STATUS UPDATE: PROPOSED STATE OPERATING BUDGET (HB 49)
The state’s budget bill, Sub.HB49, is now in the hands of the Ohio Senate. The House passed on May 2 the FY18-19 budget, which includes $63.7 billion for the General Revenue Fund, and modifies significantly the original executive budget proposed by Governor Kasich. Although K-12 saw an increase in funding for each year as well as a per pupil rate increase of $20, the increase did not grow with the rate of inflation and still leaves some concerned.
The Senate Finance Primary & Secondary Education Subcommittee delved into the school funding formula on May 4 with testimony from three school administrator groups. The Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Ohio School Boards Association and Buckeye Association of School Administrators testified together on the issues they still see with the current funding formula. Howard Fleeter, economist and consultant for the Ohio Education Policy Institute, discussed the history of funding formulas as well as suggested adjustments the Senate could make. The state operating budget (HB49) must be signed into law by July 1, 2017.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: $63.7 billion state budget bill clears Ohio House
“The Ohio House on Tuesday passed a $63.7 billion, two-year state budget with additional money to fight Ohio’s opioid crisis. The bill passed 58-37, mostly along party lines, and now heads to the Senate, which will make its own revisions over the coming weeks. Both chambers must agree to a bill before the new fiscal year begins July 1.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio House passes massive budget plan: Ohio Politics Roundup
Toledo Blade: Ohio House OKs 2-year budget with few tax cuts
“For the first time since Gov. John Kasich took office, the Ohio House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a proposed two-year state budget that provides for no broad tax cuts. State tax collections have trailed expectations for a year and the spending plan that now crosses the Capitol Rotunda to the Senate falls short of the deal Mr. Kasich reached with Republican Party leaders in recent weeks to cut $800 million from his original proposal.”
Columbus Dispatch: Funding cap hits central OH hard, costs $890 million statewide
“When the House rolled out its state budget changes last week, it included a $20 per pupil increase for charter schools and $6 more for private schools, compared to Gov. John Kasich’s initial plan. But for Olentangy Schools, which is adding students faster than any district in the state, the House changes meant only $5.50 more per pupil by 2019.”
Dayton Daily News: Ohio House OKs $133B state budget, guts Kasich’s tax reform plans
“The Ohio House voted 58-37 Tuesday in favor of a 4,500-page state budget bill that jettisons Gov. John Kasich’s tax reform plans and carves out $170 million in additional money to fight the opiate addiction crisis gripping Ohio.”
Columbus Dispatch: Lawmaker says mystery charter school amendment appeared without warning
“A mystery amendment tucked into the House-passed state budget would let some online charter schools avoid having their poor academic scores drive down a sponsor’s performance rating. But even the representative who sponsored the amendment says he doesn’t know how or why controversial language was added to the proposal — one that appeared to be trying to benefit Ohio e-schools, including, potentially, ECOT. ”
Bill Approved by the Ohio House
HB80 (LaTourette, K. Smith) School Food-Summer Intervention: 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. The bill has now been assigned to the Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee.
Bills Approved by the Ohio Senate
SB3 (Beagle, Balderson) Workforce Development: Revises the laws governing the state’s workforce development system, programs that may be offered by primary and secondary schools, certificates of qualification for employment, and the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency, and designates the first week of May as In-Demand Jobs Week.
SB9 (Bacon) August Tax Holiday: Provides for a three-day sales tax “holiday” in August 2017 during which sales of clothing and school supplies are exempt from sales and use taxes. The bill has been approved by the Ohio Senate, and has been reported out of the House Ways & Means Committee.
SB10 (LaRose) Primary Election Requirements: Expands the circumstances under which a board of elections or the secretary of state is not required to hold a primary election.
ON THE CALENDAR
Monday, May 8
8:00 a.m. Ohio Department of Education, 25 South Front Street, Columbus
State Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, May 9
8:00 a.m. Ohio Department of Education, 25 South Front Street, Columbus.
State Board of Education Meeting
4:00 p.m., Room 121
House Education and Career Readiness (Chair: Brenner)
HB154 Smith, R./Manning, 1st Hearing, Sponsor Testimony
Establish Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid Program
HB170 Carfagna/Duffey, 1st Hearing, Sponsor/Proponent Testimony
Address Computer Science Curriculum
HB47 Boccieri, 2nd Hearing, Proponent Testimony
Enact Students to Soldiers Support Act
Wednesday, May 10
2:30 p.m. Senate Finance Hearing Room
Senate Finance – Primary and Secondary Ed. Sub., (Chair: Hite)
HB49 Smith, 2nd Hearing – Creates FY 2018-2019 operating budget
NEWS AROUND OHIO
Columbus Dispatch: Roundup of local school issues
Check out the results of school levies from around the state.
“Amendments in the state budget bill would prevent the Ohio Department of Education from forcing academically failing charter schools to close — particularly online schools that have some of worst test scores in the nation and the most influential donors and lobbyists in Ohio. The House passed the $63.7 billion budget bill on Tuesday. It is now being considered by the Senate.”
Columbus Dispatch: More than 1,000 rally at Statehouse for school choice
“More than 1,000 students, teachers and school officials rallied outside the Statehouse today to thank lawmakers for helping parents have a choice about where their children attend school. There was much to celebrate. Gov. John Kasich and the Republican-controlled General Assembly is preparing to pass new state budget that increases per-pupil funding for charter schools and private schools. In addition, lawmakers are considering a bill to expand statewide a program offering tax-funded vouchers for private school tuition.”
Charter Schools Focus of Kucinich’s Meetings
Former U.S. House Representative, Ohio State Senator, and Cleveland mayor, Dennis Kucinich, gave speeches last week in Parma, Elyria, Centerville, and Columbus, outlining his concerns about Ohio’s charter schools and privatization of public institutions in general.
At a press conference held on April 24, 2017 at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Mr. Kucinich said that state policies drain billions of dollars from public schools and transfer tax dollars to privately operated schools charter schools with “…little transparency, accountability, or government oversight.”
The former mayor cited his experience protecting Cleveland’s municipal electric plant from privatization efforts back in 1977 as why he is so concerned about the impact of charter schools on Ohio’s public education system.
He urged Ohioans to demand that public education receive adequate funding and that state and local resources be used to “rebuild education in the public interest.”
While answering questions from the audience, Mr. Kucinich said that he is consulting with a team of attorneys to explore taking legal action against charter schools, and will publish in January 2018 a report about charter schools and school privatization efforts in Ohio.
“Dennis Kucinich brings his attack on charter schools to Parma, Elyria,” by Patrick O’Donnell, The Plain Dealer, April 26, 2017.
Real Choice Ohio to Meet
The first annual conference of Real Choice Ohio (RCO) is scheduled for May 12, 2017 from 9:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Ohio School Board Association, 8050 N. High Street, Columbus, OH 43235.
Real Choice Ohio includes superintendents, school district leaders, and public school advocates, who are joining together to promote successful marketing practices to recruit and retain students to public schools.
To register for the meeting contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleveland Plain Dealer: Social and emotional learning is focus of national commission visiting Cleveland schools
“A committee of high level educators and state officials studying “social and emotional learning” in schools nationwide are visiting the Cleveland school district this week to gather information and spark public discussion of the topic. The visit will include two panels open to the public Tuesday morning at the Cleveland Public Library to highlight the importance of helping students with resolving conflicts, managing their emotions and seeing issues through the eyes of others.”
Columbus Business First: Here are the Central Ohio schools that spend the most (and least) on their students
“The public school district in Central Ohio that spends the most on its students is one of the smaller ones in the region – and consistently is an all-star academic performer. The $15,818 it spends per student is 77.1 percent above the state-level expenditure average of $8,931. We’ve ranked 30 local districts based on how much they spend per student, using data from the Ohio Department of Education.”
Associated Press: Ohio wants 4,700 educators back in fingerprint-check system
“About 4,700 Ohio-licensed educators are missing from Ohio’s fingerprint-tracking system that helps notify their employers about any new criminal charges against them, so they’re being asked to voluntarily be fingerprinted again and get background checks while officials seek to fix a loophole that led to the problem. At least 1,200 of those educators currently work in Ohio public schools, according to the state Department of Education.”
Last week’s federal spending bill maintained funding for three cultural agencies set to be eliminated by President Trump’s FY18 budget. Not only did the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting endowments continue with funding, they received a slight increase as well. The continuing resolution was passed in an effort to fund the federal government through September 2017. Negotiations continue on the eleven appropriations measures for fiscal year 2018, which begins October 1, 2017.
Washington Post: Federal budget deal would spare arts agencies
“The new federal spending bill would spare — and even slightly increase — funding for three arts-related agencies that President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.”
“Congressional leaders rejected the Trump administration’s proposal to eliminate money for federal arts programs, providing a small increase as part of a bipartisan spending deal. The spending bill that Congress is expected to vote on this week includes $150 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and an identical sum for the Humanities endowment. In both cases, that’s a $2-million increase over last fiscal year.”
Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools
Several national education and civil rights organizations have formed the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) to oppose the Trump administration’s education and social policies, including the wall along the Mexican border, immigration policies, and using tax funds to pay for vouchers and charter schools.
AROS joined May Day Marches in several cities on May 1, 2017, including in Chicago, where the Chicago Teachers Union marched to defend public schools, civil rights, and saving communities.
AROS is a coalition of 10 national organizations of teachers, parents, and students, including the Alliance for Educational Justice, the American Federation of Teachers, the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, the Center for Popular Democracy, the National Education Association, the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and more.
AROS supports the following platform:
- Fix school funding formulas to ensure equity and make investments to make schools and communities strong.
- Invest in qualified teachers, relevant curriculum, and 10,000 sustainable community schools to provide social and health care services.
- Support a free public education system rather than charter schools.
- Embrace and invest in positive discipline practices and restorative justice as critical components for building a culture of mutual respect and commitment to educate young people.
- End high stakes testing to rank and punish students, teachers, and schools, and make time for teaching and learning.
- Include parents, communities, and educators in the decision-making process.
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 (www.omea-ohio.org), Ohio Art Education Association (www.oaea.org), Ohio Educational Theatre Association (www.ohedta.org); OhioDance (www.ohiodance.org), and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (www.oaae.net).