As the Legal Ledger noted in last week’s post, Am. Sub. House Bill 33 (HB 33), the biennial budget bill for fiscal years 2024-25, was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine on July 3. There are numerous provisions in the bill that will affect Ohio’s public schools. OSBA’s staff are working their way through HB 33 to prepare resources for districts on those changes. This week’s blog is focused on some of the changes related to public school enrollment. Except where otherwise noted, these provisions are effective on Oct. 3, 2023.
Transfer of records within five days
HB 33 includes a new provision, Ohio Revised Code (RC) 3319.324, affecting the transfer of “school records,” which is defined to include “any academic records, student assessment data, or other information for which there is a legitimate educational interest.” The new law applies to any school district or chartered nonpublic school. It requires a school to provide a student’s school records, upon request from another school district or school to which the student has transferred and as authorized by RC 3319.321, within five school days after receipt of the request. If the school district has no record of the student’s attendance, it must provide a statement of that fact within five school days of receiving the request.
There is an exception that allows schools to withhold school records if there is $2,500 or more of outstanding debt attributed to the student. In that case, the school is required to transmit the records once the debt is paid. If you'd like to see the language in the budget bill, it is on pages 1215-16.
Intradistrict open enrollment
Another new provision in the bill, RC 3313.984, requires districts to report annually to the newly created Department of Education and Workforce (DEW), the number of students within the district who attend a building other than the one assigned by the board or superintendent. The law also requires that districts with an intradistrict open enrollment policy that uses a lottery to assign placements must conduct the lottery on the second Monday of June prior to the school year for which the student is seeking enrollment. For districts that do not have an intradistrict open enrollment policy or do not conduct a lottery to assign placements for intradistrict open enrollment, this deadline date does not apply. In the bill, this new language is on page 1064.
Grandparent POA and affidavit
Under Ohio law, two legal documents make it possible for grandparents with a grandchild living with them to enroll the grandchild in school and make other educational decisions for them. Those documents are the grandparent power of attorney (grandparent POA) (RC 3109.52) and caretaker authorization affidavit (CTA) (RC 3109.65). Which document a grandparent should use depends on the facts of the situation. More information about the grandparent POA and CTA are available in this OSBA fact sheet.
HB 33 made changes to RC 3109.53 and 3109.66, which describe the forms a person must complete to establish a grandparent POA or CTA, relating to the ability of child support enforcement agencies to redirect child support payments to a grandparent. The effective date of these changes is Apr. 3, 2024, six months after the effective date of the budget bill. The change in the form is not a substantive matter for districts. However, districts that provide forms or refer grandparents to forms in order to establish grandparent POAs or CTAs should be sure, after Apr. 3, 2024, that they are providing forms that have been updated. The two revised code sections that were amended can be found on pages 899-911 of HB 33.
HB 33 has created a law governing the standards for “home education” which is defined as the education of a child between the ages of 6 and 18 years directed by the child’s parent. RC 3321.042 provides that students receiving home education as required in the law are exempt from the mandatory enrollment provisions in RC 3321.04. Standards for home schooling are currently included in Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3301-34; the new law codifies some of the existing provisions of the rules and revises and adds others.
RC 3321.042 requires that a child receiving a home education must receive instruction in the areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, history, government, and social studies. Parents are required to inform the superintendent of the child’s district of residence that they are providing home education to the child. The notice must be provided within five days after commencing home instruction, moving into a school district or withdrawing from a public or nonpublic school. The notice must also be filed annually no later than Aug. 30. The child is exempt from mandatory enrollment as soon as the notice is received. The district must provide a written acknowledgment of the notice no later than 14 days after it is received.
The new law also provides that: (1) a child who is enrolled in a public school following a period of home education must be place in the appropriate grade level based on the policies of the district of residence without discrimination or prejudice; (2) if there is evidence that the child is not receiving an education in the required subject areas, the child may be subject to RC 3321.19 (governing truancy); and (3) home education shall not be subject to any rules adopted by DEW or its director. This provision is on page 5164 of HB 33.
In a related provision, HB 33 also amends the law on age and schooling certificates (RC 3331.04). Beginning on the effective date of the provision, a parent of a student over 16 who is receiving home education may issue an age and school certificate for the student. The statute amended with this change is on pages 5275-76 of HB 33.
OSBA’s division of legal services is continuing to research and provide information about HB 33. If you have general questions about these provisions, please reach out to the legal division’s hotline – (855) OSBA-LAW or (855) 672-2529. If you have questions about how these changes affect specific situations in your district, please contact your board’s legal counsel.