Superintendent’s Legislative Update

In an effort to keep our community informed about legislative activity pertaining to education, the most recent update is as follows (Facts in a Flash, Jennifer Hogue, Ohio School Boards Association, 2015):

Budget Update

The Ohio House Finance Committee held three days of public testimony this week on House Bill (HB) 64, the biennial budget. The committee is expected to have a substitute version of the legislation ready when it returns from spring break April 14. The House has set a target date of April 22 for finishing work on the bill and sending it to the Senate for consideration.

House Education Committee

The House Education Committee met twice and held hearings on HB 2, which addresses community (charter) school accountability. The committee accepted several amendments before passing the bill 13-6. The amendments:

  • remove a provision from the bill requiring that the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) approve financial plans for new charter schools;
  • set a limitation on the amount an operator may charge a school for its building lease at a price of not more than 5% of fair market value;
  • require community schools to annually submit to ODE and the state auditor a report about students who reside in a children’s residential facility that is typically used for children with disabilities;
  • forbid a community school from changing sponsors within its first four years of operation unless ODE authorizes a move.

The full House voted 70-25 to pass HB 2, which now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Senate Education Committee

The Senate Education Committee made the following changes to Senate Bill (SB) 3, which addresses mandate relief and testing reductions, before passing the bill. The changes:

  • require non-licensed teachers hired via the new flexibilities in the law to participate in the State Teachers Retirement System;
  • adjust the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System and Ohio Principal Evaluation System to reduce from 42.5% to 35% the portion of the total grade based on student growth measures;
  • allow districts to opt out of years three and four of the Resident Educator Summative Assessment and instead use the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System in those years;
  • eliminate the requirement that districts report the number of extracurricular activities offered.

The full Senate voted 24-9 to pass SB 3. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.

Senate Medicaid Committee

The Senate Medicaid Committee heard sponsor testimony from Sens. Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) and Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) on SB 94. This legislation deals with the Medicaid School Program.

New Education-Related Bills

Following is a list of new education-related bills introduced this week and the legislators sponsoring them:

  • HB 136: Reps. Ron Young (R-Leroy) and John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) — to fund the Lake County ESC pilot project to support STEM initiatives for middle school students and to make an appropriation.
  • SB 136: Sen. Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus) — to prohibit the use of seclusion on students in public schools.

Thank you to the Ohio School Boards association for providing Facts in a Flash.

Please contact Dr. Hill with questions or comments.