THE LATEST FROM OEA LEGISLATIVE WATCH

 

Headliner

OEA Testifies in Support of HB 67

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, OEA President Scott DiMauro testified in support of Substitute House Bill 67. The bill would allow high school students to use course grades instead of scores on end-of-course exams given this year for the purposes of high school graduation. Further, the bill would allow local education officials to make graduation decisions for seniors who are on track to graduate this year and provide additional testing flexibility.

The bill passed the House last week by a wide margin but without an emergency clause that is needed for it to have its intended effect. DiMauro asked the Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee to pass the bill quickly and re-insert the emergency clause. You can read his full testimony here. The bill is expected to have an additional hearing and possible vote next week.

HB 200: Bi-Partisan Report Card Bill Would Eliminate A-F Letter Grades

Reps. Don Jones (R-Freeport) and Phil Robinson (D-Solon) have introduced legislation to improve Ohio’s state report card system. HB 200 bill has 58 co-sponsors and is expected to receive serious consideration in the Ohio House of Representatives.

HB 200 would replace misleading A-F letter grades with a series of measures that use expectations/needs-based ratings as follows: “significantly exceeds expectations,” “exceeds expectations,” “meets expectations,” “significantly approaching expectations,” “moderately approaching expectations” and “in need of support.” Overall performance ratings of school districts and buildings are prohibited under the bill.

While the proposal keeps the flawed value-added student growth measure, it seeks to make improvements in how the measure is used. The State Board of Education would also be permitted to replace value-added with a different growth measure. Other areas for improvement in the bill include adding a Student Opportunity Profile that allows districts to report information about education programs, extracurricular activities, student supports, staffing ratios and other pertinent information about the district/building.

OEA is taking an “Interested Party” position on HB 200 and will be engaging with legislators and other stakeholders to support areas of progress while recommending specific improvements.

Board Meeting Scheduled for April

The next board of education meeting is Tuesday, April 20 at 6:30. REA strongly encourages you to watch or attend. The board meeting information can be accessed here https://www.reyn.org/Members.aspx . Look through and read the policies and plan to attend/watch the board meeting.

The Latest from OEA Legislative Watch

Headliner

HB 409 – Ohio Senate Passes More Covid-19 School Flexibility Measures

The Ohio Senate passed more Covid-19 school flexibility measures supported by OEA this week (12.17.20). The Ohio House still needs to concur with Senate changes to House Bill 409.

HB 409 would do the following:

  • Suspends report card letter grades for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Establishes a safe harbor from penalties and sanctions for school districts and schools based on the state report card data for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Exempts for the 2020-2021 school year schools from retaining a student under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee based solely on the student’s academic performance in reading, unless the student’s principal and reading teacher determine the student is not reading at grade level and is not prepared for fourth grade.

For a summary and status of recent legislation with Covid-19 flexibility provisions, click HERE.

HB 409 – Reduces Resident Educator License to 2 years and Eliminates Certain Licenses

Before passing HB 442 this week (12.17.20), the Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce, and Workforce Committee added language that would do the following:

  • Eliminates the requirement that individuals hold a substitute license from the state board of education.
  • No longer require a separate pupil services license from the state board of education for certain individuals already licensed by another professional board (i.e. school speech language pathologists, audiologists, school nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and social workers).
  • Requires the State Board of Education to determine a method to condense the four-year Teacher Residency program into a two-year program, including a timeframe by which individuals already enrolled in the program will complete the program.

For a summary of HB 442, click HERE.

Be Informed by Engaging With the Board of Education

The next board of education meeting is Tuesday, Dec 15 at 6:30. REA strongly encourages you to watch or attend. The board meeting information can be accessed here https://www.reyn.org/Members.aspx . Look through and read the policies and plan to attend/watch the board meeting.

OEA’s Position Statement on Putting Education First in Regard to Containing the COVID-19 Pandemic

OEA’s Position Statement on Putting Education First in Regard to Containing the COVID-19 Pandemic that was unanimously adopted by the OEA Board of Directors on December 3, 2020.

Read the statement here.

2020 OEA Fall Representative Assembly Summary

The work of delegates to the Virtual 2020 OEA Fall Representative Assembly held December 5 focused on legislative and political issues with a direct effect on public education and students in Ohio. The 750 registered delegates at the assembly discussed the 2020 election, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, current legislative efforts, organizing and advocacy successes, and more.

Recap

President Scott DiMauro addressed COVID-19’s impact on the educational system in Ohio and how we as a union are fighting for the safety of our members and students.

Newly elected NEA President Becky Pringle addressed our delegation and thanked us for battling some of the systemic social problems our country continues to face.

Vice President Jeff Wensing discussed all the legislative undertakings in our state congress, why they are important, how they affect OEA, and how we as members can support the issues that are important to us.

Secretary-Treasurer Mark Hill enumerated on the financial and membership numbers for OEA.

Celebration

The OEA registered delegates had the opportunity to hear from our new Executive Director Patricia Collins Murdock; who expressed her admiration for all the hard work and commitment that the delegates have shown to their districts and students.

Another bittersweet moment was the tribute to outgoing Executive Director Sheryl Mathis. Ms. Mathis also addressed the delegation expressing her pride and gratitude in being part of our great union. She will certainly be missed, but has earned her retirement.