Budget Updates – After a week of waiting, the budget bill has a number – HB33. The bill as introduced (still missing a number) can be found at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ztgtqL33N5NaHDbYpZWB20GB3DXzc5Xu/view?usp=share_link. On Thursday, the House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee met for the first time. The full schedule for this committee is: https://docs.google.com/document/d/10ygD819gdeEAEnR78rN2uFZN83nXsyvK/edit?usp=share_link&ouid=107057754701983709251&rtpof=true&sd=true. We do not yet know when gifted education will be discussed.
SB1 – The Senate Education Committee heard interested party and proponent testimony this week on SB1. At the end of the hearing, Chairman Andrew Brenner indicated that three amendments were being drafted for the bill that would address several issues especially regarding the ability to provide input:
- Establish specific qualifications as to the educational and managerial experience of the two deputy director positions for the proposed Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) established under the bill.
- Codify required stakeholder engagement as part of the DEW rulemaking process. This process would be patterned after those in place at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA).
- Specify that DEW may not enforce policies or guidance unless it has gone through the full, formal rulemaking process.
The last amendment could be interesting as there are many policies and guidance documents at ODE that have not gone through a formal rulemaking process.
Meanwhile, in the House, Representatives Don Jones and Dave Dobos have an introduced what appears to be a companion bill to SB1. HB12 has not been scheduled for a hearing, but the House Education has not met this year. We will monitor this.
House Releases Priority Bills – Along with the budget bill, House leadership introduced several priority bills (which typically are those numbered 1 through 10). Among these priority bills are a few related to education:
- HB6 requires schools and higher institutions to designate single sex sports teams.
- HB8 introduces the “parents’ bill of rights” which outlines districts notification procedures for discussing sexually explicit materials among other topics.
- HB9 would reimburse teacher tuition loan payments and establish the “Grow Your Own Teacher Program.”
- HB10 expresses the desire and intent to phase in the Cupp-Patterson school funding bill as expeditiously as possible.
- HB11 establishes the “backpack” scholarship program which essentially extends school vouchers.
- HB12, as outlined above, reorganizes ODE.