Congratulations to BCHF's "Seeking Justice" writing challenge winners!
This year, BCHF's writing challenge focused on a topic that the entire country has been focused on for the past year. Read more
Budget bill deliberations continue
As hearings on the state’s biennial budget bill (H.B. 110) continue, so too does the debate over the proposed new school funding plan developed by Representative Bob Cupp (R-Lima), who now serves as House speaker, and former Representative John Patterson (D-Jefferson). Read more
Debate continues over report card overhaul bills
The Senate Primary and Secondary Education Committee continues deliberations over proposed legislation (S.B. 145) aimed at overhauling Ohio’s school and district report cards with both opponents and proponents offering testimony at hearings.
Some stakeholders see S.B. 145 as an improvement over the current report cards, but prefer the approach taken in legislation (H.B. 200) introduced in the House of Representatives.
A substitute version of the original Senate bill would replace the current A-F rating system with one featuring stars, which some say are too easily translated to letter grades. It calls for retaining composite scores, simplifying the component weight structure, clarifying language around the calculation of value-added data, and reporting rather than grading kindergarten readiness assessment data.
The Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators and Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators testified jointly, raising concerns regarding the five-level star rating system, which also includes descriptors.
Buckeye Community Hope Foundation’s Education Division Associate Director Jennifer Schorr testified in support of the legislation.
“The provisions in this bill will allow our schools to demonstrate their continued improvement and will provide clarity to the data reported and measured on the report card,” Schorr said.
House debates transgender participation bill
The House Primary and Secondary Education Committee heard testimony from co-sponsors – Representatives Reggie Stoltzfus (R-Paris Township) and Jena Powell (R-Arcanum) -- of a bill that would require schools to designate “separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex.”
The representatives say that the bill is aimed at protecting the integrity of women’s sports.
“In most instances, when young women are forced to compete against young men in athletic competition, it places them at a fundamental disadvantage,” Representative Stoltzfus said. “A disadvantage that threatens their athletic achievement and even collegiate scholarship prospects.”
Dubbed the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” the bill “will require schools that are a part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association to designate separate teams for participants of the biological female sex,” Representative Powell told members of the committee.
“In Connecticut, nine different girls used to hold the 15 women’s state championship titles,” she said. “Those titles are now all held by two different biological males.”
Representative Stoltzfus responded to questions posed by multiple legislators regarding the 11 transgender athletes with state approval to play in girls’ sports by saying, “We can look at that one of two ways. We’ve given the right to 11 biological boys to play in girl sports, or we’ve stripped the rights of biological females and have forced them to complete against people that are stronger and faster than them.”
House committee advances students records bill
The House Primary and Secondary Education Committee advanced legislation (H.B. 34) that would require schools to transfer academic records within five school days after receiving a request from the student’s new school or district.
Three lawmakers who serve on the committee were compelled to vote in opposition to advancing the bill after objections were raised by the Ohio Association of Independent Schools which defended withholding student records as the “least intrusive way” to motivate parents who have failed to meet their financial obligations to schools.
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Catherine Ingram (D-Cincinnati), said she believes that other tools are available to settle debts and that schools have contracts with parents that are legal and binding.
Ohio’s ESSA waiver approved
The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has approved Ohio’s one-year waiver request for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The approval aligns with legislation passed by the Ohio General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine to not report letter grades or rankings for report cards for the 2020-2021 school year.
The intent of Ohio’s approved waiver is to limit the consequences of data generated during this period in alignment with federal flexibility and recently passed state legislation.
Review Ohio’s waiver request and the USDOE’s approval online at: ESSA
Bill would eliminate appointed State Board members
The House Government Oversight Committee recently heard testimony from the sponsor of H.B. 298 to eliminate at-large appointed members of the State Board of Education when their current terms expire, reducing the number of members from 19 to 11.
Representative Adam Bird (R-Cincinnati) said his proposal would make the board more responsive to the public.
“Consider it this way: Imagine that, in addition to the 99 elected members here in the House, we had an additional 42 colleagues voting among us who were appointed by the governor, elected by nobody, answering to nobody, and accountable to nobody,” he said. “To have almost half of the board unelected and unaccountable does not reflect the transparency and responsiveness that Ohioans need and deserve.”
Some stakeholders may have concerns in light of the fact that elected State Board candidates, who are generally supported by members of Ohio’s teachers’ unions, are often not well known by the general public.
Report highlights student access to Internet and technology
Ohio Students’ Internet Connectivity and Technology Access, the second report in the Ohio Department of Education’s Data Insights Services, captures detailed, state-level information about student access to Internet connectivity and technology devices.
With so many Ohio students learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Internet connectivity and technology devices are key factors in understanding a student’s access to regularly offered educational opportunities.
The shift to remote learning exacerbated longstanding digital inequities, and those inequities quickly rose to the forefront as one of the most important challenges schools faced in delivering high-quality remote education.
Access the report online at: Connectivity
Free meals for students to continue throughout 2021-2022 school year
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has received approval to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students attending schools on the national school lunch program through the entire 2021-2022 school year. This opportunity continues the commitment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and ODE to meeting the needs of the whole child during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The expanded program will provide nutritious meals to all students with fewer barriers, serving students learning in-person and remotely.
Schools interested in learning more are encouraged to contact their assigned education program specialists from the Office of Integrated Student Supports at 1-800-808-6325.
New School or Replication of a High Performing Charter School
Please review all application materials listed below for applicants wishing to open a school for the 2022-2023SY. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Schorr at email@example.com or call (614) 942-2002.
Application Informational Webinar
Below is a link to our recorded New/Replicating Applicant Informational Webinar recorded on May 11, 2021.
Workshops and Events
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!