Arts On Line March 13, 2017


The House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee received interested party testimony last week on Ohio’s proposed FY 2018-2019 Operating Budget (HB49).  Over a three day period, March 7th – 9th, the message from testifying education advocates was clear and consistent; the state budget would leave too many schools struggling.  Concerns included the funding caps for districts needing extra money for growing populations, not enough funds for school transportation, the cuts in tangible personal property (TPP) tax reimbursements, the over 350 school districts that will lose state funds over the next two years and the school funding formula itself.

Among many others, testimonies were heard from the Coalition for Fiscal Fairness in Ohio, Ohio Education Association (OEA), the Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) and the Ohio Education Policy Institute.

In her testimony, OASBO Associate Executive Director, Barbara Shaner stated “It is our position that issues remain with the current calculation for determining the state and local shares of funding for schools, the State Share Index (SSI)….We agree with Governor Kasich’s stated premise that state aid should be directed based on the capacity of local districts and their communities’ ability to provide local funding. The question is whether the formula works in the appropriate way and whether districts have enough resources to serve students….We believe the current funding formula (adopted in HB64) has made progress, but falls short of this objective.” Review the full testimony of OSBA, BASA and OASBO here, as well as their recommended changes to College Credit Plus program.

Dr. Howard Fleeter of the Ohio Education Policy Institute acknowledged the state’s tight budget due to the shortfall of anticipated FY16 tax revenues but did encourage the subcommittee to consider several options for amending the current school funding formula.  He reminded lawmakers that although school funding has increased every year since the Great Depression, it has not kept pace with inflation.  Dr. Fleeter’s full testimony and recommendations can be viewed here.

The subcommittee has set public testimony on HB49 for Wednesday & Thursday, March 22 & 23rd  at 9am.  Anyone planning to testify should prepare written testimony and submit it to the subcommittee chairman’s office, Rep. Robert R. Cupp (R-Lima), via email at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.  FinanceSubPrimary&

Columbus Dispatch: Groups hammer home problems with school-funding plan

3/9/2017 – Education groups hammer home problems with Gov. Kasich’s school-funding plan. Solon Schools Fight For Funding In Columbus

3/9/17 – As part of the Coalition of Fiscal Fairness, school district representatives argued that loss of TPP funding could cripple some districts.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Gov. John Kasich wants teachers to do business externships? He should have to job shadow at schools, Democrats say

3/7/17 –  Democrat Reps. Brigid Kelly and Kent Smith want Gov. John Kasich to job shadow teachers in Ohio public schools.

Columbus Dispatch: Answers to 20 Ohio school-funding questions you didn’t know you had (February 2017 archived article)



The Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEOC), chaired by Representative Cupp, held its second meeting on ESSA March 9th.  OAAE Executive Director, Tim Katz, was among the 30 organizations who testified, encouraging the state to consider additional recommendations before submitting Ohio’s plan in April.  The OAAE testimony can be reviewed here.

Joining the voices of concerned educators and advocates, the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus sent a letter to ODE Superintendent, Mr. Paolo DeMaria, asking that ODE take additional time to seek public input on the state’s plan adding “Since the plan was made public, we have heard from interested parties across the education spectrum who have expressed significant and specific concerns about portions of the draft. These concerns include, but are not limited to: number of tests and duration of testing; our A-F report card system and indicators within that system; accountability sub- group size; value-added growth measures (both in general and as they apply to teacher evaluations); and school improvement.  These interested parties — many of whom are the very educators who will implement this plan — have made clear that there is more work to be done. We fear that the April submission deadline does not provide for adequate time to get us where we need to be.”

Despite the requests to slow down the process and opt for the later fall 2017 submission, Ohio Department of Education (ODE) intends to move forward as planned to “give schools as much time as possible to implement changes before ESSA’s effects are first felt on the 2017-2018 state report cards.”

 We encourage all OAAE members and partners to continue to reach out to ODE Superintendent Paolo DeMaria in support of the OAAE recommendations. 

 Toledo Blade: State’s testing plan draws ire at forum

3/7/17 – Local public school advocates criticized the number of state tests students must take and called for the Ohio Department of Education to hit pause on an education plan it is crafting in response to a new federal law. 



Last Week’s Committee Hearings

The House Education and Career Readiness Committee met on March 7th and received testimony on two bills:

HB47 Students in the military

Bill sponsor John Boccieri hopes to see the Students to Soldiers Support Act in law to guarantee that high school and college students do not face any consequences from the school when missing extracurricular and other school activity commitments in order to keep their military obligations.

HB80 Summer food service

This bill was passed unanimously as SB247 in the last General Session but due to administrative error, did not make it into law.  Reintroduced as HB80, both of the bill sponsors described the bill as a tool to help Ohio’s hungry children by allowing school districts to make their school facilities available to an approved food service provider if more than half of their students qualify for free or reduced meals.

The Senate Education Committee met on March 8th and received testimony on:

SB34 School Years, to open for instruction after Labor Day

High August temperatures in class rooms with no air conditioning, conflicting county fair dates for 4H students and small business arguments were some reasons presented by the eight proponents testifying in favor of requiring Ohio schools to begin their school year after Labor Day.

Newly Introduced Bills:

HB: Financial Literacy (Hagan, C., McColley, R.)

Summary: To require one-half unit of financial literacy in the high school curriculum, to require the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each institution of higher education, to require the State Board of Education to include information on the informed student document in the standards and model curricula it creates for financial literacy and entrepreneurship.


ON THE CALENDAR – Week of March 13

Monday, March 13

8:00 a.m. Ohio Department of Education, 25 South Front Street, Columbus.

State Board of Education Meeting

Tuesday, March 14

8:00 a.m. Ohio Department of Education, 25 South Front Street, Columbus.

State Board of Education Meeting

4:00 p.m. Ohio State House Room 121

House Education & Career Readiness Committee

  • HB 98: Career Information 1st Hearing-Sponsor
  • HB 80: Summer food program 2nd Hearing – All testimony, possible amendments and vote

Wednesday, March 15

3:00 p.m. (Or After Session), Ohio State House Room 121

Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education

  • HB49: Creates FY 2018-2019 operating budget 8th Hearing, Interested Party Testimony

Thursday, March 16

9:00 am, Room 121, Chair: Cupp

Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education

  • HB49: Creates FY 2018-2019 operating budget 9th Hearing, Interested Party Testimony



Ohio House of Representatives Student Art Exhibition: Students from around Ohio took the stage last week for a ceremony honoring their work in the Ohio House of Representative Student Art Exhibition.

Lorain Morning Journal: ODE officially notifies Lorain School District of next step

3/8/2017 – The Ohio Department of Education sent letters announcing next steps in the state takeover of Lorain City Schools.

Fox News Lima: State education officials tour Glandorf HS

3/7/2017 – The Ohio State Education Superintendent and the President of the Ohio State Board of Education toured Ottawa Glandorf High School to get a better understanding of how a rural education.

Zanesville Times-Recorder:  Fine arts high school moving forward

3/7/2017 – Local educators and community members are inching closer to establishing a public fine arts school.

Columbus Dispatch: State program brings CSI to life for fourth-graders

3/3/17 – Seven schools across Ohio were pilot projects for the program, which includes activities such as solving a missing persons case and the case of stolen fertilizer. Now, all schools in the state can use the free curriculum.

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio schools must now give ACT or SAT to all juniors

2/28/2017 – Ohio’s districts and schools must now give ACT or SAT to all high school juniors.



Associated Press: Senate votes to end Obama school accountability rules

3/9/17 – WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday voted to end an Obama effort to identify and help struggling schools and students, as President Donald Trump and Republicans work to undo some of his predecessor’s key policies.   Senators voted 50-49 to rescind accountability rules issued in November to help states implement the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, a law that addresses school ratings, student report cards and other ways to spot and help troubled schools. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.

Republicans argued that the regulations were an example of federal overreach and that details of things like report cards should be left to states and local communities. Democrats defended the rules, saying they provide important safeguards for vulnerable groups of students, such as children with special needs and minorities.   “People had grown fed up with Washington telling teachers and schools, and superintendents and states, so much about what to do about our children in 100.000 public schools,” Alexander, who sponsored the measure, said on the Senate floor before the vote.

New York Times: Obama Education Rules Are Swept Aside by Congress

3/9/17 – With all the attention paid to President Trump’s lightning-rod secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, and her advocacy for private school vouchers, little public notice has been paid to the action on education in Congress — where lawmakers have broader power than Ms. DeVos to make changes to the nation’s school system.  Now, Congress has done exactly that, voting to repeal crucial regulations associated with the Every Student Succeeds Act, one of President Barack Obama’s final legislative achievements.

CNBC: America’s school facilities get a near-failing grade

3/9/17 -Most parents aren’t very happy when their children bring home a report card with anything less than a C-. They’ll be even less encouraged by the near-failing grade awarded to the nation’s school facilities Thursday by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  Close to a quarter of all public schools in America are in “fair or poor condition,” according to the group’s latest report card, which gave most of the nation’s infrastructure a near-failing grade. 

Education Weekly: States Introduce New Measure of Accountability: Arts Education

3/7/17 – The Every Student Succeeds Act opened the doors for states to revamp their accountability systems and include new indicators of school quality.  In addition to measures like English-language proficiency, graduation rates, and scores on standardized achievement tests, which are commonly used in current accountability systems, states are required to include one “additional indicator” of school quality in their system. That could include social-emotional indicators or access to certain courses —including the arts.

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 ( This update is written weekly by Andrea Kruse, OAAE’s Research and Information Coordinator. 


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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