Ohio Budget Bill

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Ohio House Bill 64

The Biennial Budget Bill  

Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 64, the two year operating budget, on June 30, 2015. Throughout the legislative process, the OAPCS legislative team continually served as a resource for information to policymakers. OAPCS also provided guidance and expert analysis to assist in the creation of reasonable and prudent community school laws.

A number of provisions in the approved bill directly affect charter schools. In House Bill 64, per-pupil foundation funding was increased from the current law of $5,800 to $5,900 in FY 2016 and $6,000 in FY 2017. A per-pupil supplement for facilities funding was increased from $100 to $150 for bricks and mortar schools and a supplement of $25 per- pupil was created for E-schools to aid in testing and counseling centers.

A new Community Schools Classroom Facilities Grant creates a $25 million facilities grant program, a fund that will be accessible to high performing charter schools to assist in expansion and renovation projects.   
Additional House Bill 64 Provisions Affecting Charter Schools:

Funding

  • Increases the per-pupil base funding amount to $5,900 in FY 2016 and $6,000 in FY 2017, up from current law of $5,800.
  • Increases the per-pupil funding for facilities for brick and mortar schools to $150 in FY 2016 and $200 in FY 2017, up from current law of $100. Also provides a first time supplement for E-schools in each fiscal year of $25 per-pupil to aid with testing and counseling centers.
  • Provides $25 million for a “Community School Classroom Facilities Grant” which can be accessed by high-performing schools as defined in the bill.
  • Increases the per-pupil payment amount to $33 in FY 2016 for all ESCs and increases the per-pupil payment amount for non-high-performing ESCs to $33 in FY 2017.
  • Provides community schools and STEM schools with performance bonus payments related to four-year graduation rates and community schools with performance bonus payments for achieving third grade reading proficiency targets.

Safe Harbor

  • Temporarily, for the 2014-2015 school year only, prohibits ODE from ranking school districts, community schools, and STEM schools according to academic performance measures.
  • Extends until January 31, 2016, the deadline for ODE to rank districts, community schools, and STEM schools according to expenditures for the 2014-2015 school year.

ODE Statewide Plan Update

  • Requires the State Board of Education, not later than December 31, 2015, to update its statewide plan regarding methods for students to earn high school credit based on the demonstration of subject area competency to also include methods for students enrolled in the 7th and 8th grade to meet curriculum requirements based on such competency.
  • Requires school districts and community schools, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, to comply with the updated plan and to permit students enrolled in the 7th and 8th grade to meet curriculum requirements accordingly.

Property Taxes (Levy) for Community Schools

  • Expands the authority of school districts to levy property taxes for community schools to include any school district that contains a community school sponsored by an "exemplary" sponsor. (Under current law, only the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the Columbus City School District have the authority to propose such a levy.)
  • Authorizes school districts other than the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to levy a property tax solely for and on behalf of one or more community schools located in the district that is sponsored by an "exemplary" sponsor.

Regional Gifted Community School Analysis

  • Requires ODE, in conjunction with an Ohio educational service center association and an Ohio gifted children association, to complete and submit to the chairpersons of the House and Senate education and finance committees, and subcommittees, a feasibility analysis of the establishment of 16 regional community schools for gifted children throughout the state.

Transportation Task Force

  • Creates the School Transportation Joint Task Force consisting of members appointed equally by the Speaker of the House and by the President of the Senate, and requires it to study the appropriate transportation funding formula and relationship, duties, and responsibilities between school districts, community schools, and nonpublic schools regarding student transportation and submit a report to the General Assembly by February 1, 2016.

Assessments

  • Prohibits the state from using general revenue fund dollars to purchase an assessment developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for use as the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments.
  • The budget also prohibits Race to the Top program funds for being used for any purpose related to those assessments.
  • Extended to the 2015-16 school year a measure allowing schools to administer assessments in either online or paper formats.
  • Requires the state superintendent to verify that the assessments administered in the 2015-16 school year will be administered once each year and not over multiple testing windows, except for end-of-course exams for courses completed during the first semester of the school year.
  • The state superintendent is also directed to verify that the length of the assessments shall be reduced as compared with those administered in the 2014-15 school year.
  • The measure also changes the school year by which overall letter grades on the state report card must be issued to the 2016-2017 school year.
  • Requires each school district, community school, and STEM school to report to ODE the number of students who did not take a state achievement assessment that was administered in the 2014-2015 school year and who was not excused from taking the assessment, and to report that number as a whole and as a percentage.

School Property

  • Prohibits community schools and college preparatory boarding schools that have purchased unused school district real property, under the current provision requiring a district to offer such property to those schools, from selling that property for 5 years, unless the property is sold to another community school or college preparatory boarding school located in the district.
  • Requires that when a school district board decides to dispose of its real property it must first offer that property for sale to the governing authorities of high-performing community schools and newly established community schools with a community school model that has a track record of high quality academic performance, as determined by ODE, before offering it to all start-up community schools and any college preparatory boarding schools located in the district as required under current law.
  • Requires that when a school district board is required under current law to offer unused school facilities for lease or sale, prior to offering those facilities to all start-up community schools and any college preparatory boarding schools located in the district, the board must first offer the facilities for sale or lease to the governing authorities of high-performing community schools sponsored by the district.
  • Specifies that the purchase price of any property or unused facilities sold pursuant to the aforementioned provisions must not be more than the appraised fair market value of that property as determined by an appraisal that is not more than one year old.

Direct Authorization of Community schools

  • Requires the Department of Education, no later than July 1, 2016, to submit and present to the House and Senate Education Committees both of the following:
    ▪    A plan that proposes the expansion of the Department's authority to directly authorize community schools; and
    ▪    Recommendations for a ratings rubric for community school sponsor evaluations.

Community School Preschool

  • Permits a community school sponsored by an entity that is rated "exemplary" by ODE to be licensed by ODE to operate a preschool program for general education preschool students.
  • Permits certain other community schools to be licensed by ODE to operate a preschool program for general education students. Specifically, permits schools serving grades four through twelve that receive a grade of "C" or better on either the value-added progress dimension or performance index score, or schools serving grades kindergarten through three that receive a grade of "C" or better for making progress in improving literacy to be licensed to operate a preschool program.
  • Requires the governing authority of such a community school to annually report the number of students enrolled in a preschool program who are not receiving special education and related services pursuant to an individualized education program (IEP).
  • Specifies that a community school may not receive state community school operating funding for students enrolled in that program. Permits funding through early childhood expansion funding.

Transfer of Student Records

Prohibits a school district or school from altering, truncating, or redacting any part of a student's record so that any information on the record is rendered unreadable or unintelligible during the course of transferring that record to an educational institution for a legitimate educational purpose.

Health Care Services for Students

  • Permits the board of education or governing authority of a school district, educational service center, community school, STEM school, or college-preparatory boarding school to enter into a contract with a hospital or an appropriately licensed health care provider for the purpose of providing health care services (that are specifically authorized by the Revised Code) to students.
  • Specifies that, if a board or governing authority enters into such a contract, employees of the hospital or health care provider who are providing the services of a nurse under the contract:
    ▪    Are not required to obtain a school nurse license or school nurse wellness coordinator license and are not subject to any rules adopted by the State Board related to such licensure.
    ▪    Must, at a minimum, hold a credential that is equivalent to being licensed as a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse.

High School Diploma Programs for Those Age 22 and Older

  • Modifies provisions of current law that permit an individual age 22 and above who has not received a high school diploma or equivalence certificate to enroll for up to two cumulative school years in a school district, a dropout recovery community school, a JVSD that operates an adult education program, or a two-year state institution of higher education.
  • The modifications include:
    ▪    Changing the time limit, except for adult education programs, for enrollment from two cumulative years to two consecutive years. 
    ▪    Modifies the payment for enrolled students from $5,000 times FTE enrollment to up to $5,000 based on ODE's determination of an enrolled student’s completion of graduation requirements
    ▪    Modifies what is required to be included in the rules regarding administration of programs.
  • Repeals a requirement that ODE, by December 31, 2015, prepare and submit a report to the General Assembly regarding services provided to individuals ages 22 and above under these programs.

Innovative Schools Waiver Extension

  • Authorizes community schools, in addition to school districts and STEM schools as under current law, to submit to the Superintendent of Public Instruction a request for a waiver for up to five school years from (1) administering the elementary and secondary achievement assessments, (2) teacher evaluations, and (3) reporting of student achievement data for the purpose of report card ratings.
  • Specifies that school districts, community schools, and STEM schools may submit a request for a waiver only during the 2015- 2016 school year.
  • Limits, to 10, the total number of school districts, community schools, and STEM schools that may be granted a waiver.

Comprehensive School Emergency Management Plans

  • Requires each public and private school and institution of higher education to train its staff members on the use of the barricade device and to maintain a record verifying this training.
  • Requires the administrative authority to notify the police and fire chiefs, or equivalents, prior to the use of such devices in a building.

Competency Based Education Pilot

  • Establishes the Competency-Based Education Pilot Program to provide grants to city, local, and exempted village school districts, including a municipal school district (Cleveland), joint vocational school districts, ESC’s, community schools, and STEM schools for designing and implementing competency based models of education for their students during FY 2016 and FY 2017.
  • Requires a district, community school, or STEM school that wishes to participate in the pilot program to submit an application to ODE, not later than November 1, 2015. Also, permits consortia of one or more school district, community school, and STEM school that are led by one or more educational service center to apply.
  • Requires ODE to select not more than 5 applicants to participate in the pilot program not later than January 31, 2016.

Emergency Management Information System

  • Earmarks up to $725,000 in each fiscal year to be distributed to information technology centers for costs related to processing, storing, and transferring data for the effective operation of EMIS.
  • Specifies that the remainder of the appropriation be used to develop and support a common core of data definitions and standards as adopted by the Education Management Information System Advisory Board, including the ongoing development and maintenance of the data dictionary and data warehouse.
  • Prohibits school districts, STEM schools, and community schools that are not implementing a common and uniform set of data definitions and data format standards from receiving funding until they are in compliance.

Joint Education Oversight Committee

  • Establishes the Joint Education Oversight Committee (JEO), a joint committee of the General Assembly, which consists of five members of the Senate and five members of the House of Representatives.
  • Requires JEO to select, for review and evaluation, education programs at school districts, other public schools, and state institutions of higher education that receive state financial assistance in any form.
  • Authorizes JEO, with prior approval, to issue subpoenas, and to enter and inspect school districts, other public schools, and state assisted institutions of higher education.

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