Arts On Line Education Update May 8, 2017

Happy National PTA Teacher Appreciation Week Ohio teachers!



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.




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




Columbus Dispatch: Roundup of local school issues

Check out the results of school levies from around the state.

Akron Beacon Journal: Ohio House plan gives charter school sponsors rated ‘effective’ today a perpetual pass on new and failing e-schools

“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

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.”

LA Times: Spending bill includes $2 million increase for NEA after Trump proposed eliminating funds

“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 (, Ohio Art Education Association (, Ohio Educational Theatre Association (; OhioDance (, and the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education (

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Arts On Line Education Update May 1, 2017


The House Finance Committee accepted a substitute version of HB49 late last week, considerably altering Governor Kasich’s original executive budget.  The committee is scheduled to meet this week and will consider an omnibus amendment and report the bill out of committee. The substitute bill will then be sent to the full House for a vote, and if approved, moved on to the Senate.  The state operating budget (HB49) must be signed into law by July 1, 2017.

Visit OAAE’s website for a full review of changes pertaining to arts education in Substitute HB49.

News Clips on the State Budget:

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio House makes 325 changes to Kasich’s budget bill: See what’s in and out

“Boozy ice cream, drug prevention taught in driver’s ed and a new mileage reimbursement for state lawmakers were among the additions made Tuesday to Ohio’s next two-year operating budget.”

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio House plan funnels more cash to schools

“In addition to more money to battle the drug epidemic and fund schools, Ohio House Republicans are proposing hundreds of amendments to the budget proposed by Gov. John Kasich, including ones that would expand racino gambling, lower property-tax bills for farmers and soften charter-sponsor evaluations.  As is traditional, the two-year state budget bill also is crammed full of various law changes designed to fix problems, reward friends and alter spending.”


Marion Star: Ohio teachers won’t have to job shadow at businesses

“Ohio teachers won’t face a requirement to job shadow with businesses in order to renew their teacher’s licenses.  Ohio House Republicans on Tuesday axed Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to require the “externships” – essentially, a high-level job shadow – as part of the state’s two-year spending plan. With opposition to the idea strong among both parties in the Legislature, the proposal almost certainly will not reappear.”


Cincinnati Enquirer: See if your school would lose money under GOP plan

“Nearly half of all Ohio schools still would lose money next year under a plan proposed Tuesday by House Republicans, who decided to sign onto Gov. John Kasich’s plan to send less money to schools with shrinking populations.  House Republicans tweaked Kasich’s plan so that fewer schools would see declines in money from the state. Nevertheless, their decision to cut state money to some Ohio schools is remarkable, given their reluctance in recent years to send less money to any district. But with a slow-growing economy, state income tax revenue is tight, so lawmakers had less to spend.”




Senate Education Committee, chaired by Senator Peggy Lehner, heard testimony on two education-related bills on Tuesday, April 25.

SB34 (Manning, G.): Requires the school year for public and charter schools to start after Labor Day

Proponents for SB34 included several tourism-driven businesses.  The common theme of their testimony was that a delay in starting school is beneficial to Ohio’s economy.   Lee Alexakos, vice president of community relations for Cedar Fair, also indicated that there are benefits to students as well.  “This legislation would allow for more real life work experience to better prepare our Ohio workforce. Studies show that students who work during high school summer months later in life have higher hourly wages, better annually earnings, and are more consistently employed,” she said.

SB85 (Huffman, M.): Creates one income-based voucher program

Testimony of proponents continued with Chad Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.  Mr. Aldis feels that SB85 would make a number of changes that should significantly improve Ohio’s private school choice efforts.  “ If this legislation were to be adopted, Ohio would have simpler, easier to use system, serving students most in need, and funded in a more straightforward manner that would minimize its impact on communities around the state,” he said.  However his testimony, along with the others, was met with skepticism from members of the committee, including Lehner.  The Chair raised concerns on the funding source for the bill as well as if it could be implemented fairly to all students.



Summary: To require the Education Management Information System to include information regarding persons at whom a student’s violent behavior that resulted in discipline was directed and to require the Department of Education to submit a one-time report to the General Assembly regarding that information.


Summary: To create the Public-Private Partnership Grant Program for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to develop, enhance, and promote educational programs to address regional workforce needs; to create the Sector Partnership Grant Program for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to identify and provide grants to industry partnerships; to support programs that improve access to workforce training opportunities for students; to support economic development and revitalization programs; and to make an appropriation.



Tuesday, May 2

4:30 p.m., Room 121

House Education & Career Readiness Committee (Chr. Brenner, A.)


Summary: To enact the “Students to Soldiers Support Act (S3A)” regarding the participation of students who are serving in the uniformed services in extracurricular activities at public and nonpublic schools and public and private colleges.

–2nd Hearing-Sponsor


Summary: To establish the Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid program and to make an appropriation.

–1st Hearing-Sponsor

HB170: COMPUTER SCIENCE (Carfagna, R., Duffey, M.)

Summary: With regard to academic content standards and curriculum requirements for computer science

–1st Hearing-Sponsor & proponent (Pending referral)


Wednesday, May 3

11:00 a.m. Room 115

House Higher Education & Workforce Development (Chr. Duffey, M)

HB58: CURSIVE HANDWRITING (Brenner, A., Slaby, M.)

Summary: To require instruction in cursive handwriting

–3rd Hearing-All testimony


Summary: To require permanently tenured state university or college faculty members to teach at least three credit hours of undergraduate courses per semester

–First Hearing-Sponsor-Possible substitute


Summary: To create a subprogram of the College Credit Plus Program that permits students to participate in certified apprenticeship programs.

–Ist Hearing-Sponsor

Thursday, May 4

10:00 a.m., Senate Finance Hearing Room

Senate Finance: Primary & Secondary Education Sub. (Chr. Hite, C.,)

Budget: Invited budget testimony from Legislative Service Commission, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio Association of School Business Officials and Ohio School Boards Association



Cleveland Plain Dealer: No high school graduation fix comes from Ohio House

“Any fixes to the state’s high school graduation requirements probably won’t come out of the Ohio House, after none made it into in the mass of changes to the state’s budget bill today.  A special panel and the state school board had called on the legislature earlier this month to create new ways for the class of 2018, this year’s high school juniors, to graduate that do not rely on scores on state tests.”

Dayton Daily News: Ohio launches ‘Purple Star’ to recognize military-friendly schools

“The state has launched a Purple Star Award to recognize military-friendly schools in Ohio, school and military leaders say.  In an announcement Tuesday at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, officials pointed to the challenges children in military families face as many transfer to multiple schools during a parent’s career in uniform and deal with fitting in to a new culture or a parent deployed to a war zone.  “I think what we’re seeing is that military students have specific needs, different needs than other students,” said Paolo DeMaria, state superintendent of public instruction.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: ECOT case stalls recovery of millions paid to other online schools

“Ohio’s attempts to recover about $20 million in state tax funding from eight online charter schools has stalled for more than six months while a much larger battle over more than $60 million from e-school giant ECOT lingers in appeals court.  The year-long fight between the Ohio Department of Education and ECOT, the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, has also delayed the state legislature from sorting out how to avoid e-school funding controversies in the future.”

Associated Press: Ohio auditor begins 1st school district efficiency review

“Ohio Auditor Dave Yost says his office is conducting its first review of a school district’s potential to save money by sharing services.  The Republican auditor said recently that Bellaire Local School District in Belmont County will kick off a series of voluntary shared services feasibility studies around the state.

The reviews were made available under government efficiency bill passed last year. The legislation also set up a grant fund to cover the costs of the audits.”



On April 26 President Trump issued an Executive Order for an evaluation of all federal education statutes to ensure the government is not interfering in with states’ and local districts’ control of education.

Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education  

New York Times: Trump Orders Review of Education Policies to Strengthen Local Control

“President Trump issued a sweeping review of federal education policies on an executive order to pinpoint areas where the government may be overstepping in shaping operations of local school systems.”

Associated Press: Trump Order Seeks to Limit Federal Role in K-12 Education

“Trump is giving Education Secretary Betsy DeVos just short of a year – 300 days – to identify areas where Washington has overstepped its legal authority in education, and modify and repeal regulations and guidance from her department, if necessary. A report will be returned to the White House and eventually made public, officials said.”

Other national news:

Huffington Post: U.S. Students Are Struggling In The Arts. Donald Trump’s Budget Would Make The Problem Worse.

“American teenagers are not excelling in the arts, and President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts will likely make matters worse, experts say.  The most recent results of a wide-ranging national educational assessment known as the Nation’s Report Card left significant room for improvement in the visual arts and music, the National Center for Education Statistics reported Tuesday.  Students scored an average 147 in music and 149 in visual arts on a scale of 300, dipping very slightly from 2008, when the test was last administered.”


NPR: Nation’s Report Card Finds Mixed Grades For U.S. Students In Visual Arts, Music

“For only the third time ever, the government released today a national report card examining the knowledge, understanding and abilities of U.S. eighth-graders in visual arts and music.  And in many ways, the numbers aren’t great, with little progress shown in most categories since the last time the assessment was given in 2008. One bright spot: The achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white peers has narrowed. But Hispanics and African-Americans still lag far behind white and Asian eighth-graders.”

New York Times: US Students Need More Exposure to Arts and Music, Test Shows

“When it comes to music and visual arts, American teenagers could use some help.  The National Center for Education Statistics reported Tuesday that in 2016, American eighth graders scored an average 147 in music and 149 in visual arts on a scale of 300. Some 8,800 eighth graders from public and private schools across the country took part in the test, which was part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation’s Report Card.”

Education Week: In MN and U.S., Teacher-Powered Schools Take Root

“At Impact Academy, one of a growing number of teacher-powered schools across the country, teachers’ fingerprints are all over the purple walls, even though they can’t really be seen. That’s because the school’s layout, its mission, the style of learning—everything is decided by the teachers themselves.  For longtime teacher Julene Oxton, the fingerprint analogy may even be literal: With family members, she tore down a classroom wall to make way for a different kind of learning environment.”

Artsy: ProjectArt Revives Childhood Art Education, with Help from Some Famous Names

“It’s a little-known scientific fact: Before they were famous, 100% of artists were kids. And, like most kids, they doodled, sculpted, finger-painted, and followed their wildest impulses without shame, second-guessing, or self-consciousness. Of course, they soon grew up and started taking artmaking more seriously—perhaps even referring to it by the rarified euphemism of ‘a practice.'”


Congress set to approve $2 million increase for the NEA
Congress has reached an agreement on FY17 funding that includes $150 million for the NEA, a $2 million increase over FY16. The omnibus agreement covers federal funding through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2017). The House and Senate are anticipated to pass the bill this week.


OHIO: The Start of it All – July 27 – October 14, 2017

The Ohio Arts Council’s Riffe Gallery, located in downtown Columbus, presents OHIO: The Start of it All, July 27 – October 14, 2017. Curated by Dan Chudzinski of the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum, the exhibition consists of 60 original children’s book illustrations based on people, places, inventions, and more related to the great state of Ohio. Exhibition tours will be available beginning in early August through the run of the exhibition. For more information, contact OAC Riffe Gallery Director Mary Gray at or 614-728-2239.

Image Credit:

Chuck Richards, “Garden Hose” from “Jungle Gym Gitters”,  2004, colored pencil, courtesy of the University of Findlay’s Mazza Collection

Judy Schachner, “Dewey Bob” from “Dewey Bob”, 2016, mixed media, courtesy of the University of Findlay’s Mazza Collection

Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Art Education – November 7

Save November 7, 2017 for the Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Art Education’s Professional Development Day.  More details will be released in a couple months. For additional information email



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 (

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Arts on Line Education Update April 24, 2017


Springfield News-Sun: State Superintendent visits Dome, Springfield High School

“The Ohio state superintendent toured The Dome and Springfield High School on Tuesday and said the local school district is doing a good job giving students an opportunity to learn in a unique environment.

‘Wonderful things are happening here,’ State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said of The Dome. “We just spent some time talking to kids and you can tell they are excited and are engaged and they feel like it is making a difference.”  DeMaria, the leader of the Ohio Department of Education, came to Springfield because of a conversation between Springfield City Superintendent Bob Hill and State School Board President Tess Elshoff at a meeting in Columbus.”

Dayton Daily News: 5 things to know about how teachers are paid

“Dozens of local school districts are currently negotiating new contracts with their teachers unions, bringing discussions of teacher pay back to the forefront.  Each school district negotiates separately with its teachers to decide on a salary chart based on teachers’ education level and years of experience. That means two similar teachers can make dramatically different amounts of money depending on where they work.”

Youngstown Vindicator: CEO bringing back neighborhood schools concept

“Neighborhood schools are returning to Youngstown.  Youngstown City Schools CEO Krish Mohip is set to unveil his long-anticipated school reconfiguration plan today. He said a goal of bringing back neighborhood schools is to increase parental involvement.   ‘When we complain about parents not showing up and parental involvement, we have to consider that it’s really hard for them transportation wise when their kids’ schools are on the other side of the city,” Mohip said. “This is about getting the kids as close as possible to their schools.'”


Dayton Daily News: Retired Ohio teachers to lose cost of living increase

“Trustees for the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio voted 10-1 on Thursday to indefinitely suspend the cost of living allowance given to retired teachers.  Retirees will no longer get a 2 percent COLA bump on their pensions for the foreseeable future.  The fix, though, may not be enough to shore up the finances of the $72-billion fund. ‘Even if we take this action, it’s only a 50-50 shot that it works,’ said STRS trustee James McGreevy, who argued for broader, deeper changes. McGreevy was the only no vote.”


Cleveland Plain Dealer: Impact of poor grades for big online schools could be cut in charter school oversight ratings

“State Rep. Andrew Brenner wants to ease the blow to charter school overseers made by the poor grades of giant online schools.  Brenner, chairman of the House Education Committee, plans to propose amendments to the state budget bill next week adjusting how the state rewards and penalizes the organizations that start and oversee charter schools.  The biggest change: He wants to do away with a requirement that the academic performance of the multiple charter schools in each overseer’s portfolio of schools be weighted by the number of students in each school.” 




Ohio Legislators return from their two week spring break on Monday, April 24.




Tuesday, April 25

10:00 a.m., Room 122

House State & Local Government Committee

HB134: SCHOOL GRANTS  (Hambley, S., Kick, D.)

Summary: To allow community improvements board grants to a school district to be spent for permanent improvements outside the county so long as the improvements are within the school district.

1st Hearing – Sponsor

10:45 a.m., Finance Hearing Room

Senate Finance: Primary & Secondary Education Subcommittee

Informal hearing on budget bill (HB49)


4:00 p.m., South Hearing Room

Senate Education Committee

SB8: SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY & SAFETY (Gardner, R., Terhar, L.)

3rd Hearing – Opponent & interested party


SB82: SCHOOL ABSENCES (Williams, S., Lehner, P.)

3rd Hearing – All testimony


SB 4: ACADEMIC YEAR (Manning, G.)

3rd Hearing – All testimony


SB85: SCHOOL CHOICE (Huffman, M.)

2nd Hearing – Proponent


Thursday, April 27

10:00 a.m., Finance Hearing Room

Senate Finance: Primary & Secondary Education Subcommittee

Informal hearing on budget bill (HB49)




US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Van Wert City Schools Thursday, April 20, 2017.  Her support of private and charter schools has made DeVos a controversial pick for Education Secretary by the Trump administration.


Associated Press: Education secy, teachers union chief meet on school tour

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the head of a national teachers union sought to find common ground as they toured public schools in Ohio, but differences remained.  The school visit came just months after American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten fiercely opposed the nomination of DeVos, a longtime advocate of charter and private schools. In the past Weingarten has accused DeVos of feeling ‘antipathy for public schools.'”


Toledo Blade: DeVos, union chief amicable on visit to northwest Ohio

“Barely a hint of the biting rhetoric lobbed at U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos by teachers’ unions and other public school advocates surfaced Thursday as she toured Van Wert City Schools alongside an ardent critic.  President Trump’s cabinet pick, controversial among many public school educators for her charter school support, spent several amicable hours in this rural northwest Ohio district with Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers.”


Washington Post: Teachers union hosts DeVos on visit to public schools in rural Ohio

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited an Ohio school district Thursday at the invitation of one of her chief critics, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who used the occasion to make a case for investment in public schools.  The two combatants in the nation’s education battles met for several hours, touring classrooms and hearing from teachers and students in Van Wert, a rural community of about 11,000 in northwestern Ohio. ”


More national news:

Washington Post: DeVos announces Education Department hires

“Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Wednesday announced the names of personnel who will serve in key leadership positions at the Education Department, a move that comes after she spent the first two months of her tenure operating with a skeletal beachhead team.  Serving as chief of staff is Josh Venable, who worked on former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign and for Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education. DeVos served on the board of the foundation, which sought to export the Florida model of education restructuring to other parts of the country.”




Ohio State University: When it comes to reading, kindergarten is the new first grade

“A new nationwide study has found that children entering first grade in 2013 had significantly better reading skills than similar students had just 12 years earlier.  Researchers say this means that in general, children are better readers at a younger age, but the study also revealed where gaps remain – especially in more advanced reading skills.  The good news was that even low-achieving students saw gains in basic reading skills over this time period and actually narrowed the achievement gap with other young readers.”


University of Maryland: Arts Education and Positive Youth Development

“A new study from the University of Maryland indicates that adults who participated in music education in school in grades K-12 were more likely to attend a musical performance and play an instrument in later life. Education in other artistic disciplines, including theater, was also associated with participation in those disciplines later on in life.”

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 (

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Arts On Line Education Update April 17, 2017

April 10 & 11 

Graduation Requirements for class of 2018-2019

The State Board of Education voted to approve two additional graduation requirement options to assist the class of 2018-2019 in earning a high school diploma.  The two options were the product of the Graduation Requirements Workgroup, a special committee convened to address concerns that many in the 2018-2019 class would not meet the criteria needed to graduate under Ohio’s new requirements.  The Board approved recommendations now head to the General Assembly and can be viewed in their entirety here.

Recommendation 1

  • Complete all required high school courses
  • Take all required end-of-course exams; retake any ELA or Math test for which student scored a “1”
  • Meet two of the following eight conditions:
    • 93% attendance rate during senior year
    • 5 senior year GPA (min. 4 full yr. courses)
    • Capstone senior project defined by district
    • 120 hours senior year work experience/ community service
    • College Credit Plus course – 3 or more credits earned
    • IB/AP course and exam score earning college credit
    • 9 pts on WorkKeys exam (min. 3 pts. on each of three components
    • Earn State Board approved in-demand credential (3 pts or higher) 

Recommendation 2

  • Complete all required high school courses
  • Take all required end-of-course exams
  • Complete an Ohio Department of Education approved career-technical training program that includes 4 or more Vocational Technical (VT) courses
  • Complete one of the following:
    • Proficient or better on the total test score based on the average performance across career-tech program end-of-course exams or test modules (WebXams)
    • Earn State Board approved credential or group of credentials (12 pts. or higher)
    • Workplace participation: 250 hours; evidence of positive evaluations

The Associated Press:  Board wants more flexibility in Ohio graduation requirements

“The State Board of Education wants to give current high school juniors more flexibility in how they can earn a diploma amid educators’ warnings that too many of those students are at risk of not graduating next school year under Ohio’s new graduation requirements.  Because the Board’s authority is limited, it voted Tuesday to seek the Legislature’s permission to move ahead with such alternatives.”

Columbus Dispatch: State school board looks to recommend easing graduation requirements

“Hoping to prevent thousands of students from being denied a high-school diploma next year, the State Board of Education is urging lawmakers to mitigate new graduation requirements.  The board voted 16-3 Tuesday to ask legislators to sign off on a one-year bailout giving this year’s juniors who fall short on end-of-course exams other ways to earn a diploma.  The Class of 2018 is the first subject to the tough new benchmarks approved by the General Assembly in 2014 to ensure students are prepared for college or a job.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Students could graduate regardless of test scores under plan backed by state school board

“The state school board has lined up behind a proposal to avoid a graduation crisis for the class of 2018 by allowing students to earn diplomas regardless of their scores on state tests.  The plan backed by board members, with some limits, would create a one-year emergency exemption from the state’s new requirements that students score well on new state high school tests, in addition to passing the required classes, in order to earn a diploma.  It would let this year’s high school juniors, the first class affected by the new requirements, graduate by instead reaching some career training goals or by doing things like having strong attendance or classroom grades their senior year.”


Teacher Evaluation

The Board approved revisions to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) Framework that would decrease the impact of student growth measures on teachers’ assessments, among other changes.  The six recommendations were developed by the Ohio Educator Standards Board. The Ohio Department of Education plans to present the recommendations to the General Assembly for approval and vote into law.

The six recommendations included:

  1. Update the OTES rubric.
  2. Embed the current student growth measures as sources of evidence within the rubric indicators in five of the ten specific domains in the OTES rubric: Knowledge of students, Differentiation, Assessment of student learning, Assessment data, and Professional responsibility.
  3. Remove shared attribution as it does not accurately measure individual teacher performance or student growth because the measure uses assessments for a cohort of students that the educator does not teach.
  4. Embed the Alternative Framework Components as sources of evidence in the revised OTES rubric by integrating alternate measures (like student surveys and portfolios) into the regular scoring rubric.
  5. Tailor the structure and timing of observations to meet the needs of teachers in order to focus on improvement and growth.
  6. Provide a professional growth process for teachers rated ‘Accomplished’ and ‘Skilled’ to include a teacher-directed professional growth plan for the ‘Accomplished’ teacher and a professional growth plan (PGP) for the ‘Skilled’ teacher.

The full report can be read here.

Dayton Daily News: Ohio looks to change teacher evaluation system

“Changes to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System, moving away from mandatory grading of student growth on tests, are on track to be introduced in 2018-19 after the state school board approved a resolution Tuesday by a 15-4 vote.  The state’s Educator Standards Board worked for months on revisions to the OTES model, including language that ‘the evaluation system would no longer include student growth as a separate, weighted component rating.'”


Addressing Chronic Absenteeism  

The Accountability and Continuous Improvement Committee continued their discussion on the development of a model policy for school districts to use in an effort to address chronic absenteeism.  With the passage of HB410 last December, schools cannot suspend or expel students for missing too much school beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.  Instead, districts must amend or adopt policies that outline their interventions and plans for students who miss too much school.   The School Board’s model policy for districts is due July 5 and guidance and training materials developed by the Ohio Department of Education must be completed by October 3.

Recommendations for addressing chronic absenteeism to date are as follows:

  • Generate and act on absenteeism data
  • Create and deploy positive messages and measures
  • Use a tiered system to target interventions and support
  • Focus communities on addressing chronic absenteeism
  • Ensure shared accountability throughout the whole community
  • Engage parents and families



During last week’s State Board of Education meeting, State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria outlined the timeline for Ohio’s plan to comply with the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) September submission deadline.  Over the next two meetings, the State Board committees will review the ESSA plan along with the previous feedback from interested parties with the intent of the full Board approving the plan at the July meeting.  The plan would then be sent to Governor Kasich by August 18 to give him a full 30 days of review before the final Ohio ESSA plan would be officially submitted by the September 18 deadline.

(Earlier this year OAAE submitted specific recommendations to the State Board of Education on how Ohio’s ESSA Plan can be amended to support a well-rounded education, including the arts. Read OAAE’s recommendations here.)

The State Board Committees have been assigned the following sections for their review during the May and June State Board meetings:

Accountability & Continuous Improvement Committee

May Meeting:  21st Century (section G) & Homeless Children (I)

June Meeting:  Accountability/Improvement (A4) & Appendix A

Achievement & Graduation Requirements Committee

May Meeting:   School Conditions (A6) / School Transitions (A7) / English Language Learners (E)

June Meeting:  Eighth Grade Math Exception (A2) / Native Language Assessments (A3) / Rural and Low Income Schools (H)

Educators & Student Options Committee

May Meeting:   Access to Educators (A5)

June Meeting:  Effective Instruction (D)

Executive Committee

May Meeting:   Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk (C)

June Meeting:  Migratory Children (B) / Student Support/Enrichment Grants (F)



Plain Dealer: Lakewood City Schools earn national music education designation: A Place in the Sun

“Lakewood City Schools are among 4 percent of districts nationwide to receive the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its commitment to music education. School officials said the district’s and community’s commitment to music education is reflected in the new Performing Arts wing that will open in August at Lakewood High School. The new wing includes a band room, choir room, eight practice rooms, uniform and equipment storage rooms a keyboard lab and music library room.”

Columbus Dispatch: Will Ohio’s new high-school graduation exams doom poor kids to failure?

“It sounded like a good idea three years ago when state government leaders instituted new graduation exams to make sure kids were prepared for college or a job.  That is, until last fall, when state officials began to look at the sobering number of kids who could be denied a high-school diploma next year when the new requirements are to take effect.  Some districts and charter schools could see graduation rates plunge by as much as 70 percent, particularly those serving poor minority students. Some charters might not graduate a single student, according to projections compiled by the Ohio Department of Education in response to a superintendents’ march at the Statehouse.”

Lima News: DeVos to make scheduled visit to Van Wert schools

“Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will make a visit to the Van Wert City School District on April 20.  ‘I look forward to visiting the students, parents and educators of Van Wert,’ DeVos said in a statement. ‘Every parent should be able to send their children to a school that meets their unique needs, and for many parents, that is a public school. I support and celebrate all great schools. I appreciate the district and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten extending the invitation.'”

Columbus Dispatch: Database: New graduation standards

“Statewide, 66 percent of high school juniors have met, or are on track to meet, new graduation requirements. More are likely to qualify by next year as the class of 2018 is the first to face the higher benchmark for earning a diploma.  This database shows where Ohio districts stood in December.”




Columbus Dispatch: Kasich, lawmakers cutting $400 million a year from proposed state budget

“Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Republican legislative leaders are huddling to identify $400 million in annual cuts to the proposed two-year state budget amid still-sluggish economic growth.  ‘We’re going to look at all the options,” the governor said today. “Everything has to be under the microscope.’  Asked if any areas, such as schools, were immune from reductions in proposed funding in the $71 billion-a-year state budget, Kasich said: ‘The message is we’re not going to take anything off the table.'”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio legislators must trim $800 million from proposed biennial budget

“Ohio lawmakers will have to cut $800 million from the two-year budget they’re pounding out.  Gov. John Kasich, flanked by GOP legislative leaders and budget director Tim Keen, said Thursday that slow economic growth nationally and in Ohio are responsible for tax revenues lagging behind estimates.  As of the end of March, yearly tax revenue collections were $615 million below estimates, which were already revised downward in June.  At a Thursday news conference, Kasich, House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Larry Obhof said nothing is off the table when considering what to cut. But they said state efforts to combat the state’s opioid abuse and overdose epidemic will not likely be affected.”

Toledo Blade: Kasich, GOP agree to cut budget $800M

“Gov. John Kasich and Republican legislative leaders on Thursday agreed to reduce Ohio’s spending by $800 million in the next two-year budget, making an already tight plan even tighter.  Mr. Kasich’s hope to include a fourth consecutive net tax cut is in danger.”



WOSU: States want more career and technical training, but struggle to find teachers

“Two-thirds of states are currently reporting a shortage of CTE teachers in at least one specialty, according to a Stateline analysis of federal data.  Many Minnesota employers say they can’t find skilled workers with the right career training. Meanwhile, high schools are cutting career and technical education courses because they can’t find qualified teachers.” 

Washington Post: DeVos Praises This Voucher-Like Program. Here’s What It Means for School Reform

“Florida has channeled billions of taxpayer dollars into scholarships for poor children to attend private schools over the past 15 years, using tax credits to build a laboratory for school choice that the Trump administration holds up as a model for the nation.”

The Hill – Opinion: Why we need to continue funding the arts

“As a professional artist, curator and college art professor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the importance of the arts and the humanities. They play a vital role in modeling our perspectives and enriching our lives. The arts and humanities are not just a tool for personal expression or a way to mark celebrations, but they challenge our perceptions of society.  The arts and humanities inspire, challenge, and expand our minds.  They encourage us to think critically and allow us to experience the world through someone else’s reality.”


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 (

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Arts On Line Education Update April 10, 2017


Arts Honor Diploma Now an Option

Beginning this school year, students are able to receive an honors diploma from six different academic areas, one of which is the Arts.  The Arts Honor Diploma includes dance, drama/theatre, music and visual art.  The other two recently added academic areas for honor diplomas include STEM and Social Science & Civic Engagement.  Students can also continue to receive honor diplomas in the original academic areas of Academic Honors, International Baccalaureate, and Career Tech.

Teacher Evaluations – Final summative rating is now open in eTPES

“As the final summative rating section of eTPES opens, those who are conducting evaluations should be aware of three things. ”

State Impact Ohio: Ohio Teacher Evaluation System May Change Again

“For all the talk about local control of schools, a great deal of education policy comes from the state.  And that includes the appraisal of teachers.   Most K-12 instructors in Ohio are graded and classified according to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System. That assessment has changed several times since it was written in 2011.  Now a new version has been submitted to the Ohio Board of Education that could resolve some long-held complaints.” 

Notice from ODE: New School Schedules – Making Up Time

Ohio district and school schedules now are measured by hours, not days. As a result, there are no longer calamity days in Ohio schools. Instead, schools should schedule hours above the minimum number required by Ohio law to accommodate weather-related situations that delay or cancel school. Districts do not have to make up hours they had scheduled above the required minimum. However, if a school closes enough hours to fall below the minimum number required, the school must make up those hours by extending its scheduled year.  One way to make up time missed within the minimum required hours is a plan that requires students to complete classroom lessons posted on the district or nonpublic school’s web portal or website. A district’s plan should include the written consent of the teachers’ employee representative, per Ohio law.


State of the State 2017 Coverage – Governor Kasich delivered his seventh State of the State speech Thursday, April 4 in Sandusky.

Cleveland Plain Dealer: John Kasich, during State of the State address, says Ohio must innovate to keep up with changing economy

Cincinnati Enquirer: Trump, GOP disagreements and 2020? 3 takeaways from John Kasich’s State of the State

Columbus Dispatch: State of the State: Kasich wants $20 million to fight addiction 

Other Ohio News Clips

Columbus Dispatch: Do Ohio students take too many standardized tests?
“Does Ohio have a student-testing problem? Teachers, school administrators and other critics argue that students spend so much time taking standardized tests that it distracts from student learning and takes the joy out of teaching.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial: Sen. Matt Huffman’s school voucher bill good for students and parents: pro editorial

“Debate over school choice is so passionate and politically divisive, we must make sure not to lose sight of what ought to be the primary – actually the only – objective: giving students their best chance for a good education.  In pursuit of that, decision-makers need to acknowledge that a good education comprises more than test results purporting to reflect what students learned in a classroom. Social growth in a positive setting, along with a safe, healthy environment, is also a critical factor.” 

Dayton Daily News: Ohio schools finally get a year without major changes in state testing platform

“State testing for local schools is in full swing this week, but the process has been a little quieter than past years, because Ohio is finally using the same test platform in back-to-back years.  Ohio students had to take the Ohio Achievement Assessments in 2014, then the PARCC tests in 2015, followed by tests from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in 2016.” 

Canton Repository: School tests matter, but how much is too much?

“Get out your No. 2 pencils, there’s going to be a test.  It’s a phrase Ohio students may hear about 1.7 percent of the 12,376 hours they’re in school from kindergarten through high school graduation.

Students in the Buckeye State spend an average of 215 hours during their school careers taking tests.

According to the Ohio Department of Education, about a third of those hours are put toward assessments mandated by the state — reading and math tests in grades three through eighth, social studies exams in grades four and six, science in fifth and eighth grades, and seven high school end-of-course exams. The remaining 144 hours are devoted to local tests.” 



Senate Finance – Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee        

HB49 – State Operating Budget

Although the House has yet to send their version of the state’s operating budget to the Senate, members of the Senate Finance Primary & Secondary Education Subcommittee were interested in gathering facts and establishing a deeper understanding of the executive budget.   Office of Budget and Management Director Timothy Keen testified on April 5 reassuring the subcommittee and urging them to trust the results of the funding formulas presented to the House.  In HB49’s current form, it’s estimated nearly half of all school districts are expected to lose funding. 

Highland County Press Opinion: Report – Kasich budget cuts funding for 2/3 of districts

“Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2018-19 budget cuts funding for 390 or about two-thirds of Ohio’s school districts, according to a report released today by Policy Matters Ohio.  The budget increases funding for K-12 education over the last two-year budget by 3.2 percent, but that’s not enough to keep up with inflation, Policy Matters found. Moreover, changes to the foundation funding formula hurt districts with enrollment declines, place caps on funding increases, freeze per pupil funding and decrease state aid for transportation, according to the report.”


First Quarter State Revenues Even Lower than Anticipated

Office of Budget Management Director Tim Keen shared with the Senate Finance Committee April 5 that state revenue projections are even lower than originally anticipated when Governor Kasich introduced his budget in January.  The first three months of 2017 have continued to fall short of the predicted revenue, potentially resulting in fewer funds for the state’s upcoming operating budget for 2018-2019. 

Columbus Dispatch: Budget Crunch: Ohio $615 Million Below Revenue Estimate for Year

“State revenue is tumbling, led by weakening Ohio income tax collections, and the state budget director is warning lawmakers to prepare for less available money in the upcoming budget.”

Plain Dealer: Ohio tax revenues fell 33 percent short of estimates in March

“Ohio Budget Director Tim Keen told lawmakers on Wednesday he will likely lower revenue projections for the 2018-2019 budget.  Ohio tax revenues fell about 33 percent short of projections in March, fueled by yet another month of sluggish income tax payments.” 

ON THE CALENDAR – Week of April 10

Monday, April 10

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

State Board of Education Meeting

Tuesday, April 11

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

State Board of Education Meeting



US News & World Report:  Trump Promises to Spend Big on Education Weeks after Proposing Billions in Cuts

“Just weeks after President Donald Trump proposed axing $9 billion in federal education programs, he said his administration is planning to “spend a lot of money” on education in order to increase the number of students graduating with the skills needed to fill current employment gaps.”

The Epoch Times:  The Gap in Art Education in Schools

“In the last half-century, it seems that few attempts have been made to hold on to the classical methods of producing fine art, or even seeing it. According to Arthur Efland in his essay “Art Education in the Twentieth Century,” this may be due to the tendency in education to swing back and forth between focusing either on the arts or on the sciences. Depending on the social issues of the time, we have focused on either the “objective detachment and precision” of science or the “affective engagement and participatory learning” through art.”

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. 

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Arts On Line Education Update April 3, 2017


Ohio Department of Education Graduation Requirements Work Group Update for the Class of 2018

After more than two months of constructive discussion on Ohio’s graduation requirements for the class of 2018, Ohio’s Graduation Requirements Work Group has made recommendations to State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria. The superintendent will study them and take his final recommendation to the board in April. State Board of Education members will consider the proposal in future meetings. 

Columbus Dispatch: Panel offers options for students to graduate despite test scores

“A state panel reviewing whether Ohio’s new high-school graduation requirements are too tough wants to give students options for earning a diploma.  Coming to schools most days, performing work or community service or earning a 2.5 grade-point average during senior year also could be used to qualify students to graduate, under recommendations made Wednesday night to state schools Superintendent Paolo DeMaria.”

Columbus Dispatch: Are graduation requirements for Ohio students too tough?

“With tens of thousands more Ohio high-school seniors facing the prospect of failing to earn a diploma next year, a committee’s recommendation that lawmakers water down the state’s new graduation requirements is getting mixed reviews.  Without the changes, urban districts would be particularly hard-hit; only 38 percent of juniors in Columbus City Schools are currently on track to meet new testing requirements. More are likely to qualify within the next year.  The district’s graduation rate under the current requirements was almost 74 percent in the 2014-15 school year.” 

Springfield News-Sun: Students should graduate without passing State tests, panel says

“Ohio could add pathways to a Class of 2018 high school diploma that do not require any passing scores on state tests, if the recommendations made Wednesday by the state’s graduation work group are adopted.”

Dayton Daily News: Ohio students should graduate without passing state tests, panel says

“Ohio could add pathways to a Class of 2018 high school diploma that do not require any passing scores on state tests, if the recommendations made Wednesday by the state’s graduation work group are adopted.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Credit for band, college classes or not skipping school could fix Ohio’s graduation crisis

“Playing trombone in the school band, playing a varsity sport, having a good grade point average or making it to school every day might help some students in danger of not graduating from high school clear the bar and earn a diploma.” 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio should count advanced courses, tests toward grad, says Cleveland CEO

“Cleveland school district CEO Eric Gordon says Ohio’s controversial new graduation requirements have a “structural flaw” – they don’t count advanced or college tests and courses, just more basic ones.” 


Nomination and selection materials now available for 2018 Ohio Teacher of the Year

The Ohio Teacher of the Year award program recognizes exceptional teachers statewide and celebrates their effective work in and outside the classroom. The program’s intent is to amplify teachers’ voices and empower educators to take part in critical conversations about decisions affecting students, teachers and public education.  Details about the Ohio Teacher of the Year nomination and selection process, along with the nomination form and application packet, are available here.


Roster verification set-up period begins next week

“Principals and designated district administrators will receive an email on Monday, April 3, announcing that the school set-up period for value-added roster verification is underway through April 18. With the link in that message, which came from the district’s roster verification service provider, principals and their support teams may gain access to verify staff lists and assignments in preparation for the teacher roster verification period, which runs April 19 to May 9.”



Art Education in the News

The annual Statehouse Exhibition, representing K-12 student work from schools in all nine Ohio Art Education Association (OAEA) regions and hung in the Map Room of the Ohio Statehouse, will run from April 3-29, 2017, with a reception for the student artists, their families and their art teachers held on Saturday, April 29, from 12-1:00 PM.  This exhibition is a partnership of the Ohio Alliance for Arts Education, the Ohio Art Education Association, Ohio Citizens for the Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council.

Richland Source: Shelby students celebrate Youth Art Month

“The artistic talent of Shelby students was on display Monday evening, commemorating March as Youth Art Month.  The Shelby Board of Education took time out of their Monday meeting to visit a classroom full of art projects from all grades in Shelby City Schools. The display was part of Youth Art Month, a month of promoting art and art education in the United States.  Assistant Superintendent Paul Walker introduced the exhibit, noting the importance of art education in Shelby.” 

Mansfield News Journal: Artapalooza celebrates student art

“Young artists from area schools will display their creations and participate in workshops and activities during Artapolooza, an annual celebration of art in education.  Sponsored and hosted by Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, Artapalooza includes an elaborate student-created art gallery open to the public 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 4-6 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 7. An artists’ reception at Mid-Ohio’s offices, 890 W. Fourth St., will be 5:30 p.m. April 6 with winners announced at 7 p.m.”

Youngstown Vindicator: Mahoning Valley students create art for Akron Children’s

“When Akron Children’s Hospital went looking for art to display at its Beeghly Campus, it didn’t have to look far. Students from all over the area created pieces that will hang in the hospital’s Building A, which is undergoing expansion.  The building addition will have some 200 paintings on display, art consultant Ron Beahn said.”

Morrow County Sentinel: Park Avenue second grader’s artwork featured in Columbus exhibit

“The Mount Gilead Park Avenue Elementary School is proud to announce that the art work of Taelan Davis, grade two, was selected for exhibit in the 2017 Ohio Art Education Association’s Young People’s Art Exhibition.” 

Columbus Dispatch: Day of Arts brings works by disabled artists to general community

“The paintings, photographs and mixed-media works on display at the Westerville Community Center on Saturday could have been part of any eclectic gallery show.  They ranged from realistic photos to fanciful expressions of objects and emotions in paint, wood and fabric. The works, though, had special significance to the 250 artists, friends and family in attendance at the Day of Arts for All, a showcase for art created by Ohioans with mental, physical, developmental and emotional disabilities.” 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Chagrin Falls High School Students’ art selected for 2017 Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition: Community Voices

“Three Chagrin Falls High School students and four pieces of their art are accepted in this year’s Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, opening April 23 in the James A. Rhodes State Office Tower in Columbus.  They include Jane Goble  “Food For Thought” (TOP 25); Jake Levine  “Vibrant Night;” Graham Smith  “Hepaestus’s Cradle,” and Graham Smith  “Children of Tender Indifference.”  Goble’s artwork was selected as “top 25″ and she will receive the 2017 Governor’s Award of Excellence during the awards ceremony portion of the opening ceremony.  The exhibit closes at the end of May.”


Other Ohio News Clips

Dayton Daily NewsPension cuts looming for Ohio teachers and retirees

“The financial strength of the State Teachers Retirement System — the second largest pension fund in the state — is being questioned after actuaries told trustees to make big changes. Now, teachers and retirees may face benefit cuts.” 

WOSU: When It Comes To Chronically Absent Students, Schools Have To Learn

“According to state report cards, Columbus ranks at the top of large school districts for chronic absenteeism, with a rate of 38.1 percent.” 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Do vouchers give better educations, mixed results

“The school voucher programs that some federal and state officials want to expand have mixed test results in Ohio that make it unclear how much more students learn than if they had stayed in their local public schools.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: National charter school leaders oppose Trump’s education budget

“The Breakthrough charter schools here in Cleveland today joined a group of 20 high-scoring charter  school operators in opposing President Donald Trump’s education budget.  Though charter schools would receive $168 million more money through Trump’s plan, they school leaders oppose cuts in federal support to traditional school districts.”



House Government Accountability and Oversight


This bill provides the Department of Education with specific guidance on distributing funds returned to the state from a community school as the result of a ‘finding for recovery’ from the Auditor of State.  During his testimony, bill sponsor Roegner said “HB87, which has a robust list of bi-partisan cosponsors, continues in the spirit of ensuring that every single tax payer dollar is effectively deployed and in the unfortunate event of a “Finding for Recovery” is appropriately returned to the traditional school district.”

Akron Beacon Journal: Legislation would return mishandled dollars

“Legislation would return tax dollars mishandled in charter schools to the local school districts that lost out.”

House Higher Education and Workforce Development


This bill would require instruction in cursive handwriting. The committee heard testimony from a range of experts describing the benefits of cursive handwriting and its connection to literacy and educational success.  In her written testimony, occupational therapist Carol Armann indicated that “Handwriting is not only an academic task that requires direct instruction, but a neurological process that activates the left brain, specifically the word and letter recognition region.  With regard to cursive, research shows that cursive writing contributes to improved spelling and composition in upper elementary and middle school grades (Berninger, 2015).’  The testimonies however were met with hesitation from the committee due to the potential of adding additional educational mandates.


House Education and Career Readiness


The bill to require one-half unit of financial literacy in the high school curriculum was met with hesitation as well.  Concerns of adding another state requirement as well as questions on the feasibility of fulfilling the requirement were raised.  Tom Rutan a retired Ohio Department of Education (ODE) Associate Director of Curriculum and Instruction, was one of the several professionals who testified in favor of the bill.  Rutan indicated in his testimony ‘that students today receive inconsistent instruction in financial literacy depending on the decisions of their individual school districts and the emphasis (or lack thereof) that is placed on financial literacy, including the assignment of teachers for that content… HB 108 provides consistency to an otherwise inconsistent landscape. It stresses alignment with the approved standards and establishes a common course length taught by a properly prepared, fully licensed educator. Plus, as a graduation requirement, it mandates that every child take and pass the course to earn a one-half credit toward graduation.”  HB 108 also requires the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each institution of higher education and 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.


Senate Education Committee


To require a public school to place a telephone call within one hour of the start of the school day to a parent whose child is absent without legitimate excuse. Testimony included the parents of the teenager whose death triggered the inception of the bill.  Attorney General Mike DeWine submitted written testimony in support of SB82. He said …”there is nothing in the Ohio Revised Code that sets baseline standards for schools to contact parents if their child has not reported to school.  This legislation would set a reasonable timeline for schools to contact parents, thus giving families, school officials and law enforcement as much time as possible to ensure a child’s safety.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Schools to call parents if kids absent, says bill after DeFreeze killing

“Schools across Ohio would have to call parents right away if kids are not in class each morning under a new bill that would make these so-called “Alianna Alerts.” Sen. Sandra Williams, a Cleveland Democrat, Williams told the Senate Education Committee this week that her bill is in response to the murder of Alianna DeFreeze. The 14-year-old Cleveland girl had boarded an RTA bus on January 26 to head to her charter school, but never made it.”

Newly Introduced Legislation

Introduced in House 3/28/2017


To revise 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 to designate the first week of May as In-Demand Jobs Week. 

Introduced in House 3/29/2017


With regard to academic content standards and curriculum requirements for computer science; to revise educator qualifications regarding computer science; to create a competitive technology grant program for the 2018-2019 school year; and to make an appropriation.


ON THE CALENDAR – Week of April 3rd

Wednesday, April 5

10:30 a.m., North Hearing Room

Senate Finance – Higher Education Subcommittee

HB49: Creates FY 2018-2019 Operating Budget

Informal Hearing, Ohio Department of Higher Education

4:30 p.m., South Hearing Room

Senate Education Committee

SB85: Create the Opportunity Scholarship Program

2nd Hearing, Proponent

5:30 p.m., South Hearing Room

Senate Finance – Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee

Presentation: Director Timothy Keen, Office of Budget and Management, will give an overview of Education Funding in the Executive Proposal.



Editorial – Isaac Kaplan: New Study Links Art Access to Better Health, Safety, and Education in Lower-Income Neighborhoods

“Arts advocates have long extolled the benefits of culture to personal and neighborhood welfare. While the contention is broadly accepted within the field, the existence of the link has largely been argued without an abundance of data and taken a backseat to economic justifications for arts funding.

But a two-year study released this month by researchers from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania has revealed a quantitative relationship between the presence of cultural resources in a neighborhood and key aspects of social wellbeing, particularly in less advantaged neighborhoods. The research was part of the school’s ongoing Social Impact of the Arts Project (SIAP).”

New York Times:  Betsy DeVos Calls for More School Choice, Saying Money Isn’t the Answer

“Betsy DeVos, in her first extended policy address as education secretary, argued on for an expansion of school choice programs, pointing to lagging test scores and a program championed by the Obama administration that funneled billions into low-performing schools but failed to produce better academic outcomes.”

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. 

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Arts On Line Education Update March 27, 2017


Ohio Department of Education Kicked off Assessment Analysis
Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s Advisory Committee on Assessments had their first meeting Tuesday, March 21 with its purpose to review state and district-mandated testing and make recommendations to increase efficiency.  The group will meet several times through May with the intent of presenting their recommendations to the State Board of Education during their June meeting.  In a recent testimony to the House Education & Career Readiness Committee DeMaria concluded that ‘testing is an important piece of the work we do to create an education system focused on the success of our students.  However, no single piece of this work should be overly burdensome for teachers or students. The expansion of testing at the state and district levels has occurred without consideration of the overall amount of testing.  Each new policy or initiative is well intentioned and, by itself, may not disrupt instruction time.  Yet, taken as a whole, the amount of testing has left students, parents and teachers overwhelmed.’

Columbus Dispatch: Some Ohio educators question fairness of computer-required testing
“No. 2 pencils work the same, whether it’s a wealthy school or a poor one. That’s not necessarily the case with computer monitors, graphics cards and Internet connection speeds. This school year, Ohio law required all schools to switch to computer-based testing on state assessments. A few school administrators have questioned whether state testing in 2017 boils down to a situation of the haves vs. the have-nots.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Local tests are part of Ohio’s testing crush too, says state superintendent
“State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria talks with the state school board about his plans to study standardized testing.”

Columbus Dispatch: Columbus preparing for new grad testing options
“The Columbus city school district is preparing for new graduation testing options.”

Ohio Department of Education: FAQs Posted about Consistently High Performing Teachers
“State law directed the State Board of Education to define a consistently high-performing teacher. Districts can use the definition to identify teachers who can be exempted from completing additional coursework to renew their teaching licenses, including professional, lead professional or senior professional teaching licenses.”


Ohio Arts Council: Columbus Student Wins 2017 Ohio Poetry Out Loud State Finals
“Madeleine Schroeder, a senior at Columbus Alternative High School (CAHS), won Ohio’s 12th annual Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Finals held on Saturday, March 4, at the Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center in Worthington, Ohio. Schroeder recited “The Gaffe” by C.K. Williams, “Snow Day” by Billy Collins, and “I Find No Peace” by Thomas Wyatt. […]   Nearly 200 teachers and 9,000 students from across Ohio participated in a POL program in 2016-17. Prior to the State Finals—when 12 Ohio finalists competed for state champion—Schroeder participated in the Central/Columbus regional semifinal on February 19. This is the first year that Ohio POL has increased to six regional semifinals through expanded partnerships. Learn more about POL’s regional expansion and partnerships at”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Cleveland school board approves teacher contract
Cleveland school district CEO Eric Gordon and school board chair Anne Bingham prepare for the board’s vote on the new teacher contract Tuesday.

Columbus Dispatch:  Private Colleges Leaving Ohio Program Providing Tuition-Free Classes to Middle School, High School Students
“Kinks and growing pains in the popular College Credit Plus program mean some of Ohio’s small, private colleges won’t offer classes to middle school and high school students next year”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Ohio Teacher Evaluations Could Use Test Scores for More Growth, Less Judgment
“Teacher evaluations and ratings in Ohio should be restructured to make them less judgmental and more focused on helping teachers improve, a state panel and Ohio Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said Monday.”

Columbus Dispatch:  Now Ohio Schools Must Decide Transgender Bathroom Issue after Lawsuit Dropped
“It’s now up to individual Ohio school districts to decide which restroom and shower facility their transgender students should use.”

Stow Sentry:  State’s delay in education plan renews optimism 
“The decision by the Ohio Department of Education to delay submitting the state’s education plan to federal regulators is raising local educators’ hopes that their voices may be heard.”


Students with Disabilities: Supreme Court Rules In Favor and Expands Rights

NPR: The Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of A Special Education Students
“School districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, “appropriately ambitious” progress, the Supreme Court said Wednesday in an 8-0 ruling.  The decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District could have far-reaching implications for the 6.5 million students with disabilities in the United States.”

US News and World report: Supreme Court Expands Rights for Students with Disabilities
“In a unanimous decision with major implications for students with disabilities, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that schools must provide higher educational standards for children with special needs.  The 8-0 ruling in the Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District case states that schools must do more than provide a “merely more than de minimis” education for students with disabilities and instead must provide them with an opportunity to make “appropriately ambitious” progress in line with the federal education law.”

Call To Action from the National Arts Education Association Re: Proposed Federal Budget

NAEA: Federal Support for the Arts and Art Education

Check out this call to action from the National Arts Education Association regarding the recently proposed federal budget.  Under the Trump Administration budget proposal the $62 billion federal education budget would be cut by over $9 billion, or 13.5%.  Also included in the proposal is the elimination of four cultural agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting endowments.

Cleveland Plain Dealer:  President Trump’s Education Budget Could Bode Poorly for Large, Urban Districts Like Cleveland
“Cleveland’s public schools have counted on a steadily rising pool of federal money to help educate poor students and those with special needs.”

ESSA and the Arts

Education Commission of the States: AEP State Policy Symposium Connects the Arts and State Policy
“To build on the Arts Education Partnership’s (AEP) work of aiding states in including the arts as they craft plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), AEP, along with its collaborators Americans for the Arts and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, convened approximately 140 arts in education leaders last Saturday for the 2017 AEP State Policy Symposium.”

Other National News Clips

Washington Post: Opioid crisis intensifies, MD system looks at ‘recovery’ school
“Kevin Burnes thinks his school saved his life. He arrived there at 14 years old, just out of rehab […]”

US News & World Report:  How Schools can Lead On Schooling
“The No Child Left Behind era featured widespread concerns about narrowing curricula, an ineffectual checklist-driven approach to school improvement, a fixation on testing and the sense that too many students and schools were treated as an afterthought because they were deemed to be doing “well enough.” The new law offers a chance to do something about those concerns, while energizing school reform and separating it from the bitter politics of the nation’s capital. Here are three of the places where there are enormous opportunities for states to lead the way.”


House Education & Career Readiness Committee – Tuesday, March 21

The Ohio Department of Education Superintendent, Paolo DeMaria, presented the committee with an overview of Ohio’s school assessment system.   Touching on the mechanics of the type and timing of assessments, as well as Ohio’s testing history, DeMaria outlined the complexity of the process as well as ODE’s plan to examine testing-related issues with an advisory committee.

HB108: FINANCIAL LITERACY (Hagan, C., McColley, R.)

In an effort to help students avoid unnecessary debt and help those who need loans to navigate the process easier, bill sponsor Representative Hagan has recommended a required financial literacy class for high school students in Ohio.  Hagan stated that this legislation would ensure students would have ‘ the tools they need to wisely navigate future financial decisions by being taught the principles of economics and financial literacy with an emphasis on personal finance, the concepts of credit, debt, investments and sound money management, through at least ½ unit of their high school curriculum.’

Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education – Wednesday & Thursday, March 22 and 23

HB49:  Creates FY 2018-2019 operating budget

Over the two day period, more than 35 witnesses testified on the impact they felt the proposed budget may have to their school system or program.

Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee – Wednesday, March 22

SB54:  SUMMER FOOD PROGRAM  (Brown, E., Lehner, P.)

Brandi Slaughter, CEO of Voices for Ohio’s Children, testified of the high rates of food insecurities Ohio children face and the subsequent need for summer food programs around the state.

Senate Education Committee – Wednesday, March 22

SB85: SCHOOL CHOICE  (Huffman, M.)

Bill sponsor, Representative Huffman, told the committee that SB85 would ‘fund a newly created, income-based opportunity scholarship program for students in Ohio to attend a chartered non-public school of their choice’.  However, his testimony was met with criticism from the committee as the feasibility of the bill was questioned with Ohio’s current tight budget.

SB82: SCHOOL ABSENCES (Williams, S., Lehner, P.)

The committee heard sponsor testimony on SB82 which would require schools to call parents within one hour of the start of the school day if their child has been marked absent. 

Newly Introduced Legislation

SB104: SCHOOL SECLUSION  (Tavares, C.)

To prohibit the use of seclusion on students in public schools


To designate the month of October as “Ohio Principals Month.”

SB111: SCHOOL ZONES  (Tavares, C.)

To require school zones to be indicated by signs equipped with flashing or other lights or that indicate the times during which the restrictive speed limit is enforced, and to make an appropriation.

HB134: SCHOOL GRANTS  (Hambley, S., Kick, D.)

To allow community improvements board grants to a school district to be spent for permanent improvements outside the county so long as the improvements are within the school district.


To establish the Commercial Truck Driver Student Aid program and to make an appropriation.


ON THE CALENDAR – Week of March 27

Tuesday, March 28

4:00 p.m. Room 121

House Education & Career Readiness

  • HB98: CAREER INFORMATION  (Duffey, M., Boggs, K.) – 2nd Hearing-Proponent
    • Summary: Regarding the presentation of career information to students
  • HB108: FINANCIAL LITERACY  (Hagan, C., McColley, R.) – 2nd Hearing-Proponent
    • Summary: To require one-half unit of financial literacy in the high school curriculum


Wednesday, March 29

3:15 p.m. South Hearing Room

Senate Education Committee

  • SB82: SCHOOL ABSENCES  (Williams, Lehner, P.) – 2nd Hearing- Proponent
    • Summary: Call parents within one hour if students are absent from school without excuse


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. 

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