Advocacy Update 3.17.23 – House Finance P & S Education hears more testimony; Senate Education hears from ODE, and the Backpack Bill makes waves in House P & S Education

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education:
This committee met three times this week to discuss HB33 (budget bill). 
Tuesday’s meeting included a presentation of the Fair School Funding Formula from the Fair School Funding Work Group.
Wednesday and Thursday’s meetings heard a variety of testimony.  Most notably, Rachel Chilton of the Ohio School Psychologists Association discussed the shortage of school psychologists and needed increases in funding.  If you would like to read her testimony, click here:

Senate Education:
Dr. Melissa Weber-Mayrer from ODE’s Office of Approaches to Teaching and Professional Learning gave a presentation to the committee on the Science of Reading and Ohio’s “literacy crisis.”  This presentation focused on literacy rates, dyslexia supports, and rules for phonics instruction.  Dr. Weber-Mayrer describes the Science of Reading as “phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing.”

A link to her presentation can be found here:

House Primary and Secondary Education:
The committee heard nearly 40 proponent testimonies for SB11 aka the Backpack Bill.  Proponent testimony mostly highlighted a parent’s right to choose the school that is best for their child.  While many other states that have implemented this program have shown positive reactions from parents, many legislators took issue with accountability measures and oversight.  Rep. Lightbody also raised issues with the constitutionality of such a program citing the separation of church and state.