Unboxing the Education Deregulation bill: What’s inside SB 216

Senate Bill 216, introduced on October 10 by Ohio Sen. Matt Huffman, is the culmination of a collaboration of legislators and school superintendents, including a working group of a BASA committee and more than 40 superintendents from Senate District 12. The bill has been assigned to the Senate Education Committee and is scheduled for its first hearing on Wednesday, October 18. SB 216 was drafted specifically to eliminate many unnecessary regulations and to simplify many areas – such as substitute and aide licensure – that have become overly burdensome from a regulatory standpoint. Following is a summary of the provisions in SB 216.

State assessments Adds language that would force the American Institutes for Research to explain how questions on all prescribed state assessments for all grade levels relate to the academic content standards starting with 2018–19. Also requires AIR to provide districts with practice tests, study guides, and other prep materials. R.C. § 3301.78
State assessments Eliminates kindergarten diagnostic assessments for reading, writing, and math. R.C. § 3301.079
State assessments Adds language that prohibits requiring districts to administer assessments for grades 3, 4, and 5 online, and permits districts to choose paper format for the assessments or any combination of online and paper assessments on a student-by-student basis. Adds language defining “other public school” as a community school, STEM school, or college prep boarding school. R.C. § 3301.0711
EMIS Eliminates the need to report kindergarten assessments in EMIS after the effective date of the statute amendments (since the kindergarten assessment will be eliminated). R.C. § 3301.0714
Kindergarten readiness assessment Eliminates the ODE-provided kindergarten readiness assessment. Eliminates the ability of ODE to use the kindergarten readiness assessment data to calculate the district’s letter grade for improving literacy in K–3. Adds a new requirement for this school year (2017–18) for any district in which less than 80% of students score proficient or higher on the third-grade English language arts assessment to establish a reading improvement plan supported by reading specialists. The district board of education shall approve it before it is implemented. R.C. § 3301.0715
Kindergarten diagnostic assessment Eliminates requirement for chartered nonpublic schools to administer kindergarten diagnostic assessments. R.C. § 3301.163
Compliance checklist Requires ODE to establish, distribute, and monitor a “school mandate report” for districts, which would complete and file the report annually. Districts would note compliance with mandates by checking “yes” or “no”. If not in compliance, a district will provide an explanation to its board of education within 30 days as to why the item is not completed along with a written action plan to address the problem. The checklist will include whether the district is in compliance with

Ø  training on use of physical restraint or seclusion,

Ø  training on harassment, bullying, and intimidation,

Ø  CPR and AED training,

Ø  crisis prevention training,

Ø  establishing wellness committees,

Ø  establishment and review of school emergency management plan, and

Ø  compliance with nutritional standards.

R.C. § 3301.68
State report card Eliminates requirement that districts where less than 5% of students have scored below grade level on the kindergarten assessment receive no letter grade in K–3 literacy. R.C. § 3301.02
Educational choice scholarship program Changes eligibility for scholarship to students in buildings where a D or F on was received on improving K–3 literacy in the last 2 of 3 years to grade 1–3 improving literacy. R.C. § 3310.03
Third-grade reading guarantee Eliminates kindergarten reading assessment for purposes of third-grade reading guarantee. R.C. § 3313.608
Professional development standards Adds language as to what professional development standards are to be used to guide development of professional growth plans and improvement plans resulting from teacher evaluations. R.C. § 3319.075
Nonteaching employee continuing contract Modifies the contract sequence for nonteaching employees and delays eligibility for a continuing contract. A new hire first receives a 1-year contract, followed by three 2-year contracts. At the end of the third 2-year contract, if the contract is renewed, the nonteaching employee would receive a continuing contract. R.C. § 3319.081
Educational assistant and educational paraprofessional license/permits Changes to educational assistant and educational paraprofessional license/permits:

Ø  Adds language to the definition of “educational assistants”: nonteaching employees working in a federally funded program that directly assist a teacher.

Ø  Requires ODE to issue educational aide permits and educational paraprofessional licenses for educational assistants who undergo a criminal background check without any of the offenses listed in current law (3319.31(B) and (C)).

Ø  Removes language that allowed ODE to prescribe minimum qualifications including special training of education courses and qualifications for education, health, and character. Retains the language that the ODE rules may provide for licenses of several types.

Ø  Provides that nonteaching employees that substitute as educational assistants are not required to hold an educational aide permit or educational paraprofessional license.

R.C. § 3319.088
Teacher evaluations Changes to teacher evaluations:

Ø  Provides that boards must update their standards-based teacher evaluation policy by July 1, 2018, to conform to the framework adopted under 3319.112, which will become operative when the collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date of the amendment expires (and must be included in renewal or extension of such agreements).

Ø  Eliminates requirement to use value-added data and provides that student performance data used as evidence in a teacher’s evaluation must be considered “high quality student data.”

Ø  Teachers rated “accomplished” on their most recent evaluation may still be evaluated once every 3 years as long as they submit a self-directed professional growth plan which focuses on specific areas identified in the observations and evaluations AND the evaluator determines that progress is being made on the plan. Removes language that states that the student academic growth measure must be average or higher for the most recent year that data is available for the teacher to remain eligible for the evaluation exemption.

Ø  Skilled teachers may still be evaluated once every 2 years as long as the teacher and evaluator jointly develop a professional growth plan which focuses on specific areas identified in the observations and evaluations AND the evaluator determines that progress is being made on the plan. Removes language that states that the student academic growth measure must be average or higher for the most recent year that data is available for the teacher to remain eligible for the evaluation exemption.

Ø  For accomplished or skilled teachers, in any year the teacher is not formally evaluated, the teacher will receive one observation and one conference with a qualified evaluator. Adds language that the conference must include discussion on progress on the teacher’s professional growth plan.

Ø  Removes language that allows a board by resolution to require only one formal observation of accomplished teachers as long as the teacher completes a project to demonstrate continued growth and practice at the accomplished level.

R.C. § 3319.111
Standards-based evaluation framework Changes to standards-based evaluation framework:

Ø  Requires ODE to revise the state framework based on the ESB recommendations, and the state board to adopt an updated framework by May 1, 2018.

Removes from the framework:

Ø  The student growth measure as a component of the final evaluation rating

Ø  The requirement to use the value-added progress dimension as a component of the final evaluation rating for teachers who teach value-added courses

Ø  ODE’s list of student assessments that measure mastery of course content for grade levels and subject for which the value-added progress dimension or alternative student academic progress measure do not apply

Adds to what the framework must include:

Ø  Use of student assessment instruments approved by the board of education

Ø  A prohibition on use of shared attribution of student performance data among all teachers in a district, building, grade, content area, or other group

Ø  A professional growth or improvement plan for a teacher that is based on the results of the evaluation and is aligned to the district or building improvement plan created in accordance with ESSA

Adds to what ODE must do to assist districts with the evaluation framework:

Ø  Provide guidance on how high-quality student data may be used to attribute student learning to a particular teacher with examples of appropriate use of the data under the framework

Ø  Provide guidance on how student surveys, peer review evaluations, teacher self-evaluation, and other components “determined appropriate by the district” may be used as part of the evaluation process

Ø  Requires ODE to update the framework by July 1, 2018

R.C. § 3319.112
Teacher licensure Adds language that the resident educator license, professional educator license, senior professional educator license, and lead professional educator license shall state whether the license is K–8 or 6–12. R.C. § 3319.22
Substitute teaching educator licenses Requires ODE to issue substitute educator licenses only under new section of the Revised Code. ODE is to adopt rules on the standards and requirements for issuing a substitute license and renewing the license, but the rules for obtaining a substitute license may not require an applicant to hold a post-secondary degree in any specified subject area and may not restrict the number of school days a substitute teacher may work. Existing substitute licenses would remain in effect until expiration, after which they would be subject to the terms of this new section.

This means that short- and long-term substitute licenses would no longer be used.

R.C. § 3319.226
Licensure and employment Superintendents may employ a licensed teacher to teach a subject area and/or grade level for which the person is not licensed. R.C. § 3319.361
Truancy law Change to new truancy law (HB 410)

Ø  Only unexcused absences would count toward requirement to provide parental notification of excessive absence (38 hours in one school month, 65 or more in one school year). Removes excused absences from being counted toward the threshold level for parental notification.

R.C. § 3321.191
Preschool staffing ratios for children with disabilities Reduces the staffing ratio requiring a full-time staff member from 16 to 12 for half-day preschool children with disabilities (retains the ratio of 8 full-day preschool children with disabilities to one full-time staff member).

Adds new language that a minimum of 10 hours of services per week will be provided for each child served by a center-based teacher unless an IEP specifies otherwise.

R.C. § 3323.022
Gifted education Prohibits ODE, in a new section of the Revised Code, from adopting any rule that would require a person with an educator license who is designated as a provider of gifted services but does not have a license or endorsement for gifted education from having to complete professional development related to gifted education. R.C. § 3324.12
College Credit Plus If a course is available on the secondary school campus that a student attends, the student would not be able to enroll in a comparable course on the college campus at another location or online. If the course on the high school campus exceeds maximum capacity for enrollment, the school superintendent may approve the student to attend the course on the college campus, at another location operated by the college, or online. R.C. § 3365.03
College Credit Plus Changes for the provision and arrangements for the payment of textbooks begin in 2018–19.

Removes the requirement that the school district must pay for textbooks, and removes textbooks from the list of items that school districts and colleges may enter into an agreement for an alternative fee structure.

New Revised Code Section 3365.072: Requires students from public, nonpublic, or nonchartered nonpublic schools to pay for 50% of the cost of all required textbooks, and requires the student’s secondary school to pay for 50% of the cost of all required textbooks.

Requires ODE to adopt rules that define economically disadvantaged students, and provides that for students defined as such, the secondary school will pay 100% of the cost of the required textbooks.

Requires that home-instructed students participating in CCP be responsible for 100% of the costs of the required textbooks.

R.C. § 3365.07
Uncodified section Section 3 requires ODE to conduct a study of the results and cost-effectiveness of the College Credit Plus program and to present a report to all school districts, ESCs, the governor, the Chancellor of Higher Education, and every member of the General Assembly.

The study must include information on whether participants save money on college tuition and reduce the time to complete a degree and whether it is cost-effective for school districts.

Section 3