Legislators clear way for abolishing Ohio’s school-staffing rule

A legislative review panel paved the way yesterday for the Ohio Board of Education to abolish school-staffing requirements, a move that critics fear will allow districts to eliminate art teachers, librarians, counselors and other staff members.

The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review rejected an effort to invalidate the proposal by a 6-4 party-line vote. Minority Democrats tried to block the change.

The state board is expected to vote at its next meeting, in May, to abolish the “5 of 8” rule that requires schools to have a certain number of art, music and physical-education teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, social workers and visiting teachers. Supporters argue that the rule is outdated and school districts should have more flexibility with staffing. Critics worry that budget-conscious schools would cut positions deemed not essential for state standardized tests.

(Read more at the Dispatch)