Education News for 03-16-2012

Statewide Education News

  • Governor Kasich discusses fracking, taxes and schools (WKYC 3 NBC)
  • CLEVELAND - Governor John Kasich says he will do anything he can to help get Mayor Frank Jackson's Cleveland School transformation plan passed. He declined to talk about possible outcomes if the plan does not pass. Right now no Democratic lawmaker is willing to sponsor the bill that is intended to create more quality schools, change school governance, change teachers' seniority rights and pass a November levy. Kasich talked about this in an exclusive Thursday interview with Tom Beres. Read More…

  • Youngstown school officials given more freedom (Vindicator)
  • Youngstown - The commission overseeing the city school district’s academic recovery has given administrators more freedom to trim staff and determine class size but wants the final say on any district reorganization. The commission on Thursday eliminated the effective date and notice requirements regarding teacher layoffs. Under the teachers’ contract, the district must notify teachers by April 30 if they are on the reduction-in-force list for the next school year. Read More…

  • Tutoring helps raise test scores (News-Sun)
  • SPRINGFIELD — Two intensive tutoring programs helped raise test scores in four of five areas last school year at Springfield High School. Through an Ohio Graduation Test boot camp and a Winter Institute, the number of students testing at advanced and accelerated levels increased by 9 percent, said Chris Shaffer, campus director. Students testing at limited, basic and proficient levels decreased by 7.5 percent. Passing the Ohio Graduation Test, which students at Springfield and other high schools took this week, is a requirement for graduation. Read More…

  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich wants legislative sponsors for Cleveland schools plan; Mayor Frank Jackson asks for patience (Plain Dealer)
  • CLEVELAND - Gov. John Kasich says Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson seems to be having trouble finding a legislator from the Cleveland area to step up and sponsor his schools plan in Columbus. But Jackson said he deliberately has not asked anyone to sponsor the plan yet because he wants legislators to be comfortable with what he is proposing. "That's not what they tell us," Kasich said Thursday after a luncheon speech in Cleveland. "I've been told for five weeks we are going to have co-sponsors. We have to get them soon." Read More…

Local Issues

  • Outrage over Westerville pay-to-play plan isn’t unanimous (Dispatch)
  • Some parents are relieved that Westerville school leaders plan to charge athletes more than twice as much to participate — they feared a bigger increase. But other residents say the district should be more lenient after voters approved a March 6 levy that will cost taxpayers an additional $221 per year on a $100,000 home, starting in 2013. School administrators unveiled a plan on Monday to charge $240 per high-school sport, up from $100, and $120 for middle-school, up from $50. Read More…

  • North Ridgeville schools superintendent prepares to unveil staffing cuts, pay-to-play plan (Sun News)
  • NORTH RIDGEVILLE - Schools Superintendent Larry Brown will unveil a plan March 20 for staffing cuts and a pay-to-participate program beginning in the 2012-2013 school year. Brown, speaking during a North Ridgeville Chamber of Commerce luncheon March 15, said the plan is necessary to avoid a $1.3 million deficit by the end of the next school year. Brown talked for about an hour, outlining the district’s various accomplishments and discussing its need for additional revenue. Read More…

  • Painesville Schools launches D.O.G.S. to emphasize male role models (News-Herald)
  • Painesville Schools have launched a new program that seeks to bring fathers into the school buildings. Maple Elementary is the first school in the district to launch the WATCH D.O.G.S. program, or Dads of Great Students, which began in 1998 and is now in more than 2,000 schools across the country. The program looks to give students positive male role models, whether it be dads, uncles or grandfathers, and provides an extra adult to watch over the school. Read More…

  • Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's proposed panel to review charter schools could meet behind closed doors (Plain Dealer)
  • CLEVELAND - Mayor Frank Jackson's proposed panel to hold Cleveland's public charter and district schools accountable would be able to work behind closed doors, according to the latest draft of laws needed to create it. Proposals given to state legislators last Saturday call for the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, which would have the power to block new charter schools from opening if they did not meet standards, to be exempt from state open meetings or open records laws. Read More…

  • Ledgemont facing budget cuts, seeking new board member (News-Herald)
  • The need to balance a tightly squeezed budget has prompted Ledgemont School Board members to make cuts in personnel. “No one’s happy about doing it but unfortunately it has to be done,” said District Treasurer Kelly Moore following a board meeting this week. Reductions include the elimination of seven teaching positions, a high school special education tutor, and an elementary aide; and modifying the full-time status of a music teacher position to part-time. Read More…

  • It is cheaper not to fire principal accused of misconduct, officials say (Journal-News)
  • MADISON TWP. — The decision not to fire Madison Elementary School Principal Matthew Gray following numerous incidents of misconduct, including a physical altercation with a student last May, is one of cost-savings, according to school officials. The Madison school board unanimously voted March 5 not to renew Gray’s contract, which expires July 31. The day after the board action, Superintendent Tom York said Gray was told to work from home the remainder of the school year. Gray will continue to receive his annual salary of $78,763. Read More…

  • Hilliard schools official resigns amid financial probe (Dispatch)
  • A Hilliard athletic director transferred more than $10,000 from a tournament bank account into personal accounts as “mad money,” according to an investigation that apparently prompted his resignation. An accountant who handled the investigation also questioned Neill “Chip” Ebert, the athletic director at Hilliard Bradley High School, about a $40,560 gap between the deposits reported to the Ohio High School Athletic Association and what ended up in the tournament accounts over a 2-1/2-year period. Read More…

Why Levy requests are down

Gongwer reports

Fewer than normal school and library issues will appear on the March primary ballot and advocates suspect the cause was confusion surrounding when Ohio would hold the election.

A partisan dispute over the drawing of new congressional district maps had Ohioans for a time scheduled to vote in two primary elections before a compromise map established a single Mar. 6 primary date. (See Gongwer Ohio Report, December 14, 2011)

Among the 465 issues appearing on the March 6 ballot are nine bond issues, 280 tax requests, 124 local liquor options, nine combination questions and 43 miscellaneous issues, according the secretary of state.

Schools as usual make up the brunt of issues with seven bond requests, 85 tax levies, seven combination bond-tax issues, two combination income tax-bond issues, and 11 tax changes, according to the SOS.

The number of school levies is down, however, from the last presidential primary election, Ohio School Boards Association Director of Legislative Services Damon Asbury said. Whereas Ohio's 2008 primary saw 191 issues, only 112 funding requests are up this year.

"I think the numbers this year at least for this March primary may be a little lower just because of the confusion that districts were experiencing back in November, December when it wasn't clear whether we were going to have a March primary or a May primary."

The more likely explanation is that fact that the Republican presidential primary is contested and will attract lots of conservative voters who typically do not support school funding issues.

We published a full list of the school levy issues that will appear on the March 6th primary ballots, here.

ODE Budget Testimony

Budget testimony given by the Ohio Department of Education can be found here
Testimony from ODE - 129th General Assembly

 Date Presented  Bill/Topic of Testimony Legislative Committee Presented To
March 31, 2011

HB 153 (Budget Bill)
Scholarship Programs

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
March 31, 2011

HB 153 (Budget Bill)
Teacher Licensure

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
March 31, 2011

HB 153 (Budget Bill)
Community Schools

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
March 30, 2011

HB 153 (Budget Bill)
Standards, Assessments & Accountability

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
March 30, 2011

HB 153 (Budget Bill)
IT, EMIS & Longitudinal Data Systems

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
March 30, 2011

HB 153 (Budget Bill)
State System of Support

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education

ODE also provides constantly updating page of useful budget information and refenercne documents, which can be found here:
FY 12 – FY 13 (HB 153) Budget Information

News for March 14th, 2011

As we await to see the details in the Governor's first budget, WDTN reports

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Schools throughout Ohio are anticipating tighter budgets next year and bracing to hear about education cuts when Republican Gov. John Kasich unveils his two-year budget plan this week.

The cuts are expected to fall anywhere up to 20%.

The Dispatch reports on another of the touted "reforms" being considered to Ohio

Bringing Teach for America to Ohio has been years in the making.

But for the first time, the program's arrival here has gone from a mere wish among supporters to seemingly imminent after Gov. John Kasich promised to open doors for the group in his State of the State speech last week. To that end, companion bills are moving through the legislature that would remove barriers to TFA's operation here.

"It's signaling momentum that a TFA region in Ohio could be possible," said Rebecca Neale

The Plain Dealer reports on continued protests regarding SB 5

Senate Bill 5, the legislation focused on collective bargaining, has spurred protests throughout Ohio. On March 13, Medina's Public Square became a hotbed of emotion and political discourse.

"Collective bargaining is a system of checks and balances," special education teacher Wendy Shubrowsky said. "This (bill) will devastate teachers and all public employees. This will decimate my family. We will have to move."

More rallys are planned for Tomorrow. You can check out this OEA page for details of a rally near you.

If you can't attend a rally, please consider contacting your State Representative. You can Use OEA's toll-free Educator Connector phone line to connect quickly and easily to your State Representative. Call (888) 907-7309 and immediately take action