Advocacy Update – 11.9.20 School Funding Bill to See Lame Duck Session Activity; New State Education Board members.

HB305/SB376 – On Friday, several House and Senate members, along with a consultant to the Ohio Fair School Funding Plan group, held a press conference. The purpose was to introduce a re-configured plan that will be introduced this week in the Ohio Senate as HB376 and accepted as a substitute bill in the Ohio House as HB305. The powerpoints from the press conference, revised school estimates etc. are available at under the HB305/SB376 (school Funding) and Gifted Cost Study topic heading. 

The timeline to hear the bills in both chambers is extremely ambitious: 

This week the Senate is expected to introduce and possibly hold a hearing on SB376, which is the companion bill to HB305. The Ohio House Finance Committee will accept SBH305 at a hearing on 11.10.10 at 10:00 AM. You can view the hearing at

Week of 11.16.20 – Hearings in both chambers. Possible action in the Ohio House floor. 

Week of 11.23.20 – No activity due to Thanksgiving holiday. 

Week of 11.30.20 – Hearings in the Ohio Senate and possible action in the Ohio House. 

Week of 12.7.20 – Bills would need to be on the floor, passed and reconciled between chambers as the Ohio General Assembly will be leaving for the year after 12.11.20. 

While it is possible for this to happen, it is much more likely that the bill will receive hearings in November and December in both chambers and then be reintroduced as part of the budget process in the 134th General Assembly. 

With regard to gifted issues, the same objections OAGC had to the as-introduced HB305 remain: 

  • Lack of accountability for gifted funding as the whole formula is non-specific about how formula funds are to be spent
  • Several formula problems including too high ratios for gifted intervention specialists to gifted students; coordinator to ADM ratios etc. 
  • Phase-out of professional development funding for classroom teachers providing services to gifted students
  • A few suggestions regarding rural gifted studies and gifted funding categories. 

Once the substitute bill is released, OAGC will provide a more thorough analysis and revise our amendment requests. 

New State Board of Education Members – The Ohio State Board of Education will see several new faces in January. Christina Collins (District 5) beat incumbent, Lisa Woods. Michelle Newman (District 9) replaces Stephanie Dodd who was term-limited. Brendan Shea (District 10) replaces Nick Owens who chose not to run for a second term. Former Rep. Diana Fessler (District 1) replaces Linda Haycock who also chose not to run for a second term. Mrs. Fessler served on the state board previously. Two incumbents won their races – Antoinette Miranda (District 6) and Meryl Johnson (District 11.) Sarah Fowler Arthur (District 7) won her bid for the Ohio House, so will be replaced by Governor DeWine. In addition, the governor will need to consider several reappointments and current vacancies.