Will change to #Ohio5of8 hurt art, music education?

A proposed state rule change will be the beginning of the end for school music and art — or a simple bureaucratic update with no real consequences — depending on which side of the debate to believe.

The Ohio State Board of Education is slated to debate and vote Tuesday on a change to a rule that governs how many music teachers, art teachers, school nurses and other similar support staff a district must employ.

Currently, districts are required to employ five people for every 1,000 students from one of eight areas: counselor, library media specialist, school nurse, visiting teacher, social worker and elementary art, music and physical education.

The state, however, does not track district compliance with this measure and has no real penalties if a district doesn't hire enough of the specialty positions. John Charlton, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education, said when the rule was enacted in 1983, it was part of the school funding formula and schools lost money if they didn't follow it.

"Right now, there is no real teeth in the law that says there would be any kind of consequence," he said.

(Read more at Cincinnati.com