Week in Review - 11/22/2019

Week in Review - 11/22/2019

EDUCATION

An Ohio Department of Education (ODE) steering committee honed in its recommendations for professionals on improving learning experiences and outcomes for students with disabilities at its meeting Friday afternoon, agreeing that any recommendations should be written clearly and should fit under ODE's "Each Child, Our Future" strategic plan for education. The final recommendations will be included in a report to be sent to special education professionals as well as families.


State Board of Education members said this week they're hearing lots of grumbling about last-minute revisions to the state budget that changed EdChoice voucher eligibility and the process for approving school district territory transfers, with the board's two ex-officio legislative members saying they'd like to seek remedies as well. The budget gave voters in townships split between two or more school districts the right to petition for an election on a transfer from one to another, and requires the board to approve any such transfer that wins at the ballot, removing the state board's usual discretion.


Ohio's charter school sponsor sector saw the highest number of organizations earning the state's top rating of "exemplary" amid a continued thinning of the ranks of nonprofits, universities, districts and educational service centers that contract to oversee the state's 300-plus charter schools. Six of 25 sponsors earned the "exemplary" rating for 2018-2019 school year, while 10 were "effective," five "ineffective" and four "poor." Last year 34 sponsors were rated.


House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford) spoke Wednesday about some of the school funding reforms he's contemplated to address the needs of high poverty districts, after the House Finance Committee delved into the subject earlier in the day in continued hearings on the Cupp-Patterson plan in HB305. The committee had focused on categorical funding -- money added on to base funding to represent the additional needs of certain student subgroups, such as those in poverty, with disabilities, learning English for the first time, or who need gifted services.