Advocacy Update – 5.18.22 – Report Card Rules Finalized; New State Superintendent; House and Senate Committees Meet

Report Card Rules Finalized – At long last, the report card rules are finalized. The State Board of Education held a Chapter 119 hearing on May 10th. OAGC submitted written testimony in support of the rules. JCARR then held a hearing on May 16th. There were no witnesses and no testimony submitted. This allows the rules to go into effect this school year with rated components. However, an overall rating will not go into effect until the 2022-2023 school year. There has been discussion that some of the consequences for the report card ratings will be postponed. Look for amendments to a current education bill moving through the Ohio General Assembly – mostly likely HB583 which would allow districts to employ individuals without bachelor’s degrees to be hired as substitute teachers. Ohio Senate Primary and Secondary Education Chairman Andrew Brenner indicated that this bill will likely be the vehicle for many education issues as this bill has already passed the Ohio House, and is the most likely to be passed before the General Assembly summer break.

New State Superintendent – The State Board of Education voted to hire a new state superintendent at the May board meeting. Steve Dackin, who had been serving as the State Board Vice President until recently, beat out two other finalists for the position. Mr. Dackin was a long-time superintendent of Reynoldsburg City Schools and most recently worked at Columbus State Community College. He is expected to begin later this month.

House and Senate Primary and Secondary Committee News – Both the House and Senate Primary and Senate Committees met this week. As mentioned above the Senate took testimony on HB583 as well as SB306 which would require the Ohio Department of Higher Education to establish a mentoring and tutoring program. The House Primary and Secondary Committee took testimony on several bills including sponsor testimony of the controversial HB529 which would require the posting of course materials for each school, course, or classroom. The bill sponsors were peppered with questions from the committee members, many of whom are former educators. This is the first hearing for the bill. If the bill moves forward, it would likely be after the November elections.