Facts in a Flash

Here is the latest issue of OSBA's Weekly Legislative Update...

4-11-14

 
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Ohio House passes MBR legislation 
On Wednesday, prior to recessing for a spring break and the primary elections, the House passed several bills that are part of the midbiennium budget review (MBR) package. Although education provisions can be found in several of the MBR bills, the K-12 education legislation is found in House Bill (HB) 487. Additional provisions are found in HB 483, which is the main appropriations bill for state agencies.
 
The largest component of HB 487 is a measure that would convert the existing postsecondary options for high school students to a new College Credit Plus (CC+) program. OSBA, the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) outlined their concerns with this measure in testimony before the House Education Committee. Following the associations’ testimony several changes were made to the bill. Click here for a copy of the testimony.
 
The first was the removal of the floor for tuition and fees in local negotiations under the CC+ program. We were fearful that this artificial amount would serve as a disincentive for school districts to participate in the program, and we want to encourage districts to promote CC+ among their students and families.
 
The second issue involved delays in expanding career-technical education to grades seven and eight; developing and implementing the career advising policy; and creating student success plans as alternate paths to graduation. We feel these temporary postponements amended into the bill not only will allow districts more time to plan, but also will enable the necessary resources to be implemented in the next state budget.
 
In addition, we also support provisions that will help improve oversight for Ohio’s community school start-ups and greater accountability for the millions of public dollars supporting these efforts.
 
As HB 487 moves to the Senate, we will work to preserve these positive changes and address some other issues, including adding an income-based means test for tuition and fees related to the CC+ and removing eligibility for community school students to participate in extracurricular activities in their districts of residence.
 
HB 483, the main MBR appropriations bill, also contains several provisions affecting public education. These include:
 
  • Allowing 18-year-old (rather than 19 under current law) individuals to take the GED without additional administrative requirements if withdrawn from high school.
  • Eliminating the current requirement for a student between 16 and 18 years of age to gain superintendent approval to take GED.
  • Appropriating $2.5 million and establishing the Adult Career Opportunity Pilot Program for individuals 22 or older seeking a high school diploma through a community college program.
  • Appropriating $5 million for a dropout recovery program to allow individuals age 22 to 29 to earn a diploma through a district or charter school’s dropout recovery program or at a JVSD’s adult education program.
  • Allowing Straight A Fund grants to be used to for expenses incurred outside of the fiscal year that the grants were awarded for up to 12 months following the award.
 
Members are encouraged to continue to engage legislators on these issues. Take advantage of this short legislative break to meet with your General Assembly members back in their districts to discuss issues impacting public education.
  
Important links:
Click here for a copy of OSBA/BASA/OASBO testimony on HB 487.
Click here for a copy of HB 487 as passed by the House.
Click here for a copy of HB 483 as passed by the House.
 
 
HB 296 (epinephrine autoinjectors)
Substitute HB 296 is permissive legislation that allows school districts to obtain epinephrine autoinjectors for use in emergency situations. The legislation was passed out of the Senate with an emergency clause attached and later concurred upon by the House. Once signed by the governor, the legislation will become effective immediately.
Click here for an analysis of Sub. HB 296 as passed by the Senate.

 

Have questions about Facts in a Flash?
Please contact Jay Smith at jaysmith@ohioschoolboards.org or call
(614) 540-4000.

LINKS
OSBA BILLTracker

House Committee schedule
Senate Committee schedule