and children trapped in poverty, rusted out factories, “an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge,” and crime, gangs, and drugs.
He pledged to “…rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people,” and decreed a new vision to govern the land… “America first”!
The speech is available at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/20/donald-trumps-full-inauguration-speech-transcript-annotated/?hpid=hp_rhp-bignews4_fix-annotated-1242pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&tid=a_inl&utm_term=.47736635ac70
ESSA’s SNS Rules Withdrawn: The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) withdrew its draft rule for “supplement, not supplant” (SNS) under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on January 17, 2017 to the cheers of many Republican lawmakers, national education organizations, and local school leaders. Civil rights advocates were less happy, because they supported the rule, which they believe better ensures that schools that serve poor students receive their fair share of federal, state, and local funds.
The controversial draft rule was released back in August in 2016, but time ran out for the Obama Administration to issue a final rule, which will be tasked to the new Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.
The proposed rule provided school districts with options for showing that federal Title I funds for poor schools were not supplanting local and state funding for schools.
Even though the rule would have allowed states to develop their own formula, opponents found the rule too prescriptive, and thought that it would lead to unintended consequences. One of the possible consequences could have mandated that school districts consider the salary levels of teachers in their SNS formulas. This could have led to transferring teachers throughout school districts to balance funding among schools.
Key Republicans in the House and Senate, including Senator Lamar Alexander, chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, opposed the rule.
HELP Committee Hears from DeVos: The Senate Heath, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP), chaired by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), held a confirmation hearing for Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s candidate for Secretary for Education on January 17, 2017.
The hearing was conducted before the Office of Government Ethics had released its report about how Mrs. DeVos will handle any conflicts of interest with her vast financial holdings. That happened on January 19, 2017, when Mrs. DeVos signed an ethics letter describing the steps that she would take to avoid “any actual or apparent conflicts of interest.”
But some Senators are still concerned about missing information and the fact that they cannot ask the nominee any additional questions in a public hearing.
The committee was to take a final vote on the nominee on January 24, 2017, but that date has been changed to January 31, 2017.
In her opening statement, Mrs. DeVos said that she looked forward to “bringing educational opportunity to every family in this great nation.” She went on to say that she believes that every child in America “deserves to be in a safe environment that is free from discrimination”; every student in America “dreams of developing his or her unique talents and gifts”; every parent in America “dreams of a future when their children have access to schools with the rigor, challenges, and safe environments that successfully prepare them for a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow”; and every teacher in America “dreams of breaking free from standardization, so that they can deploy their unique creativity and innovate with their students”.
Most of the goals that she outlined for her term at the U.S. DOE centered around school choice, such as enabling parents to make decisions about their children’s education regardless of their “zip code” and income levels; shifting the debate from “what the system thinks is best for kids to what moms and dads want, expect and deserve;” doing away with “a one-size-fits-all model of learning;” and expanding school options, including magnet, virtual, charter, home, religious, or any combination.
Aside from advocating for school choice as an goal in and of itself, she said that she would advocate for “great public schools” for the vast majority of students who will continue to attend public schools, but would also support the “right of parents to enroll their child in a high quality alternative for a school that is “troubled, or unsafe, or not a good fit for a child.”
She also pledged to address the rising cost of tuition at institutions of higher education and work to reauthorize the Higher Education Act.
Following opening statements, HELP committee members had only five minutes each to ask Mrs. DeVos questions.
While she stuck to the parent choice theme in response to some questions, her answers to other questions were not so clear.
For example, Mrs. DeVos denied that she was on the board of directors of her mother’s foundation, the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, but did not explain why tax documents from 2001-2014 showed that she was the board’s vice-president. The foundation regularly contributes to religious-oriented groups that are opposed to same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights. Mrs. DeVos also said that she would not discriminate against these children.
She also did not specifically answer a question from Senator Hassan (D-NH) about protecting the rights of students with disabilities who accept a publicly funded school voucher to attend private schools. In some cases private schools receiving voucher students require these students to give-up their rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
Her answers to other questions about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) were also not clear. In response to a question from Senator Tim Kaine, D-VA, she said that states should be able to decide how to enforce IDEA, and later said that she was confused when told that IDEA was a federal, not a state, law.
When asked by Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) whether all schools, including traditional, charter, and private schools, should follow the same ESSA accountability standards, she repeatedly said that she supported accountability, but was noncommittal about all schools following the same accountability standards.
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) also failed to get her to commit to resolving the problem that occurs when students leave their local school district to attend charter schools, and state funding is diverted to the charter school. Local school districts often have a hard time balancing their budgets when this happens, because they do not know how many students are going to leave in time to make staff and other operational adjustments to compensate for the lost revenue. If, under the Trump Administration, the federal government supports the expansion of more charter schools, the financial stability of school districts, and their bond ratings, could be compromised.
In answering a question from Senator Collins (R-ME) about the need to increase funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Mrs. DeVos said that she would like to take a different approach and allow federal IDEA money to follow individual students, rather than going to the states.
Before the hearing several national organizations including AASA, The School Superintendents Association, the American Association of University Women, the National PTA, and the Center for American Progress, sent a letter to the HELP Committee to express their “strong concerns” regarding the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for U.S. Secretary of Education.
Most of the concerns were about her campaign contributions and activities as a lobbyist who used her vast wealth to influence legislation and elections.
The letter alleges that her activities “undermined public education and proved harmful to many of our most vulnerable students.”
On the other hand, several Ohio officials said that they support Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, including House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Representative Keith Faber, and Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg). Treasurer Josh Mandel also issued a statement in support of DeVos last week.
See “Betsy DeVos’ Education Hearing Erupts Into Partisan Debate,” by
Kate Zernike and Yamiche Alcindor, The New York Times, January 17, 2017 at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/17/us/politics/betsy-devos-education-senate-hearing.html?_r=0
See “Split Responses to Betsy DeVos’ Testimony After Testy Confirmation Hearing,” by Andrew Ujifusa and Alyson Klein, Education Week, January 18, 2017 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2017/01/reactions_vary_besty_devos_confirmation_hearing.html
See “DeVos Files Financial Disclosure, Ethics Letter Vowing to Divest Education Assets,” by Mark Walsh, Education Week, January 20, 2017 at http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2017/01/devos_files_financial_disclosu.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=campaignk-12
See Betsy DeVos’ Statement at http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/DeVos.pdf
Educators Support DACA Program: Hundreds of education leaders have signed a petition asking President Trump to protect undocumented youth brought into this country from being deported.
President Trump has vowed to repeal former President Obama’s executive orders on immigration, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented youth from deportation.
The education leaders signing the petition include the superintendents of the Houston, Philadelphia, Denver, Baltimore, Newark, Oakland, Dallas, and Indianapolis public school districts, and leaders of ASCD, the teachers unions, and other nonprofit education organizations.
OHIO’S ESSA PLAN AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released on January 19, 2017 a draft summary of Ohio’s State Plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
According to the ODE news release, the draft plan is based on the responses of more than “15,000 Ohio educators, parents, and community members,” and provides a “framework for completing the final plan,” which Ohio will submit to the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) on April 3, 2017. The full draft plan will be available for review in early February 2017.
The ODE is requesting that the public submit comments about the proposed plan through March 6, 2017 by going to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ESSAOhioOverview
A draft summary of the plan is available at http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Every-Student-Succeeds-Act-ESSA
Highlights of Ohio’s Draft ESSA Plan
Ohio’s draft ESSA plan, entitled “Driving Education Excellence: Securing the Future for All Ohio Students” addresses changes in federal law as a result of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) on December 10, 2015 as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and the replacement of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
ESSA provides states and districts with more decision-making authority and offers more flexibility for meeting the needs of students.
Ohio’s ESSA plan also establishes new goals and deadlines for meeting goals. The new goals state that by 2027,
-80 percent of students will be proficient in mathematics, English Language Arts, and science
-the State Performance Index will reach 100.00
-the 4-year graduation rate for all students will be 93 percent
-the 5-year graduation rate for all students will be 95 percent;
-chronic absenteeism will drop to 5 percent or less for all students; and
-baseline achievement and graduation rate gaps among subgroups of students will be reduced by 50 percent.
The goal for English Learners (ELs) has not been determined as yet.
Other parts of Ohio’s proposed ESSA plan address academic standards and assessments; Ohio’s accountability system; schools and districts identified for support; an aligned evidence-based improvement system; supporting all students: well-rounded and supportive education for all students; and federal grant programs.
Academic Content Standards and Assessments
According to Ohio’s proposed ESSA plan, Ohio’s academic content standards will be revised to ensure that they are challenging and aligned to credit-bearing remediation free coursework in the state’s university system. The math and English Language Arts (ELA) standards will be revised by February 2017; the social studies, financial literacy, and science standards by early 2018; and the world languages, the fine arts, technology, and physical education standards will be revised by 2019.
To bring stability to Ohio’s K-12 assessment system following several recent changes in state tests, the proposed plan maintains the state’s current grade level and subject testing requirements. These requirements, however, will be reviewed, because Ohio currently administers more state tests than are required by ESSA, including four tests at the high school level, two tests in social studies, and an additional ELA in the third grade.
Ohio’s plan also calls for investigating the costs and benefits associated with computer adaptive testing; offering more competency-based science assessments; and requesting a waiver to prevent double testing for grade 8 algebra I. The ODE will also urge USDOE to maintain its extended waiver for all relevant end-of-course exams.
Ohio’s plan will not include a process for using the ACT and/or SAT as substitute exams in high school.
Ohio’s Accountability System
The number of years the state will have to achieve state-level goals will be ten. The selected metrics include the percent of students proficient in math, ELA, and science; the performance index; graduation rates; chronic absenteeism; and English language proficiency.
The threshold number of students, referred to as the N-size, for which a subgroup must be separately reported for accountability purposes will be reduced from 30 to 15 students. According to the ESSA plan, this change will ensure that more student subgroups are identified for targeted interventions.
-Summative Rating: The overall A-F Report Card grade will be used to meet the school and district summative rating, which ESSA requires.
-Report Card Measures: Ohio’s School Report Card includes 11 measures that are organized into six components: Achievement, Progress, Graduation, K-3 Literacy, Gap Closing and Prepared for Success.
Ohio will use the Performance Index and Indicators Met measures as achievement measures in its ESSA plan.
The test participation rate will continue to be a factor in the Performance Index. Schools that miss the 95 percent participation rate for all students, or for one or more subgroups of students, must develop an improvement plan that addresses the reason(s) for low participation in the school, and include interventions to improve participation rates in subsequent years. The improvement plans will be developed in partnership with stakeholders and parents.
Ohio’s goal is to achieve a state-level Performance Index of 100 or greater by 2027.
A separate “re-take” indicator will also be developed for high school level end-of-course examinations. Only first-time test takers will be included in the end-of-course indicators.
-Additional Indicator of Quality: Chronic absenteeism and discipline incidents will be initially used as indicators of school quality. Progress toward reducing chronic absenteeism will also be measured.
“The Department will also investigate the use of school climate surveys as both a school improvement tool and a potential measure to include as part of Ohio’s accountability system in the future. Our goal: By 2027, Ohio’s statewide rate for chronic absenteeism will be 5 percent or less.”
-Graduation Rate: Ohio will continue to include both the four- and five-year cohort graduation rates on the report card. Ohio’s goal will be that 93 percent or more of students will graduate in four years by 2027.
-Progress: Ohio’s plan will include a growth measure based on value-added progress as the additional academic measure. The progress of student subgroups will be also reported on school and district report cards, but will not be graded.
Recommendations to simplify and improve the progress component will also be considered.
-Gap Closing: Ohio’s plan proposes to revise the current Gap Closing component and examine progress in closing student subgroup achievement gaps in mathematics, English language arts, and graduation based on income, race, ethnicity, or disability.
The English Learner (EL) proficiency measure will be incorporated into the Gap Closing component and will include improvement.
-K-3 Literacy: The K-3 Literacy component measures the success of schools in keeping struggling readers on track to proficiency in third grade and beyond.
Stakeholders expressed confusion about this measure during discussions about formulating Ohio’s ESSA plan, so the ODE will examine the alignment between the Third Grade Reading Guarantee and K-3 Literacy component.
-Prepared for Success: The Prepared for Success component measures student readiness for work or college.
Ohio’s ESSA plan proposes to clarify that the calculation of the Prepared for Success component is based on the four-year graduation cohort rather than the combined four and five-year graduation cohorts. The ODE will also examine the feasibility of using “access to advanced coursework” as an additional report card indicator.
Schools and Districts Identified for Support
Ohio’s plan will include criteria to identify Priority, Focus, and Watch schools for support based on the School Report Card measures.
-Priority Schools: These schools will receive comprehensive support, and will be identified every three years based on the following criteria:
- Schools with an overall report card grade of ‘F’, and the next lowest performing schools, as determined by overall report card grade (A-F), to meet the ESSA requirement that the state identify and support the lowest 5 percent of schools; or
- Schools with a 4-year cohort graduation rate of less than 67 percent; or
- Schools with one or more student subgroups performing at levels similar to the lowest 5 percent of schools (based on the individual subgroup performance).
The current Priority school list will be maintained through the 2017-2018 school year. A new Priority list will be prepared at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, and updated every three years. Schools meeting the exit criteria will be removed from lists annually.
-Focus Schools: These schools will receive targeted support, and will be identified based on the following criteria:
- Schools that earn a grade of a ‘D’ or ‘F’ for the Gap Closing report card component for two consecutive years;
- Schools that have one or more student subgroups that fail to meet specific locally determined improvement goals for three consecutive years; and
- Schools that do not meet multiple student subgroup performance benchmarks.
The current Focus school list will be maintained through the 2017-2018 school year. A new list will be prepared at the end of the 2017-2018 school year, and will be updated every three years. Schools meeting the exit criteria will be removed from lists annually.
-Watch Schools: These are schools that struggle to meet the needs of one or more student subgroups.
According to Ohio’s proposed ESSA plan, the maximum time frame for the improvement requirements is four years. The following exit criteria for Priority schools will be based on revised Report Card measures, including the revised Gap Closing measure, which includes achievement, progress, and graduation rate data of all required subgroups:
-School performance is higher than the lowest 5 percent of schools as determined by the overall report card grade for two consecutive years;
-School earns a four-year graduation rate of better than 67 percent for two consecutive school years, and;
-No student subgroups are performing at a level similar to the lowest 5 percent of schools (based on individual subgroup performance).
The following exit criteria for the Focus schools will be based on the revised Report Card measures including the revised Gap Closing measure which includes achievement, progress and graduation rate data of all required subgroups:
-School or district earns an overall grade of ‘C’ or better as determined by report card grade, and earns a ‘C’ or better for Gap Closing, and meets subgroup performance goals per state requirements.
-District Continuum of Support
ESSA requires the state to approve district improvement plans and plans for Priority schools. Districts are required to approve of plans for Focus schools.
Ohio’s ESSA plan will continue to include the following continuum of supports for districts and schools:
-Academic Distress Commission for districts under the supervision of an appointed commission
-Intensive Supports for districts that earn an overall “F” on the district report card, or have at least two Priority Schools, or earn a four year graduation rate of less than 67 percent, or earn an “F” on the Gap Closing measure for two consecutive years.
-Moderate Support for districts that earn an overall “D” on the Report Card, or a “D” or “F” on the Gap Closing measure for the two most recent years, or have at least one Priority, Focus, or Watch school.
-Independent Support. School districts in this category have no specific state mandated improvement requirements.
-Rewards and Recognitions
The ODE will continue to recognize schools that are meeting the needs of students through the following programs:
- Schools of Promise – Recognizes and highlights schools that are making substantial progress in ensuring high achievement for all students.
- Schools of Honor – Recognizes schools that have sustained high achievement and substantial progress while serving a significant number of economically disadvantaged students.
- All ‘A’ Award – Recognizes districts and schools that earned straight A’s on all of their applicable report card measures.
- Overall A – Recognizes districts and schools that earned an Overall A on the summative report card grade.
- The Momentum Award – Recognizes districts and schools for exceeding expectations in student growth for the year.
- Blue Ribbon Schools
- National Title 1 Distinguished Schools
An Aligned, Evidence-Based Improvement System
ESSA requires evidence-based school improvement plans rather than the four models included in the former No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
Ohio’s ESSA plan will include a regional system of school improvement supports from Educational Service Centers, State Support Teams, Instruction Technology Centers, and direct support from the ODE and partners.
Ohio will continue to utilize the Ohio Improvement Process (OIP), and an updated and expanded Decision Framework will continue to be used as a primary data-based needs assessment. The Decision Framework will be expanded to focus on non-academic student supports, including mental health services and chronic absenteeism.
Ohio will create an online evidence-based clearinghouse in partnerships with the Ohio Education Research Center (OERC) and selected regional and local education agencies to help schools and districts identify improvement strategies.
The ODE will also build its research capacity to emphasize performance monitoring to support local action research through a variety of partnerships, including Proving Ground.
Ohio will also create the Peer-to-Peer Improvement Network, which will facilitate educators collaborating across districts.
In addition, the following tools and resources will be developed to assist schools:
- Redesigned online planning tool/consolidated grants application, known as the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP)
- Local stakeholder engagement toolkit
- District and school reviews, including training for peer reviewers
- Data analysis tools
- Resource allocation tool
- Equity Index (state Equity Plan)
- Performance database to support peer-to-peer improvement network
In addition, “Schools that do not make significant progress may be subject to more rigorous interventions such as required “onsite review,” in-depth resource allocation reviews, more rigorous requirements on tiers of approved evidence-based strategies, and required direct student services.”
-School Turnaround Funding
ESSA requires states to set aside up to 7 percent of Title I funding to support efforts to turn around struggling schools. This money replaces the separate competitive School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, but some schools will continue to receive SIG grant support for a few additional years while the program is completely phased out.
The Title I set-aside funds will be awarded to schools through a competitive process, that might include incentives for schools to participate in research trials, or support for a resource coordinator to coordinate student and family services (health, mental health, integrated student supports, etc.).
-Direct Student Services
Ohio’s ESSA plan will utilize an additional 3 percent of Title I funding to support direct student services to districts with the highest percentage of schools identified for improvement to:
- Improve access to rigorous coursework at all grade levels including, but not limited, to Advanced Placement courses.
- Expand the number of students accessing accelerated coursework, particularly students in traditionally underrepresented student groups.
- Support development and delivery of transitional coursework to reduce college remediation rates and better prepare students for postsecondary education.
- Support early literacy initiatives.
-Title I Schoolwide Waivers
Ohio’s ESSA plan calls for the development of a process with stakeholders to grant schoolwide waivers to schools that can demonstrate that economically disadvantaged students have previously made sufficient improvement under a schoolwide program.
Under ESSA states may permit school buildings receiving Title I Part A funds to operate schoolwide programs where 40 percent or more of students are economically disadvantaged. States can also issue a waiver to permit school buildings below the 40 percent threshold to operate schoolwide programs under certain conditions.
-Supporting Rural School
Ohio’s plan will support rural education through the following strategies:
- Developing partnerships in the Appalachian region of the state
- Designating a Rural Education Liaison in the Office of Improvement to coordinate school improvement initiatives
- Leveraging the Title I Direct Student Services set aside to target resources for advanced coursework for high need, rural students
- Leveraging the Title II set aside for professional development to support the needs of educators in rural schools
- Targeting 21st Century Learning Center grants to rural schools
- Providing technical assistance in selecting evidence-based improvement strategies
-Dropout Prevention and Recovery
To improve Ohio’s graduation rate, Ohio’s ESSA plan includes the following strategies:
- Expand of the number of districts participating in the Student Success Dashboard pilot, which uses data to target students that are at-risk for dropping out.
- Leverage existing Alternative Education Challenge grants to improve outcomes for at-risk students including more aligned coordination with required school improvement plans.
- Use recommendations from the State Superintendent’s Dropout Prevention and Recovery Advisory Committee to develop a specifically-designed evidence-based improvement protocol for Ohio dropout recovery charter schools identified for comprehensive or targeted support.
-English Learners (ELs)
ESSA requires states to increase focus on English Learners (ELs) compared to the former NCLB and ESEA.
Ohio’s ESSA plan includes several strategies and new initiatives to strengthen services for English language learners:
- Adds an “EL Progress to English Proficiency” measure to the Gap Closing component of the Report Card to measure improvement towards proficient use of the English language. ELs’ academic achievement will continue to be measured.
- Adjusts the N-Size so that more ELs will be included in their respective schools’ Gap Closing measure.
- Utilizes the option to continue the previous ESEA waiver flexibility which includes test scores of ELs in accountability only after they have been in the U.S. for two years, while requiring ELs to take all assessments from year 1 and include those results in growth measures.
- Includes former ELs in the EL subgroup for accountability for four years after exiting the program.
- Updates Ohio’s Entrance and Exit Procedures for English Learners
-Nonpublic School Ombudsman
ESSA requires Ohio to create a Nonpublic School Ombudsman position within the ODE to monitor and enforce compliance with equitable services provisions. The Ombudsman will do the following:
- Ensure expenditures for educational services and other benefits provided for eligible private school children, their teachers, and other educational personnel serving those children shall be equal, taking into account the number and educational needs of the children to be served, to the expenditures for participating public school children.
- Ensure funds allocated to a local education agency for educational services and other benefits to eligible private school children are obligated in the fiscal year for which the funds are received.
- Ensure the timely notices of allocated funds to the private schools.
- Ensure the school districts and private schools engage in timely and meaningful consultation.
- Ensure the school districts maintain records and documentation of consultation and that the consultation is documented by a written affirmation.
- Resolve written complaints by private school officials.
-Supporting Excellent Educators
ESSA provides states with flexibility to define effective educators and eliminates the Highly Qualified Teacher requirement and linking teacher evaluation systems with student growth.
Ohio’s ESSA plan will continue to use current law and its equity plan to ensure that students have access to quality teachers and leaders.
Ohio will also take advantage of the new flexibility to work with stakeholders to consider other ways to define teacher effectiveness:
-The Educator Standards Board (ESB) will review the efficiency and effectiveness of the existing Ohio Teacher Evaluation System.
-Support will be provided for review of local equitable access plans.
-Ohio will implement the 3 percent Title II set-aside to support principal and teacher leadership development.
-One or more programs may be designed and piloted in upcoming years focused on training, induction, mentoring, coaching and professional development of principals, teachers and teacher leaders.
Supporting All Students: Well-Rounded and Supportive Education for Students
ESSA emphasizes ensuring that all students have access to a well-rounded education. Some 50 separate grant programs to support students have been consolidated in Title IV, and use of these funds has been expanded to support a well-rounded education, health and safety, and technology. The ODE also has more flexibility to use Title IV funds.
As a result, Ohio’s ESSA plan proposes to “…use Ohio’s state share of Title IV to support access to rigorous coursework by helping to subsidize fees paid by economically disadvantaged students choosing to participate in Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate examinations, STEM/Technology initiatives and school climate and safety resources.”
A pilot project for schools and districts will also be created to examine using the results of climate surveys as an additional indicator of school quality.
Ohio will also continue to support the Ohio Center for P-20 Safety and Security, and continue implementation of the system of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports through direct training and facilitation to districts and schools.
ESSA highlights support for five specific groups of students that face unique challenges and need additional help and support, including student transiency, instability, and family crisis. These groups include students of military families, students in foster care, migrant students, students in the juvenile justice system and students who are homeless.
Ohio’s ESSA plan includes additional strategies and requirements to support these vulnerable students.
Federal Grant Programs
-21st Century Community Learning Grants
Although ESSA maintains the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant program, which provides enrichment opportunities and academic support during non-school hours for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools, the ODE will not hold a new competition for FY18. All continuing grantees will be renewed per their regular schedule, but current grantees who are in their final award years (years 3 and 5) will close-out the grant in October 2017. The allocation for FY18 has yet to be finalized, but approximately $23 million will be set-aside for FY18 for 140 grantees.
-Consolidated Comprehensive Competitive Grant System
ESSA continues to allow districts to consolidate federal funds and state and local funds to support low-income and disadvantaged students, and schoolwide Title I programs in schools with not less than 40 percent of children are from low-income families.
Ohio will design and begin building in the 2017-18 school year a comprehensive consolidated competitive grant system to align all competitive grant programs to the priorities of the state’s ESSA plan and streamline the process.
The comprehensive consolidated competitive grant system will provide in the 2018-19 school year eligible grantees with a single application containing potential federal and state competitive education grant opportunities aligned to the school and/or district’s needs assessment and improvement plans.
Charter School Enrollment Dropping: Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria submitted on December 31, 2017 the 14th annual report on community schools operating in Ohio to Governor Kasich and members of the Ohio House and Senate.
The mandated annual report for 2015-16 shows that 117,126 students, seven percent of total public school enrollment, attended 373 charter schools in Ohio. This is a decrease from last year, when there were 381 charter schools enrolling 120,495 students, and a decrease from 2013-14, when there were 395 charter schools serving 120,893 students.
The report also shows that 20 charter schools closed last year, and eleven closed because they lost their sponsors.
Charter School Reforms in New Orleans Increase Spending: A study published by researchers at Tulane University examined the operating expenditures of publicly funded schools in New Orleans’ between 2000-2014, after Hurricane Katrina caused the city to adopt a charter school system, and compared those expenditures to similar schools districts in Louisiana.
The study found that the New Orleans district spent 13 percent ($1,358 per student) more per student on operating expenditures than the comparison group of districts, even though the comparison group had nearly identical spending before Katrina.
Spending on administration in New Orleans district increased by 66 percent ($699 per student) relative to the comparison group. Of this amount 52 percent ($363 per student) was due to a rise in total administrative salaries. One-third of the increase in administrative salaries is due to hiring more administrators, and higher average salaries per administrator.
Instructional expenditures in the New Orleans district declined 10 percent ($706 per student) relative to the comparison group of districts. The decrease is due to a decrease in total instructional salaries per instructor.
Transportation spending and other expenditures also increased by 33 percent in the New Orleans district. These services are often contracted to outside firms.
According to the study, “The fact that instructional expenditures have decreased despite a large increase in operating expenditure is striking. The increase
in administrative spending also suggests either that the lack of economies of scale has posed a real challenge in this decentralized system or that the educational models of charter schools involve higher management costs and perhaps a more top-heavy approach.”
See “Does School Reform = Spending Reform? The Effect of the New Orleans School Reforms on the Use and Level of School Expenditures,” by Christian Buerger and Douglas N. Harris, Education Research Alliance, Tulane University, January 17, 2017 at http://educationresearchalliancenola.org/publications/does-school-reform-spending-reform-the-effect-of-the-new-orleans-school-reforms-on-the-use-and-level-of-school-expenditures.
Funding for the NEA and NEH in Question: According to The Hill, President Trump is preparing to make deep cuts in the federal budget, including eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Other federal agencies, such as the departments of Commerce, Energy, Justice, State, and Transportation, could see large reductions and programs eliminated or transferred.
Overall the budget plan being developed by the Trump administration would reduce the federal budget by $10.5 trillion over 10 years. The budget is expected to be introduced in Congress by mid to late April 2017.
According to Americans for the Arts, last spring President Trump said that, ”…supporting and advocating for appreciation of the arts is important to an informed and aware society. As President, I would take on that role.”
Although he didn’t commit to funding the NEA and the NEH, Americans for the Arts believes that through the legislative process, the President and Congress will recognize “that the arts are a great investment in our national economy.”
Americans for the Arts pledges to “…work with the incoming Administration in making America the best that it can be and we feel certain the arts are a proven strategy for building better lives and communities across the country.”
See “Trump Team Prepares Dramatic Cuts,” by http://thehill.com/policy/finance/314991-trump-team-prepares-dramatic-cuts
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