School Levies and Issue on the May 2017 Ballot

97 school levies and issues will appear on May 2nd ballots. Approximately 25% are asks for new money, with a further 20% being bond issues, the remainder are renewals.

New N/A Renewal Total
Bond 0 9 0 9
Combo 1 11 0 12
Income Tax 4 0 4 8
Levy 23 0 45 68
Total 28 20 49 97

Here's the complete list of districts with issues or levies on the ballot.

County District Type Description
Allen Allen East Local School District Levy Renewal
Allen Delphos City School District Levy Renewal
Ashtabula Conneaut Area City School District Levy Additional
Athens Alexander Local School District Income Tax Additional
Auglaize New Bremen Local School District Combo N/A
Belmont Bellaire Local School District Levy Additional
Clark Clark-Shawnee Local School District Bond N/A
Clark Greenon Local School District Bond N/A
Clinton Blanchester Local School District Levy Renewal
Clinton Wilmington City School District Income Tax Renewal
Columbiana Lisbon Exempted Village School District Income Tax Additional
Cuyahoga Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District Combo N/A
Cuyahoga North Royalton City School District Combo N/A
Cuyahoga Shaker Heights City School District Combo N/A
Cuyahoga Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District Levy Additional
Cuyahoga Brooklyn City School District Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Maple Heights City School District Levy Renewal
Cuyahoga Parma City School District Levy Additional
Cuyahoga Rocky River City School District Levy Additional
Defiance Defiance City School District Levy Renewal
Erie Margaretta Local School District Levy Renewal
Erie Perkins Local School District Levy Additional
Fairfield Liberty Union-Thurston Local School District Levy Additional
Fairfield Pickerington Local School District Levy Additional
Fairfield Amanda-Clearcreek Local School District Income Tax Additional
Fayette Miami Trace Local School District Levy Renewal
Fulton Swanton Local School District Levy Renewal
Geauga Cardinal Local School District Levy Additional
Greene Xenia Community City School District Bond N/A
Greene Beavercreek City School District Levy Substitute
Greene Yellow Springs Exempted Village School District Levy Renewal
Guernsey Rolling Hills Local School District Combo N/A
Hamilton Northwest Local School District Levy Renewal
Hamilton Oak Hills Local School District Levy Substitute
Hamilton Wyoming City School District Levy Additional
Hancock Findlay City School District Levy Renewal
Jefferson Buckeye Local School District Levy Additional
Knox Mount Vernon City School District Levy Renewal
Lake Kirtland Local School District Levy Renewal
Lake Madison Local School District Levy Additional
Lake Riverside Local School District Levy Additional
Licking Licking Heights Local School District Bond N/A
Licking Southwest Licking Local School District Bond N/A
Licking Northridge Local School District Combo N/A
Licking Heath City School District Levy Renewal
Licking North Fork Local School District Income Tax Renewal
Lorain Amherst Exempted Village School District Levy Renewal
Mahoning Poland Local School District Levy Renewal
Mahoning Poland Local School District Levy Renewal
Miami Bethel Local School District Levy Renewal
Miami Bethel Local School District Levy Renewal
Miami Tipp City Exempted Village School District Levy Renewal
Montgomery Valley View Local School District Bond N/A
Montgomery Miami Valley Career Technology Vocational School District Combo N/A
Montgomery Northmont City School District Levy Renewal
Montgomery Oakwood City School District Levy Renewal
Muskingum East Muskingum Local School District Combo N/A
Portage Crestwood Local School District Combo N/A
Portage Aurora City School District Levy Additional
Portage Field Local School District Levy Additional
Portage Ravenna City School District Levy Additional
Portage Waterloo Local School District Levy Additional
Preble Preble Shawnee Local School District Combo Additional
Richland Madison Local School District Levy Renewal
Richland Mansfield City School District Levy Renewal
Richland Mansfield City School District Levy Renewal
Richland Ontario Local School District Levy Renewal
Richland Plymouth-Shiloh Local School District Levy Renewal
Ross Union Scioto Local School District Income Tax Additional
Sandusky Fremont City School District Bond N/A
Sandusky Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village School District Levy Renewal
Stark Marlington Local School District Bond N/A
Stark Alliance City School District Levy Renewal
Stark Tuslaw Local School District Levy Additional
Summit Coventry Local School District Levy Renewal
Summit Cuyahoga Falls City School District Levy Renewal
Summit Hudson City School District Levy Renewal
Summit Norton City School District Levy Renewal
Summit Twinsburg City School District Levy Additional
Trumbull Mathews Local School District Combo N/A
Trumbull Bristol Local School District Levy Renewal
Trumbull Hubbard Exempted Village School District Levy Additional
Warren Carlisle Local School District Bond N/A
Warren Lebanon City School District Levy Renewal
Washington Warren Local School District Combo N/A
Washington Marietta City School District Levy Renewal
Washington Marietta City School District Levy Renewal
Washington Wolf Creek Local School District Levy Renewal
Wayne Dalton Local School District Levy Renewal
Wayne Triway Local School District Levy Renewal
Wayne Wooster City School District Levy Additional
Wayne Chippewa Local School District Income Tax Renewal
Williams Bryan City School District Levy Renewal
Williams Stryker Local School District Levy Renewal
Wood Rossford Exempted Village School District - #1 Levy Renewal
Wood Rossford Exempted Village School District - #2 Levy Renewal
Wood Bowling Green City School District Income Tax Renewal

Ohio Department of Ed Makes U-Turn Under Pressure From Educators

The Ohio Department of Education announced in a press release that they intend to delay their submission of Ohio's ESSA plan until the September deadline. They had originally planned to submit the plan at the earlier April deadline. 

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states now have the flexibility to make choices that best suit their needs. States can submit their ESSA templates to the U.S. Department of Education in either April or September. To allow this work to advance and drive needed change, the Department will delay the ESSA template submission to the U.S. Department of Education to September. This also will allow more time to ensure that feedback received on the draft template can be considered carefully.

This change of heart has come about because of withering pressure from parents and educators. When ODE released their original plan, stakeholders were shocked by the lack of substance included in the plan on reduced testing and an evaluations overhaul that they had given as part of their feedback.

In response to this outrage, the press release went on to say

To address one of the key concerns heard pertaining to reduction in testing, Superintendent DeMaria is convening a Superintendent's Advisory Committee on Assessments to focus on the full range of testing issues — including state-required tests, as well as district-level tests. This work will allow for a more thorough and complete review, and recommendations for adjustments to these assessments – both state and local. More details on this committee will be developed in the coming days and weeks.

The days of not listening to educators and parents and instead pressing forward with failed corporate education reform policies is over.

US Dept of Ed Being Staffed by Know-nothings

Ed week is reporting that few people with a good policy grasp of education want to work for Betsy DeVos

Some Republican education policy experts including those who have worked in past GOP administrations, for GOP education leaders on Capitol Hill, or in states are reticent to jump into jobs in President Donald Trump's Education Department.

Why could that be?

These observers, who declined to speak for attribution given the sensitivity of the subject, worry that the administration has yet to find its organizational footing, citing reports of a chaotic governing process at the White House. Others aren't sure they want to put in long hours for a secretary with a narrow area of focus who is already facing serious backlash among educators. And a few fear DeVos may not stick around long.

One person who the Trump team had reached out to said of DeVos. "She doesn't have a vision" beyond vouchers, the Republican said. "I don't want to go in not knowing what the full vision is."

Not having a clear vision beyond dismantling public education isn't the only concern potential hires have

"There's a lot of anxiety around what this administration is going to bring, and some people may think it's pretty risky to go into these roles ... There's a lot of speculation about how long DeVos is going to last. Potential staff may question whether it's worth the risk, whether taking a job for this secretary could cause collateral damage to reputations and future opportunities in education."

That seems pretty clear. Anyone who went to work for someone as unqualified as DeVos, and with an agenda as toxic as hers is looking at career suicide.

So who is getting hired? No one particulate qualified to deal with education policy it would seem.

the initial group of policy staffers—that has been circulated to civil servants at the department is heavy on folks whose background is primarily in politics or communications, including more than a half-dozen Trump campaign staffers, state GOP party staffers, and Washington, D.C.-based communications professionals. 

Is there a collective noun for a large group of bumbling know-nothings?

Kasich Budget Calls for Teachers To Intern with Local Businesses As License Renewal Criteria

Buried 1056 pages deep in the Governor's budget (HB-49) is this eye popping provision

Sec. 3319.236. Beginning September 1, 2018, the state board of education's rules for the renewal of educator licenses shall require each applicant for renewal of a license to complete an on-site work experience with a local business or chamber of commerce as a condition of renewal. Work experience obtained pursuant to this section shall count toward any required continuing education. Each local professional development committee established under section 3319.22 of the Revised Code shall work with its teachers to identify local work experience opportunities that meet the requirements of this section. 

Does the governor seriously think that having tens of thousands of teachers intern with the local plumbers, pizza shops, car dealership, or chambers of commerce will make them better intervention specialists? Math teachers? Spanish teachers? Band directors?

This buried provision comes on top of the provision proposed by the governor to stack board of education with "business people".  That the governor thinks local business people are bigger experts than career trained and qualified educators is downright offensive, and for students, dangerous.

It is local business people would benefit from seeing professional educators in action in their local schools. That's the internship that should be happening.

Budget Update #5 - When the GOP Budget Chair Calls Your Budget "Asinine"

When the Republican Chair of the budget committee calls aspects of the governor's school funding budget provisions "asinine" you know things are not going to go well.

Initial reports, based simply on comments from the governor, indicated schools could expect a $200 million in crease in funding. This has happened repeatedly, and we've always cautioned a wait and see.

The proposed cuts are bad.

Nearly half of Ohio’s 610 school districts will lose funding under the budget proposed this week by Gov. John Kasich, and 73 won’t get any more money than they got this fiscal year. <br/>
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The highest percentage loss for any school district is 5.6%. The state has also reduced what it will pay for school transportation.

Analysis by Steve Dyer, shows the budget hammers poor and rural schools the most - those least able to absorb at hits.

Further analysis by Innovation Ohio shows the massive shift in tax burden during the governors two terms, from state funding to local funding - in effect making our school funding mechanisms even more unconstitutional!

Budget Update #4 - The Governors Robin Hood Budget Revealed!

The Governor released his long anticipated budget on January 30th. As expected it included more income tax cuts, with increases to sales taxes to pay for it. It also included increases in tax on alcohol, smoking and a range of services. The next result of this tax plan will be the continued reduction in taxes for wealthier Ohioans, while the rest of us pay more.

On the K-12 front, the news is decidedly mixed. According to budget documents:

Primary and Secondary Education recommended all funds appropriations total $11.2 billion (1.2% above FY 2017 spending levels) and $11.4 billion in FY 2019 (1.4% above FY 2018). Recommended GRF appropriations total $8.1 billion in FY 2018 and $8.2 billion in FY 2019. 

As we noted in our budget update #3, this means a cut in real terms due to inflation being around 2.1 percent. The budget also includes an erosion to the guarantee, with Districts that have lost students facing cuts. According to the Dispatch 1 in 2 districts might see these cuts

Under the plan, a district's funds would be cut by an amount equal to its population loss over 5 percent. So if enrollment dropped 6.5 percent over five years, it would lose 1.5 percent in 2018 and then get the same amount in 2019. Cuts would be capped at 5 percent.

It's not yet clear exactly how enrollment is calculated - specific district numbers are not ready yet - but based on state data, 351 of Ohio's 610 districts lost more than 5 percent of their students from 2011-16.