HB 166 Ohio Biennium Budget Bill Summary of Charter School Provision July 23, 2019
Positives for Charters
1. Auto Closure
Automatic Closure for schools (which are not DOPR) – The final bill adopted the language of 3 of 3 years (rather than 2 of 3 years). PreK-3 schools: keeps current law conditions for closure. Changes time frame to 3 out of 3 years Grades 4-8/9: keeps current law conditions for closure. Changes the timeframe to 3 out of 3 years. Grades 9/10 – 12: keeps current law conditions for closure. Changes timeframe to 3 out of 3 years
• May reduce the number of charter schools subject to closure. • These changes to the closure law are effective immediately, as of July 17, 2019, thus should protect schools that would have been forced into closure as a result of the upcoming report card.
2. Value Added
Value Added – The bill modifies the grading scale used to determine letter grades assigned for the report card’s value-added progress dimension, which computes “gain index” values based on the number of standard errors above or below the mean on a statistical measure of academic growth, as follows:
(1) A score of one or greater (instead of a score of two or greater under current law) is designated as an “A;”
(2) A score that is less than one but not greater than a negative one (instead of a score that is at least one but less than two) is designated as a “B;”
(3) A score that is less than or equal to negative one but greater than negative two (instead of a score that is less than one but greater than or equal to negative one) is designated as a “C;”
(4) A score that is less than or equal to negative two but greater than negative three (instead of a score that is not greater than negative one but greater than or equal to negative two) is designated as a “D;”
(5) A score that is less than or equal to negative three (instead of a score that is not greater than negative two) is designated as an “F.”
In assigning letter grades for the overall score on the value-added progress dimension of the report card, the State Board of Education must prohibit assigning an “A” on this measure unless a district or
building’s assigned grade for the subgroups of the value-added progress dimension is a “C” or higher (instead of a “B” or higher under current law).
• Should result in higher value-added progress grades.
3. Facilities Funding) – The final bill increased brick-and-mortar charter funding to $250 per student.
• Increased Facilities funding for brick and mortar by $50/student (was $200, now $250).
4. Student Success and Wellness Funding – All three versions added money for “student success and wellness”. The final total was the largest at $675 for the biennium: $275 for FY 2020 and $400 for FY 2021. Minimum guarantee for each public school $25,000 for 2020 and $36,000 for 2021, including for e-schools.
This funding shall be used for (1) mental health services, (2) services for homeless youth, (3) services for child welfare involved youth, (4) community liaisons, (5) physical health care services, (6) mentoring programs, (7) family engagement and support services, (8) City Connects programming, (9) professional development regarding the provision of trauma-informed care (10) professional development regarding cultural competence and (11) student services provided prior to or after the regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session.
• Ohio budgeted $675 million over two years, a minimum of $25,000 per school for 2020 and $36,000 for 2021 for every district including e-schools. It must be used as noted above. The amount determined by the number of students enrolled in the district or school “in the immediately preceding fiscal year”
5. Quality Charter Schools – The final bill specifies that ODE make payments to community schools that are designated as Community Schools of Quality. These Schools of Quality will receive per-pupil funding of $1,750 for students identified as economically disadvantaged and $1,000 for students not identified as such.
A Community School of Quality must satisfy at least one of the following conditions:
(1) The school meets all of the following criteria: (a) the school’s sponsor is rated “exemplary” or “effective” on the sponsor’s most recent evaluation, (b) the school’s two most recent performance index scores are higher than the school district in which school is located, (c) the school’s most recent overall grade for value added is “A” or “B” or the school is in its first or second year of operation and did not receive a value-added grade, and (d) at least 50% of enrolled students are economically disadvantaged.
(2) The school meets all of the following criteria: (a) the school’s sponsor is rated “exemplary” or “effective” on the sponsor’s most recent evaluation, (b) the school is in its first year of operation, and (c) the school is replicating an operational and instructional model used by a school of quality designated under condition (1).
(3) The school meets all of the following criteria: (a) the school’s sponsor is rated “exemplary” or “effective” on the sponsor’s most recent evaluation, (b) the school contracts with an operator that operates schools in other states, and (c) one of the operator’s schools received funding through the Federal Charter School Program or the Charter School Growth Fund.
(4) The community school meets all of the following criteria: (a) the school’s sponsor is rated “exemplary” or “effective” on the sponsor’s most recent evaluation, (b) the school contracts with an operator that operates schools in other states, (c) one of the operator’s out-of-state schools performed better than the school district in which the in-state school is located as determined by ODE, (d) at least 50% of enrolled students are economically disadvantaged, (e) the operator is in good standing in all states, and (f) ODE has determined the operator does not have financial viability issues preventing it from effectively operating a community school in Ohio.
• An opportunity for some charters to receive additional funding.
6. Sponsor Evaluations – The final bill has charter Sponsors rated “effective” or “exemplary” for 3 or more consecutive years being evaluated by ODE once every 3 years instead of annually.
• Saves time and money for sponsors.
7. Review Ratings – The final bill permits each Sponsor to review the information used by ODE to determine the Sponsor’s rating on the academic performance component and to request an adjustment to the Sponsor’s rating for that component if it believes there is an error in ODE’s evaluation.
• Sponsors have the opportunity to question and possibly change ratings.
8. DOPR changes – changes state test passage rate indicator to measure the percentage of students who attain the required passing score on OGT or the cumulative performance score of end-of-course exams, whichever applies.
Requires ODE to recalculate 2017-18 and 2018-19 school year report card ratings for DOPR schools using the new state test passage rate measure.
Prohibits closure of DOPR schools, beginning in 2019-20 school year, if the new state test passage measure, after it’s applied to 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years and those results are recalculated, move the DOPR school into either “meets standards” or “exceeds standards” for any of those years. New closure law requires a school to fail to meet the required standards, officially termed “does not meet standards” for 3 out of 3 years.)
These changes to the DOPR closure law are effective immediately upon passage of the bill, which was July 18, 2019.
• May decrease the number of DOPR schools that are subject to closure
9. Recalculation of Sponsor Ratings – The final bill requires ODE to recalculate the community school sponsor rating for the 2017-18 school year for each sponsor of a dropout recovery school that receives recalculated report card ratings for the 2017-2018 school year based on the bill’s revised rating system for those schools.
• Should improve sponsor ratings if DOPR schools improve their report card ratings.
10. Changes to sponsor check of finding for recovery – Limits “finding for recovery verifications” by the sponsor to only those persons with responsibility for fiscal operations or authorization to spend money on the school’s behalf.
11. Re-classify “conversion” schools that change sponsors – Reclassifies “conversion” schools that change sponsors to an entity that is not a school district or ESC as a “Start-up”.
• Should expand sponsor portfolios and allow successful conversion schools whose sponsors are failing to stay open by changing sponsors.
12. Opening Assurances – The final bill includes language requiring each community school Sponsor to provide a list of assurances specified in current law to ODE at least 10 business days prior to the opening of a school’s first year of operation instead of annually under current law.
13. Certified and Licensed Teachers – The House and Senate eliminated the requirement that community school teachers who provide instruction in core subject areas be “properly certified or licensed” to teach in the subject areas and grade levels in which they provide instruction. The Senate also eliminated the “properly certified or licensed” requirement for traditional school district and STEM school teachers.
• “Provides (charter) schools with additional flexibility in responding to certain staffing needs. Under continuing law, (charter) school teachers and paraprofessionals must have a license, permit or certification to provide instruction, but under the bill they would not be required to be “properly certified” in any specific subject areas or grade levels,” as noted in the Comparison Document prepared by the Legislative Service Commission. (NOTE: The Governor’s veto of this section applied only to changes made in the Senate that were carried over into the final bill by the Conference Committee. Those changes ADDED districts and STEM schools. The Governor vetoed the elimination of the teacher/staff licensure requirements for STEMs and districts, but kept it for charter schools.)
14. Computer Science Teachers – permits public schools for 2019-21 school years, to allow a licensed teacher for grades 7-12 to teach computer science under the following conditions: 1) completion of PD that includes course-specific content and is approved by superintendent or principal, 2) requires superintendent/principal to approve any PD endorsed by the organization that creates and administers AP exams as appropriate for the course the individual will teach, 3) the individual may only teach computer science in the school/district in which the person completed the PD, and 4) requirements return to current law after July 1, 2021.
• May provide charters with a greater pool of individuals to teach computer science over the next 2 school years.
15. Graduation requirements – establishes new graduation requirements for Class of 2023 and beyond. New requirements are optional for 2018 through 2022.
- Eliminates Geometry EOC for graduating class of 2023 and provides for only Algebra I as the EOC for graduation (presuming Federal approval).
- Eliminates English I test.
- Prohibits SBE from setting minimum EOC score requirements for earning a diploma.
- Requires State Supt or designee to present publicly to the House and Senate Ed Committees a range of scores for EOC exams.
- Prohibits requiring a student to take an EOC for Algebra I or English II if a proficient or “competency score” was achieved on the exam prior to high school.
New grad requirements: student must meet curriculum requirements according to current law and both 1) attain a “competency score” on both algebra I and English II EOCs, and 2) earn at least 2
State diploma seals including either a Biliteracy seal, Ohio Means Jobs readiness seal or one of the newly required seal from the SBE.
Requires the “competency scores” for algebra I and English II be determined by ODE in consultation with the Chancellor of Higher Education and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation. Requires schools allow students who fail one or both to be able to retake the exam(s) at least once.
If a student fails the retake(s), allows the student to demonstrate “competency” for graduation through other avenues:
- Completing the College Credit Plus program,
- Evidence of enlistment in the armed forces,
- Completing at least one “foundational” option = proficient scores on 4 state technical assessments in a single pathway, earning industry-recognized credential, or completing pre-apprenticeship or apprenticeship or evidence of acceptance into apprenticeship program following high school AND one additional “foundational” option or a “supporting” option (including 250 hours of work-based learning, Ohio Means Jobs readiness seal or obtaining a score on Work Keys assessment)
- Requires IEP to specify how a student will participate in assessments related to the new graduation requirements
- Requires the SBE to establish a series of state diploma seals including all of the following: Ohio Means Jobs readiness, an industry-recognized credential, college-ready, military enlistment, citizenship, science, honors and technology. Districts are required to set establish seals for at least one of the following: community service, fine and performing arts, student engagement.
- Requires each district/school, by June 30, 2020, to adopt a policy for students at risk of not obtaining a diploma. The policy must include: criteria for identifying at-risk students, procedures for identifying at-risk students, a process to notify parent/custodian, additional instructional or support services and a graduation plan which must be updated annually.
• Provides additional options for at-risk students to graduate. • May increase number of students who graduate on time. • May increase administrative costs for schools to develop formal grad plans for at-risk students and to offer remedial supports.
16. Closed Facilities – The final bill requires a school district to sell or lease unused buildings to charter schools if the building has not been used for 1 year rather than 2 years, as under existing law.
• Should provide charters more opportunity to obtain facilities.
17. Show Choir for Phys Ed – Permits schools to allow students to use 2 full seasons of show choir to fulfill high school physical education requirements.
• Expands physical education options for schools and students.
18. Truancy/Excessive Absences – uses only non-medical and unexcused absences to trigger a required notice of excessive absences.
• May reduce the number of students deemed excessively absence and reduce truancy-related costs and intervention strategies needed.
19. Prohibition on Busing Reductions – The final bill prohibits a school district from reducing transportation it has opted to provide to students the district is not required to transport after the first day of the school year.
• Provides assurances for charters and parents of consistent transportation for the school year.
- Facilities Funding (EDUCD17) – Money for e-schools stays at $25/student. Same as 2019.
- Targeted Assistance – Same as 2019.
- Economically Disadvantaged Funds – Same as 2019.
1. Community School Mergers – Allows two or more charters to merge if governing authorities of all schools adopt resolutions to do so. Contracts are “generally prohibited” from being transferred, thereby requiring a new contract for the new school with a sponsor. A merger does not exempt a school from closure laws. Requires ODE to issue a report card for the “surviving community school” and closure is based upon that school’s report card history.
No school that has met closure criteria in 1 of the previous 2 years is allowed to merge; neither is a school that has been notified by its sponsor of their intent to terminate.
Limits school and sponsor options for salvaging a low performing charter.
2. Annual e-school reports – Requires e-schools to submit an annual report to ODE, based upon rules that ODE will create, that contains the following: 1) classroom size, 2) student-teacher ratio per classroom, 3) number of student-teacher meetings conducted in person or by video, 4) any other information deemed necessary by ODE. Also, requires ODE to submit a report annually containing this information to the SBE.
• Increases the workload and costs for e-schools. • Provides an open-ended opportunity for ODE to promulgate anti-e-school rules.
3. Behavioral Prevention Initiatives – Requires schools to annually report to ODE the type of behavioral prevention programs, services and supports are being used to promote health behavior and decision-making by students. Reports must include: curriculum and instruction provided during school, outside supports and programs, PD for teachers, admin and staff, partnerships within the community, efforts to engage parents and the community and activities designed to communicate with and learn from other schools or professionals. Permits ODE to use these reports as a factor in distribution of funding for prevention-focused behavioral initiatives.
1. Community School Funding – The dollar amounts for FY 2020 and FY 2021 are the same as for FY 2019. Specifies that, for FY 2020 and FY 2021, the per-pupil amount deducted from a school district and paid to a community school that accepts responsibility to transport its students must be the same amount deducted and transferred for that purpose for FY 2019 – no change. (Prior versions of the bill did not specify a fixed amount for this deduction; therefore, ODE otherwise would have been required to calculate the deduction in accordance with the current law formula.)
2. Funding – Specifies that for FY 20 and FY 21, graduation and 3rd grade reading guarantee bonuses must be recalculated each FY using a formula amount of $6,020.
3. Stakeholder Group – The final bill includes language creating a stakeholder group to study dropout prevention and recovery programs, and it requires the State Board to submit the committee’s recommendations to the General Assembly by January 18, 2020 (app.) (NOTE: The SBE already has a workgroup in place that includes SBE members and stakeholders. They are awaiting a legal opinion to determine whether current members can remain in the budget-created committee that must have a House member, a Senate member and a Gov’s staffer. Also discussing moving the timeline to the January date with President Kohler)
• Potential negative if stakeholders are no longer included in the DOPR study committee.
4. Residential Facilities – The final bill has language permitting a community school that was open for operation as of May 1, 2005, to operate from certain institutions, foster homes, group homes, or other residential facilities.
5. E-School Study – Requires ODE to study and make recommendations on the feasibility of a new funding system for e-schools by December 31, 2019. The language requires ODE to consider models that are (1) based on competency and course completion and (2) used in other states, including Florida and New Hampshire.
6. School Breakfast Programs – requires schools with 70%+ student’s eligible for free or reduced-price meals to offer breakfast during or before the school day to all enrolled students. The program can be phased-in over 3 years. ODE is required to publish a list of qualifying schools, to monitor them and offer assistance and report on the program annually to the Governor and the Legislature as well as publish reports on their website. Schools with an existing breakfast program or which cannot financially afford such a program to opt out.
• Schools that participate will see increased costs, NOTE: There is opt-out language.
7. Economically Disadvantaged Student Study – The final bill requires ODE to conduct a study that (1) reviews and determines the effectiveness of the criteria used in the current school funding formula to define economically disadvantaged students and (2) researches how other states define economically disadvantaged students and address them in their school funding formulas.
8. Report Card Study Committee – The final bill establishes a study committee consisting of the State Superintendent or designee, the Chairs of the House and Senate Education Committees, 2 members of the House appointed by the Speaker, 2 member of the Senate appointed by the President and 3 Superintendents from urban, suburban and rural districts chosen by BASA to study the calculation and weighting of performance measures, components, and the overall letter grade on the report card. Also requires the committee to consider the report card’s design principles, primary audience, and the manner in which it addresses student academic achievement.
9. Computer coding as a foreign language – A school that requires a foreign language for high school graduation to include computer coding as a foreign language option.
10. Sponsor Training – The final bill permits ODE to develop and conduct training sessions for Sponsors and prospective Sponsors of community schools.