Teachers to the legislative rescue

We brought HB555 to your attention quite some time ago. Yet another vehicle for school "reform". It was mothballed, but now appears to be getting a dust-off according to Gongwer, and readied for lame duck action

The House Education Committee is scheduled to meet on three days in the week following the election, and the chairman said Thursday the yet-to-be-completed report card rating bill will be top priority during lame duck.

With meetings set for the afternoons of Nov. 13-15, Chairman Rep. Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) said it is possible the committee will hear other bills, but the main focus will be on legislation to revamp the state's grade cards for school districts and buildings.

Rep. Stebelton introduced a placeholder bill during the summer (HB 555) that currently contains language stating the General Assembly's intent to put in place a system by Dec. 31. He said Thursday, however, the bill is not "totally completed yet."

"The subject matter of 555 is the highest priority (for lame duck)," he said in an interview. "We've had a lot of negotiations and there's still a lot of moving parts."

Mr. Stebelton said he is hopeful the legislature can reach consensus with the governor's office in time to have the bill passed by the end of the year as intended. He has been working with administration officials, the Department of Education and the Senate, he said.

Rep Stableton would be wise to wait just a short while, he might have some actual educators join him in the state legislature, who can help guide him to better policy, instead of creating a mess like this one

Reading Guarantee: Mr. Sawyers said the department is asking for a change during lame duck session to the third-grade guarantee, specifically to a requirement that students with a reading deficiency be assigned to a teacher with a "reading endorsement."

Because teachers with such a certification are few and far between, the agency wants clarification that would align the requirement of a high-performing teacher with the reading endorsement for the time being because acquiring the training for the title requires 12 to 16 semester hours of college credit, he said.

"It's not practical that between January of 2013 - if they're not already in a fall semester someplace - between January and then when they will start again in August that we're going to have this mad rush of people going out to get this reading endorsement (and) that can actually complete 12 to 18 semester hours of credit," Mr. Sawyers said.

"There's got to be an alternative, ultimately, that's put in place for fall (2013), so we're proposing to the General Assembly, what could that alternative be?"

Oh dear. We wrote about the mixed messages and policy mess the legislature has caused with this, so it's good to see ODE acknowledge the problems too. But, these are the kinds of problems that simply would not occur if legislatures with no education experience or background listened to those who have, and hopefully come January, that will include a number of colleagues.

SB5 could turn Gov. Kasich into a lame duck

A short while ago we published an analysis piece to determine which of the Senators who voted for SB5 would be up for reelection in 2012. A number of readers asked us to perform the same analysis for those House members who voted for SB5, so here it is.

The Ohio House of Representatives is made up of 99 districts. Currently the Republicans control 59 and the Democrats 40. The House is quite different from the Senate. Representatives are elected every 2 years, not every 4 and every district will be contested in 2012. Representatives become term limited after 4 terms. So with that basic understanding, let’s look at the SB5 roll call.

We can eliminate all of the Democrats from consideration as not a single one of them voted for SB5.

While SB5 was passed on a party line vote, some Republicans did cross the isle to vote no too. They were Randy Gardner (R), Ross W. McGregor (R), John Carey (R), Terry Johnson (R), and Casey Kozlowski (R). That reduces the potential total to 54 Republicans who voted for SB5.

Five of these Representatives will be term limited, they are Louis W. Blessing, Jr. (R), Courtney Combs (R), William P. Coley, II (R), Joseph W. Uecker (R) and Danny R. Bubp (R). So we’re down to 49.

One other Republican who is unlikely to be on the ballot next year is Rep Mecklenborg (R). He was recently arrested for a DUI in Indiana enjoying the company of a young woman purported to be an employee of a nearby adult entertainment establishment. It’s quite possible he won’t serve out his term, as calls for his resignation continue to grow.

That then, gives us 48 potential Republican Representatives who will be on the ballot in 2012 who voted for SB5. They are, sorted by their 2010 votes for percentage:

District Member Percentage vote for Percentage vote against
91 Bill Hayes (R) 47.06 52.94
41 Lynn Slaby (R) 49.9 50.1
21 Mike Duffey (R) 50.48 49.52
96 Al Landis (R) 51.04 48.96
42 Kristina Roegner (R) 51.69 48.31
18 Mike Dovilla (R) 52.41 47.59
1 Craig Newbold (R) 52.58 47.42
19 Anne Gonzales (R) 52.68 47.32
63 Ron Young (R) 53.14 46.86
93 Andy Thompson (R) 53.81 46.19
17 Marlene Anielski (R) 54.75 45.25
43 Todd McKenney (R) 54.99 45.01
81 Rex Damschroder (R) 55.31 44.69
85 Bob Peterson (R) 55.32 44.68
46 Barbara R. Sears (R) 56.34 43.66
86 Cliff Rosenberger (R) 59.46 40.54
16 Nan A. Baker (R) 60.19 39.81
50 Christina Hagan (R) 60.52 39.48
58 Terry Boose (R) 62.29 37.71
36 Michael Henne (R) 63.27 36.73
23 Cheryl L. Grossman (R) 63.41 36.59
34 Peter Stautberg (R) 64.81 35.19
38 Terry Blair (R) 67.49 32.51
98 Richard Hollington (R) 68.44 31.56
97 David Hall (R) 68.8 31.2
74 Bruce W. Goodwin (R) 69.01 30.99
51 Kirk Schuring (R) 69.2 30.8
71 Jay Hottinger (R) 69.31 30.69
84 Bob D. Hackett (R) 69.7 30.3
37 Jim Butler (R) 69.71 30.29
70 Jarrod B. Martin (R) 69.93 30.07
53 Timothy Derickson (R) 70.19 29.81
69 William G. Batchelder (R) 70.34 29.66
2 Andrew Brenner (R) 70.35 29.65
67 Peter Beck (R) 70.74 29.26
76 Robert Sprague (R) 70.78 29.22
75 Lynn R. Wachtmann (R) 72.05 27.95
90 Margaret Ann Ruhl (R) 72.26 27.74
4 Matt Huffman (R) 72.32 27.68
35 Ron Maag (R) 73.02 26.98
78 John Adams (R) 74.27 25.73
79 Richard N. Adams (R) 77.09 22.91
3 Ron Amstutz (R) 100 0
5 Gerald L. Stebelton (R) 100 0
77 Jim Buchy (R) 100 0
82 Jeffrey A. McClain (R) 100 0
83 David E. Burke (R) 100 0
94 Troy Balderson (R) 100 0

14 SB5 supporters could not survive a 5% swing from their margin of victory in 2010 (2 didn’t even reach the 50% threshold due to a third party taking significant support). With only a 10-seat margin to maintain control, it is quite possible that control of the Ohio House will swing away from the Republicans and back to the Democrats.

Such a swing, could put a halt to the Governors radical agenda and turn the remaining 2 years of his first term into a lame duck effort.