I. House BiIl153 -The Budget Bill
The House Finance and Appropriations Committee has rolled a substitute version of Governor John Kasich’s budget bill (HBI53) that increases funding to schools by $80 million over the next biennium.
The $40 million per year increase is he result of a $23 per pupil increase each year ofthe biennium and a maximum 20% reduction in state formula aid for all districts. The increase to schools will result in a decrease for other state agencies, and city, county and local governments.
Another ofthe governor’s proposals removed in the House version is the plan to *shift 2% of pension contributions from employers to employees. The Kasich team had marketed the shift as a cost-saving measure for schools and other public employers, projecting that schools alone would save about $230 million as a result.
A few other education-related in the new bill include:
- Requires the Ohio Department ofEducation (ODE) to report annually to each district its ratio of administrative vs. instructional spending;
- Allows the State Board of Education to act as a sponsor for a community school and grant a direct charter to the school;
- Clarifies that a community school building is a public building for taxation purposes;
- Exempts community schools from BMI testing;
- Exempts e-schools from immunization requirements;
- Permits an individual aged 22-29 who does not have a diploma or certificate of equivalence to enroll for up to two years in a dropout recovery program free of tuition and earmarks $1 million per year for this purpose;
- Provides two new options for schools to make up calamity days: electronic make-up and “blizzard bags” (homework);
- Allows more than one charter school to operate in the same building;
- Reinstates the e-school moratorium;
- Permits the establishment ofhybrid community schools that provide both remote technology-based and classroom-based instruction and permits existing community schools to restructure themselves as hybrid community schools.
*Note: The bill is now in the Senate Finance Committee where there is talk of re?instatingthe shiftofthepensioncontribution.
II. House Bill 202 -Retire Rehire Legislation
House Bill 202, introduced on April 12, 2011, by Representative Richard Hollington (R-Chagrin Falls) would reduce the pension payment of any person who receives retirement benefits from a public pension system and is employed in a position covered by one of Ohio’s public pension plans.
SB 165 School Curriculum (Larry Obhof, R-Montville Township) Includes content
on specified historical documents in the state academic standards and in the high school American history and govermnent curriculum. Introduced May 3. (See HB 211
B 146 Teacher Tax Credit (Tim Schaffer, R-Lancaster) Allows a credit against the personal income tax for amounts spent by teachers for instructional materials. Introduced on April 12, this bill is assigned to the Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee.
HB 155 School Bullying (Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo) Enacts the “Jessica Logan Act” to require that public school bullying policies prohibit bullying by electronic means and address certainactsthatoccur offschoolpropertyandrequires stafftrainingonthe bullying policy. HB ISS is a companion bill to SB 127 and is in the House Education Committee.
HB 157 Dyslexia Education (Kirk Schuring, R-Canton) Authorizes educational service centers to provide teacher professional development on dyslexia. Introduced March IS, the bill is in the Education Committee.
HB 191 Length of School Year (Bill Hayes, R-Harrison Township) Establishes a minimum School year based on hours ofinstruction rather than days as follows: each school so provided and each chartered nonpublic school shall be open for instruction with pupils in attendance, including scheduled classes, supervised activities, and approved education options but excluding lunch and breakfast periods and extracurricular activities, for not less than four hundred eighty hours in the case of pupils in kindergarten unless such pupils are provided all-day kindergarten, as defined in section 3321.05 ofthe Revised Code, in which case the pupils shall be in attendance for nine hundred sixty hours; nine hundred sixty hours in the case ofpupils in grades one through six; and one thousand fifty hours in the case ofpupils in grades seven through twelve in each school year.
This bill was introduced April 7 and assigned to the House Education Committee. Similar bills have been introduced in previous General Assemblies.
HB 205 Community Schools (Tim Derickson, R-Oxford) Permits the establishment of hybrid community schools that provide both remote teclmology-based and classroom?based instruction. Introduced April 20.
HB 208 School Bullying (Michael Stinziano, D-Columbus) Requires that school anti?bullying policies prohibit harassment, intimidation, or bullying that is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of a student. Introduced April 20.