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Calamity days legislative debate continues
By a vote of 56-39, the Ohio House on Wednesday refused to concur with the Senate version of Amended Substitute House Bill (HB) 416, which would have provided schools additional excused calamity days.
Earlier that day, the Senate Education Committee had adopted a substitute version of HB 416. The Senate version would have required the Ohio Department of Education to waive up to four additional days due to a calamity, such as hazardous weather conditions, for the 2013-2014 school year, provided that the district follow its own contingency plan for making up five unwaived calamity days. The board of education, by resolution, must signal its intent to request the additional waived days. The House had previously approved two additional calamity days and two permissive professional days for all staff, but did not require the use of the contingency plan.
On the Senate floor, an additional amendment was added to change the four calamity days to three plus one professional development day and require schools to use four of their contingency days before being able to use the additional calamity days. The substitute bill passed the Senate unanimously.
Since the House did not concur with the Senate changes, a conference committee must resolve differences. The committee members were named late Wednesday afternoon. While it is anticipated that the conference committee will meet next week, full voting sessions of the House and Senate are not currently scheduled until March 12.
OSBA will continue to keep you updated with any new developments. Until the governor has signed the legislation, school leaders should continue to follow their district’s current policies on calamity days.
for a copy of HB 416 as passed by the Senate.
Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee held a hearing on HB 416 this week and voted on the bill with amendments as explained above.
House Education Committee
The House Education Committee this week held a hearing on HB 393, HB 413, HB 228, HB 362 and HB 367.
HB 393 is designed to raise the awareness of job opportunities, career planning and online education tools through the state website “Ohio Means Jobs,” which will be launched in the spring. The legislation requires public high schools to publish an annual career decision guide in a newsletter or on a website. During the hearing, a substitute bill was introduced and accepted that would require the information to be linked to every existing public school parent communication and newsletter and on the school website.
for a copy of HB 393.
HB 413 would prohibit administering assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for the 2014-2015 school year.
for a copy of HB 413 as introduced in the House.
HB 228 seeks to make changes to the school-funding formula in order to benefit rapidly growing school districts that are capped under the current funding formula. The legislation would adjust the caps on the current school-funding formula based on growth in enrollment above a specified level (3%). The bill also establishes a per-pupil floor of $1,000.
for a copy of HB 228 as introduced in the House.
HB 362 would authorizes the STEM Committee to grant a designation of STEM school equivalent to a community school or chartered nonpublic school. Essentially, it gives those schools with designation of STEM a more formal relationship and access to resources with the Ohio STEM Learning Network. The bill was voted out of committee.
for a copy of HB 362 as passed by the House Education Committee.
HB 367 would require the health curriculum of each school district to include instruction on the dangers of prescription opioid abuse. The committee voted the bill out.
for a copy of HB 367 as passed by the House Education Committee.
Elimination of special elections
HB 240, which proposes eliminating February and August special elections, is being heard in the House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee. This week the House heard testimony in support of eliminating these special elections from representatives of the County Board of Elections and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
for a copy of HB 240 as introduced in the House.
Senate Medicaid, Health and Human Services Committee
The committee heard testimony on HB 296, permissive legislation allowing school districts to obtain non-patient-specific doses of epinephrine auto-injectors.
for a copy HB 296 as passed by the House.
House passes diabetes legislation
HB 264 would make changes to how schools care for students with diabetes. The bill, as passed by the House, includes: a provision requiring notification of entitlement to a care plan to parents of a diabetic child; volunteer employee training requirements; volunteer recruitment requirements; student self-management requirements; civil liability provisions; and additional reporting requirements.
The legislation also includes a provision requiring school districts to allow students with diabetes to attend the building of their choice, regardless of the resources available for their care. Prior to passage out of the House Health Committee, OSBA, along with the Ohio Association of School Business Officials and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, offered comments on the substitute version of the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate.
for a copy of OSBA’s letter to the House Health Committee.
for an analysis of HB 264 as passed by the House.
HB 342 passes out of legislature
HB 342 is legislation that would permit an educational service center to be a partner or lead applicant of an education consortium seeking a grant under the Straight A Program. The bill changes the funding cap for a single applicant from $5 million to $1 million, and if two applicants score the same, the funding goes to the one saving money. The cap on a consortium remains at $15 million. Other changes to the program include bringing county boards of developmental disabilities into the scope of the law; stipulating that if an ESC is the lead applicant then at least one school in that ESC’s area must be part of the consortium; and clarifying that an ESC can apply for a broader pool of applicants outside its client base as long as one school is a member of the ESC’s area.
On Feb. 26, the legislation passed out of the Senate and was concurred upon in the House. Since the bill contains an emergency clause, the legislation will become effective immediately after the governor signs it.
for a copy of HB 342 as passed by the Senate.
Register now for the State Legislative Conference
When: Thursday, March 13, 9:15 a.m.–1 p.m. (registration begins at 8:45 a.m.)
Where: Statehouse Atrium
Public education continues to be a hot topic at the Statehouse after another challenging year of education reform, policy initiatives and new school-funding formula. Attend the State Legislative Conference and find out how the proposed mid-biennial budget review will impact public education. This is a great opportunity for school officials to be involved and have their voices heard.
The State Legislative Conference provides school board members, administrators and treasurers the opportunity to meet with their state legislators and discuss issues impacting public education. It’s your opportunity to get the message out on the importance of a strong public school system.
During the morning, speakers from the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate will address vital public education issues that affect every school district in the state, with a particular focus on the future of education in Ohio. Legislative experts will provide updates on the issues along with talking points on key concerns, which attendees can use in discussions with their legislators during lunch and in office visits later that day.
Attendees are asked to schedule office appointments to meet individually with their representatives beginning at 1 p.m. following the luncheon.
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House Committee schedule
Senate Committee schedule