HB 64 Budget Bill Items Now in Effect

As with most other provisions of the budget bill (Am. Sub. HB 64) some significant provisions impacting Ohio school districts go into effect on September 29, 2015, including the following:

  • The maximum amount of a scholarship awarded under the Autism or Jon Peterson scholarship programs increases to $27,000 (up from $20,000).
  • School districts must offer real property it intends to sell first to a “high performing community school,” then to other community and college preparatory boarding schools located in the district.
  • ODE, in conjunction with an Ohio educational service center association and an Ohio gifted children’s association, must complete and submit a feasibility study for establishment of sixteen regional community schools for gifted children.
  • The State Board must develop rules waiving any additional coursework requirements for renewal of an educator license for teachers who are consistently high performing.
  • The duration of a pupil activity permit for individuals holding a valid educator license is changed from three (3) years to the same number of years as the educator license.
  • The State Board of Education will develop a standards based framework for the evaluation of school counselors. Furthermore, all school districts must adopt a counselor evaluation policy by September 30, 2016, that conforms to the framework and will be implemented beginning in the 2016-2017 school year (will include annual evaluations with ratings of accomplished, skilled, developing, and ineffective just like OTES).
  • The alternative teacher evaluation framework is revised to decrease SGM to 35%, maintain the performance rating at 50%, and authorize school districts to determine the appropriate measure or combination of measures for the remaining 15%.
  • Exemplary community schools may now operate a preschool program for general education students.
  • School districts may enroll under interdistrict open enrollment policies an adjacent or other district student who is a preschool child with a disability. ODE will deduct $4,000 from the resident district and pay that same amount to the enrolling district.
  • School districts cannot appropriate monies to purchase an assessment developed by PARCC for use as the state elementary or secondary achievement assessments. Additionally testing for the 2015-2016 school year is reduced.
  • Safe harbor provisions in effect during the 2014-2015 school year for state report cards are extended by two years.
  • School districts may now enter into a contract with a health care provider for the provision of health care services for students.
  • The new requirements for issuance of diplomas to home school students and students from non-chartered nonpublic schools are now in effect.
    STEM schools can now enroll out-of-state students.
  • Schools may install security doors or barricades as part of an emergency management plan.
  • The filing date for financial disclosure statements with the Ohio Ethics Commission is May 15 (instead of April 15).