To continue our review of the education-related provisions of the state budget, we will look at the temporary law, or uncodified sections, of the budget. If you scroll toward the end of the five thousand-plus pages of the budget, you will find some odd numbering. You have found what is called temporary law or uncodified law.

This is separated as temporary or uncodified law for several reasons. Appropriations are uncodified because they cannot (per the Ohio Constitution) be made for more than two years. Other things found in temporary law may describe how the appropriations will be used (for the establishment and function of committees, task forces, stakeholder groups, preparation of a report, etc.). This temporary law expires at the end of the biennium (in two years).

Several provisions in this somewhat-obscure section of the budget affect Ohio schools, and below is a short summary of those provisions.

  • The graduation changes applicable only to the class of 2018 are found in the uncodified law because they are intended to apply only to that class. These changes establish additional ways for these students to demonstrate eligibility for a high school diploma. These additional options are presented for both academic and career-technical students. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post with specifics on these graduation options.
  • A new state workgroup on related services will be tasked with the goal of “improving coordination of state, school and provider efforts to address the related services needs of students with disabilities.” This group and its study will sunset on June 30, 2019.
  • Expanding the SNAP program and drawing down federal match dollars for the employment and training of low-income individuals will be the subject of a planning committee, which will be established by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the chancellor of higher education.
  • There will be changes to tuition payments for students in private residential treatment centers who are placed by a court or other state agency order (not parental placements). Additional provisions set out who is responsible for providing the educational program when a child is placed in one of those facilities, which include private facilities for the treatment of juvenile sex offenders, mental health and drug addiction, and other, severe behavior issues.
  • ODE was directed to study the appropriate funding for each category of gifted students and propose a method for funding gifted education courses and programs; a report is due May 1, 2018.
  • Under a new “flexible funding” program, school districts, including educational service centers and career-technical districts, may transfer foundation and special education enhancement funding to a new funding pool called the Family and Children First Funding Pool.
  • The “Straight A” governing board and committee will cease to exist and records will be transferred to ODE. Straight A grant recipients that received funds in FY 2016 and 2017 and will have remaining funds to spend in FY 2018 may do so in accord with the grant agreement; however, even if grant provisions specify additional funds, these funds will not be paid in future fiscal years. ODE will not pay any additional Straight A grant funds, and ODE’s function will be limited to ensuring districts spend remaining funds in accordance with the agreement. ODE was directed to report to the legislature on the grants awarded, recipients, effectiveness, and recommendations for Straight A grant projects that might warrant repeating in the future.
  • An appropriation was made to ODE for a policy analysis service, whose purpose is to develop reports, briefings, and analyses to inform education policymakers of current trends in education practice, efficient and effective use of resources, and evaluation of programs to improve education results.
  • An early childhood education program appropriation will fund and monitor existing and new early childhood education programs provided by city, local, exempted village, joint vocational, and educational service centers, community schools sponsored by an exemplary sponsor, chartered nonpublic schools, and other licensed early childhood education providers. The appropriation requires these providers to meet “Step Up to Quality” program standards.
  • An Early Childhood Education Pilot Program in Appalachia in two counties of the Appalachian region of the state will be established, with funding given to existing or new providers of early childhood education to serve 125 children in each fiscal year. The data from the pilot program will be studied.
  • In addition, a parental choice early childhood education pilot program will be funded, to implement “one or more parent choice models to deliver early childhood education to eligible children.”

The appropriations section of the education department begins in the budget on page 4,523. You can see all the appropriations for FY 2018 and 2019, as well as all the uncodified law applicable to the Department of Education. Or you can call your friendly Ennis Britton attorney for more information on provisions that interest you.