Advocacy Update 3.25.20 – Ohio General Assembly Responds to COVID-19 Challenges to Districts

The Ohio General Assembly practiced social distancing while voting on amendment to a current bill that responds to the COVID-19 crisis. The following is a list of school-related provisions included in the Amended Substitute House Bill 197 Senate Floor (Omnibus Amendment): 

  • Permits school districts, STEM schools, and community schools other than e-schools, and chartered nonpublic schools to use distance learning to make up for any missed days or hours of instruction caused by the ordered closure of Ohio schools 
  • Allows licensed special education providers to utilize tele-health and electronic communication methods to serve students who are receiving special education services through their school district or through the Autism Scholarship or Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarships (see note) 
  • Waives state testing and report cards for the 2019-2020 school year & creates a safe harbor from sanctions for schools; permits seniors to graduate if school determines on track to do so prior to the COVID-19 emergency; local school determine promotion for Third-Grade Reading Guarantee; makes evaluations permissive and prohibits the use of value-added data; excludes academic performance data from being used in sponsor ratings this year; allows Chancellor and State Supt to waive College Credit Plus timelines/requirements during the COVID-19 emergency 
  • Limits the number of Ed Choice designated school buildings for the 2020-21 school year to those buildings previously eligible in the 2019-20 school year; allows siblings of current scholarship recipients, incoming Kindergarten students, and rising high school students to receive a performance-based scholarship for the 2020-21 school year if the building they attend or would attend meets these criteria.
  • Exempts schools and other entities from food processing requirements to allow for continued student meal delivery.