BCHF Writing Challenge: A perfect virtual project
For teachers who are looking for an idea that not only focuses on learning standards but also prepares students for state assessments, Buckeye Community Hope Foundation’s (BCHF) Writing Challenge is an excellent option. This year’s theme is “Seeking Justice,” an important and crucial conversation for classrooms at all grade levels. READ MORE
Governor vows budget investments will continue in upcoming biennium
In a year-end interview with Gongwer News Service, Governor Mike DeWine indicated that his second operating budget proposal – which will be introduced as a bill in the House in February -- will maintain some of the key priorities of his first, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.
Among the priorities DeWine is committed to continue funding is the Student Wellness and Success dollars to support K-12 wraparound services.
“I made a commitment to superintendents and to education officials that we would not pull the rug out from under them,” Governor DeWine said. “If they hired a counselor, if they set up a clinic in the school, that we would not pull the money back in the third year or the fourth year. You’ll see very robust funding for that in the budget that we will propose.”
The Governor also acknowledged that COVID-19 and the shift to remote or hybrid learning hasn’t worked well for some students and their families.
“One of the things we’ve started to discuss with the legislature and with people in the education field is: How do we compensate for that lost education for some of these kids? We don’t have an answer yet, but if you look at what we’re going to do in 2021, that’s one of the important things that we need to be doing and focusing on, is how we’re going to do that.”
Governor signs school safety bill
Governor Mike DeWine signed several bills at year-end, including House Bill 123, sponsored by Representative Gayle Manning (R-N. Ridgeville).
Entitled the “Safety And Violence Education (SAVE) Students Act, the bill requires districts and schools to register with the SaferOH tip line or enter into an agreement with an anonymous reporting program beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. Anonymous reporting program providers must annually submit to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the Ohio Department of Public Safety (DPS) the number of reports made through the program and the method by which they were received. Districts and schools are required to submit specified data concerning anonymous reports to both state agencies.
The bill also requires public schools serving grades six through 12 to create a threat assessment team whose members must complete a training program (from an approved list maintained by DPS) upon appointment and once every three years thereafter (unless a member has completed a program in the preceding year that is later approved by DPS).
Schools serving grades six to 12 must provide annual instruction in: 1) suicide awareness and prevention; 2) safety training and violence prevention; and, 3) social inclusion (beginning with the 2021-2022 school year). Appropriate state agencies are tasked with maintaining lists of approved programs.
School administrators will be required to incorporate a school threat assessment plan and protocol for the building’s threat assessment team into existing emergency management plans.
School funding bill saga continues
As previously reported, bipartisan legislation (H.B. 305) aimed at overhauling Ohio’s approach to school funding was crafted by now House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson) with input from a wide range of stakeholders.
Passed by the Ohio House of Representatives in the year-end lame duck legislative session, neither the House bill or its Senate companion (S.B. 376, sponsored by Senator Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering and Senator Vernon Sykes, D-Akron) were approved by the upper chamber.
A major sticking point is the increase to the state’s annual K-12 education budget, estimated by the House at $1.99 billion and by the Senate at $3.5 billion.
The bill includes a $5 million appropriation from the Lottery Profits Education Fund to cover the costs associated with multiple studies to determine the true costs of various components of education including those associated with student transportation. Senator Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, indicated in a year-end interview with Gongwer News Service that one potential path forward is to focus on completing those studies before adopting a new funding formula.
“I’m hoping that we can get those studies done by the end of March,” Senator Dolan said. “I think you’ll see something about that coming up. We’ll appropriate the dollars, but we need a full and complete picture of the whole funding model, and the best way to do that is in the context of a state budget.”
There is broad support for overhauling Ohio’s method for funding schools which was first ruled unconstitutional in DeRolph v. State in 1997. Stay tuned for more as the 134th General Assembly convenes early in the new year and Governor Mike DeWine’s proposed biennial budget is introduced as legislation in the House in February.
Legislature sends pandemic bill to governor
Legislation (H.B. 409) amended to extend several COVID-19 related changes to K-12 laws has been approved by the General Assembly and send to Governor Mike DeWine to be signed into state law.
Originally focused on e-school attendance, the bill was amended to add pandemic related provisions including: extending the exemption for schools from retaining students under the third-grade reading guarantee; extending the temporary authority for the superintendent of public instruction to adjust various deadlines; extending the prohibition on the Ohio Department of Education from issuing ratings for overall grades, components and individual measures on state report cards; and, extending the safe harbor from penalties and sanctions for schools and districts based on the absence of state report cards.
The original focus of the bill was on e-school and district attendance policies which were maintained in the final version. Written reports to parents/guardians for each student with at least 30 hours of unexcused absences over the course of a semester will now be required, and schools must determine whether a remote learning student’s absences should trigger absence intervention.
Vaccines offer hope, raise questions
The COVID pandemic is far from over, but development and approval of vaccines that began rolling out in December allow us to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Recent polls reveal that not everyone will be willing to be vaccinated, raising questions for employers.
The law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP recently published a document, The Coming Vaccines – And the Coming Workplace Dilemmas with Mandatory Vaccinations -- of interest to schools and other employers.
Learn more from your own legal counsel and by accessing the Vory’s document online at: Vaccines
Ludacris Foundation’s Kid Nation features educational entertainment
Rapper Ludacris launched a new initiative last year featuring music videos aimed at teaching kids to stay clean and get along against the backdrops of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests against racism.
“It’s geared toward trying to enrich and empower the next generation, influenced by my own children and wanting them to live in a better world than we live in,” Ludacris said. “I want to reinforce the positive morals and teachings as a parent, especially during a time when there’s more home schooling going on … Repetition through influential music is the perfect catalyst to get these ideas embedded in their consciousness and even subconsciousness because we know how influential music is for kids.”
Check out Kid Nation online at: Kid Nation
Legislation would ban schools run by for-profit management companies
Among the bills considered by the House Primary and Secondary Education Committee in December was H.B. 549, which according to one of the bill’s sponsors would “redefine what schools will qualify for charter school funding by requiring that all charter schools (that are run by management companies) be operated by a non-profit management company by no later than July 1, 2023.”
Although the 133rd General Assembly ended with the bipartisan bill failing to move beyond a first legislative hearing, it’s likely the bill will be re-introduced given that the bill’s co-sponsors – Representative Jeffrey Crossman, D-Parma and Representative Gail Manning, R-N. Ridgeville – both won re-election in November and will return to the House for the 2021-2022 legislative session.
New School or Replication of a High Performing Charter School
Buckeye Community Hope Foundation is currently accepting applications for New or Replicating high quality community schools to open in the 2021-2022 school year.
We believe every student in Ohio should have the opportunity to attend a high quality public school. All application requirements are posted below. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Schorr at email@example.com or call (614) 942-2002.
We will host an information webinar on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. This webinar will provide additional tips for completing your application and common mistakes we see in applications that are ultimately denied. Please join us at the link below.
Full Application due October 1, 2020
Interested in changing sponsors?
Below are the links to the Sponsorship Transfer Application. If at any time you have questions, please contact Jennifer Schorr firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops and Events
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