Arts on Line Education Update February 21, 2017

Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
Arts on Line Education Update
February 21, 2017
Joan Platz



This Week at the Statehouse: The House and Senate will hold sessions and committee meetings this week.

The House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, chaired by Representative Bob Cupp, will meet on February 22 & 23, 2017. This subcommittee will examine in detail Governor Kasich’s K-12 budget recommendations included in HB49 (R. Smith) Operating Budget, and make  recommendations to the full Finance Committee about policies and amendments that should be made to the bill.  The subcommittee includes Representatives Bob Cupp (R), Bill Reineke (R), Louis Blessing III (R), Adam Miller (D), and John Patterson (D).

On February 22, 2017 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 116, the subcommittee will receive testimony from the Legislative Service Commission about the school funding provisions in the executive budget, and also receive testimony from the Casino Control Commission; the Commission on Service and Volunteerism; the Lottery Commission; and the Joint Education Oversight Committee.

On February 23, 2017 at 9:00 AM in hearing room 121, the subcommittee will receive testimony from the Broadcast Educational Media Commission; the Board of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology; the School for the Blind; the School for the Deaf; and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.


The House Finance Higher Education Subcommittee will review in more detail the provisions in the executive budget regarding higher education and the proposed budgets of several other state agencies.  The subcommittee will make recommendations to the full Finance Committee about policy changes and amendments to the bill as introduced.  The subcommittee includes Representatives Rick Perales (R), Marlene Anielski (R), Mike Duffey (R), Daniel Ramos (D), and Nickie Antonio (D).

The subcommittee will meet on February 23, 2017 at 12:00 PM in hearing room 114 and receive testimony from the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts on HB49 (R. Smith) Operating Budget.


JEOC to Hold Hearings on ESSA Plan: The Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC), chaired by Representative Cupp, will hold hearings on Ohio’s plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The meetings will be held on March 2, 2017 at 2:30 PM and March 9, 2017 at 1:30 PM in the Senate South Hearing Room.

According to Superintendent Paolo DeMaria, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) expects to submit its ESSA plan to the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) on April 3, 2017, to ensure that there is enough time for federal approval, and enough time for Ohio’s schools and districts to implement the plan for the 2017-18 school year.

Those interested in testifying before the JEOC should contact Haley Phillippi at or (614) 466-9082 and indicate a date preference.

Please email testimony to Haley Phillippi at 24 hours prior to the meeting.


Community Forum on ESSA: The Ohio Public School Advisory Network will host a Community Forum in the Avon City School District on February 22, 2017 to discuss Ohio’s plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Community Forum is set for 7:00 PM at Avon High School, 37545 Detroit Road in Avon.

The Ohio Public School Advocacy Network was formed two years ago to provide Ohioans with a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy.  The network includes 140 school districts from across the state.

The Community Forum will provide citizens in northeast Ohio with an opportunity to respond to the proposed state ESSA plan, which the ODE released in January 2017.  The ODE is currently accepting comments about the proposed plan until March 6, 2017 at

See “Community Forum Set for February 22, 2017,” by Corky O’Callaghan, February 13, 2017 at

Legislative Update

The House Education and Career Readiness Committee, chaired by Representative Andy Brenner, met on February 14, 2017, and received sponsor testimony on HB21 (Community School Enrollment Verification) from Representative Stephen Hambley.

The bill would require community schools to identify and report information about the districts of residence for their students, which will be used to accurately determine the source of funding for those students.  Currently school districts are required to identify the residence district so that funding for the student can be transferred from a district’s state account to the charter school.  But, districts don’t have a relationship or contact with students attending charter schools, making this task difficult, especially if the school district doesn’t know that the student has moved to a different school district during the school year.

The committee also received sponsor testimony on HB37 (School Safety Structures) from Representative Steve Arndt.  Last year he introduced a similar bill that would have required the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) to create a program that allowed school districts with low priority for funding through the Classroom Facilities Assistance Program to receive funding for technology and safety upgrades.

Provisions of the bill were amended last year into 131-SB3 (Faber, Hite), which became law, but the purpose of the bill was changed.  The law now requires the OSFC to develop a proposal to provide funding for technology and safety for districts that haven’t participated in the OSFC Classroom Facilities Assistance Program, rather than require the program to be implemented.

This bill is the same as the original, in that it requires the OFSC to establish a funding program to support technology and safety, rather than just propose one.  School districts that apply for the funding would no longer be eligible for funding through OSFC Classroom Facilities Assistance Program.


The Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Lehner, met on February 15, 2017 and received testimony on SB8 (Gardner, Terhar) Accelerate School Facilities Program.

This bill is similar to HB37 (Arndt) School Safety Structures, in that it would require the OFSC to establish a program to allow school districts with low priority for funding through the Classroom Facilities Assistance Program to receive funding for technology and safety upgrades.

The Senate Committee also received sponsor testimony on SB34 (Manning) School Year, which requires school districts and chartered nonpublic schools to start the school year after Labor Day.  Boards of education can opt out of the requirement by approving a resolution.


State of the State Address: Governor Kasich has submitted his request to the Ohio House and Senate to present the annual State of the State Address on April 4, 2017 at the historic Sandusky State Theatre in Sandusky, Ohio.

The governor is continuing his tradition of holding the State of the State Address outside of Columbus.  Past speeches have been held in Steubenville, Lima, Medina, Wilmington, and Marietta.

The request for the Ohio General Assembly to convene outside of the Statehouse must be approved by both the House and Senate.

Bills Introduced

  • HB58 (Brenner, Slaby) Cursive Handwriting Instruction:  Requires instruction in cursive handwriting.
  • HB66 (Young) Tenured Teaching Requirements:  Requires permanently tenured state university or college faculty members to teach at least three credit hours of undergraduate courses per semester.
  • SB54 (Brown, Lehner) Summer Food Programs:  Requires school districts to allow approved summer food service program sponsors to use school facilities to provide food service for summer intervention services under certain conditions.
  • SR37 (Skindell) Citizens United-Amendment:  To call on legislators at the state and federal level and other communities and jurisdictions to support an amendment to the United States Constitution that would abolish corporate personhood and the doctrine of money as speech.



Educators Recommend Changes in ESSA Plan: Patrick O’Donnell at The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that a group of superintendents and other educators in northern Ohio are asking the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to make changes in Ohio’s proposed plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

The educators question why Ohio’s ESSA plan does not reflect the views of a majority of stakeholders, who participated in surveys and meetings last year to develop it.

Public feedback about the proposed plan called for less testing, changes to the state report card, and more stability, but Ohio’s draft ESSA plan, released on January 19, 2017 only calls for a review of testing, and adds more indicators to the report card to track absenteeism as a quality indicator.

According to the article, in most cases the proposed ESSA plan maintains the status quo in Ohio’s schools, even though the federal law removed requirements about evaluating teachers using student test scores, and provides more flexibility to rate school districts and schools.

The group of educators includes school district superintendents from Amherst, Avon, Clearview, Columbia Station, Elyria, Firelands, Keystone, North Olmsted, North Ridgeville, Oberlin, Olmsted Falls, Sheffield-Sheffield Lake, and the Lorain County ESC; other school officials from schools in Berea, Lakewood, and Wellington; and members of the Ohio Public School Advocacy Network.

A white paper that the superintendents released on February 13, 2017 entitled, A Collective Response to Ohio’s Every Student Succeeds Draft Plan, includes the following recommendations for revising Ohio’s ESSA plan:

-Learning Standards: Revise Ohio’s Learning Standards on a “routine basis and involve others more thoroughly and thoughtfully.”

-Assessments: “Take full advantage of the Federal ESSA structure and reduce the number of standardized tests that are administered to Ohio students.”

-Accountability with Flexibility and Responsibility: Provide flexible accountability to the local districts with increase responsibility. “While we recognize Ohio’s need for a uniform accountability system, please recognize that our state is diverse and those at the local level report to a local community that has needs and expectations of the district.”

-Data Analysis to Improve Outcomes: Require testing vendors to provide the kind of assessment data through a detailed and thorough item analysis that will allow Ohio’s educators to meet the learning needs and gaps that students demonstrate. “We had this more detailed level of analysis on the previous assessments.”

-Value-Added/Growth: “The growth model developed by Dr. Bill Sanders was meant to provide feedback on the academic growth of a student, not the value of a teacher. A predicted growth model measures a student’s progress against his/her previous test performances and indicates whether the student made more than expected, expected or less than expected progress. Ohio’s current model does a complicated mathematical conversion and puts a student’s performance on the normal statistical bell curve and compares him/her to other students. Keep it simple so that students, parents and educators can understand.”

-Real School Quality: Recognize that while the school quality “…metrics proposed by the Ohio Department of Education may be correlated to measures of quality, they are directly related to poverty, socio-economic status and are more in control of parents than educators.”

“Measures of School Quality ought be related to and within the control of those providing the learning opportunities for students. Quality school measures should be directly related to the culture and climate of the school, not factors outside of it.”

-Local Report Card System: “What currently exists is a statewide DRIP phenomenon-Data Rich, Information Poor. Ohio’s Report Card is currently bloated with too many measures that the general public cannot easily use to determine a local district’s progress. Further, the “A -F” reporting system is not descriptive nor accurate. It disenfranchises educators and leaves them with little hope. ESSA requires a three-tier system and Ohio should abandon the grading system to one that is more descriptive. We recommend: Exceeds the Indicator, Meets the Indicator, Approaching the Indicator, Does Not Meet the Indicator for the reasons outlined in this paper.”

-Prepared for Success: “Being prepared for success is more than scoring high on a standardized test. It should be a robust measure that could incorporate the number of College Credit Plus courses provided to students and how many take advantage of them; internship and externship opportunities; partnerships with business and industry and the acquisition of the soft-skill/non-cognitive skills that business leaders indicate they are looking for in high school and college graduates. Ohio’s “test and score” focus has displaced the value of these important components of a student’s development.”

The white-paper concludes, “While there are several items that we would like the ODE, Ohio School Board, Ohio Legislators and the Governor of Ohio to consider, the common thread is less testing and more involvement from those who are most familiar with implementing educational policy grounded on research and best practices. This is all the more reason why, we believe, those charged with the writing should not only hear and gather input from those that have done this at the local level, but must more thoroughly incorporate the recommendations obtained during that discourse.”

As already mentioned, there will be a Community Forum in the Avon School District on February 22, 2017 to discuss Ohio’s plan to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Community Forum is set for 7:00 PM at Avon High School, 37545 Detroit Road in Avon.

See “State is ignoring the public’s wishes in its ESSA plan, 10 local superintendents say,”  by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, February 14, 2017 at



NEA and NEH Still on the Chopping Block:  Now that former U.S. Representative Mick Mulvaney has been appointed director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Trump administration is moving forward with drafting its first budget for FY18, which begins October 1, 2017.

The New York Times reports on February 18, 2017 that the administration has created a list of programs that could be eliminated in the proposed budget.  The list includes the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corp, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and more.

Funding for the endowments for the arts and humanities was $147.9 million each in FY16. The NEA provides federal dollars to every Congressional district in the country to support arts projects, state arts agencies, and regional arts agencies.

Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts have supported the Ohio Arts Council and arts organizations throughout Ohio for years. In May of 2016 the Ohio Arts Council was awarded the second highest state partnership agreement grant in the nation totaling $983,200, and Ohio arts organizations earned an additional $425,000 in grants.

As recently as December 2016 the Ohio Arts Council reported that 28 arts organizations in Ohio and individual artists would receive NEA grants totaling $682,000 during this grant period.

Currently the federal government is being funded through a continuing resolution, because Congress and the White House, under former President Obama, were unable to approve a FY17 budget last October.  The continuing resolution expires on April 28, 2017, and the Trump administration is expected to request a supplemental budget for the remainder of FY17, while Congress works on the FY18 budget.

See “Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax Under First Trump Budget,” by Sharon LaFraniere and Alan Rappeport, The New York Times, February 18, 2017 at




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

It is the mission of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education to ensure that the arts are an integral part of the education of every Ohioan. We believe that: * All children in school must have quality arts education provided by licensed arts educators * All Ohioans have the right to expect quality arts education * All arts programs must have adequate resources * All arts and cultural organizations and artists have a critical role in arts education Learn more at
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