We have a budget! Governor Dewine officially signed HB33 late in the evening on July 3rd after vetoing 44 separate items (none related to education funding). As is Ohio tradition, the battle over Ohio education funding was immense. The House voted for an increase in educational funding using 2022 inputs (increase from 2018 inputs) for the Cupp-Patterson Fair School Funding plan. The Senate was able to include their overhaul of the Ohio Department of Education and the State Board of Education with the inclusion of SB1 in HB33.
Major education highlights include:
- K12 public school funding will see an increase of $1.5 billion over the biennium.
- All students are now eligible for school vouchers; however, EdChoice scholarships are only available to those families who earn up to 450% of the poverty line.
- Teacher minimum salaries will increase from $30k to $35k.
- The merit scholarship has been retained which gives $5k to in-state schools for the top 5% of students.
- The third grade reading retention was retained. Third grade students who do not score above state reading minimums will be retained.
- Increase in per-pupil gifted professional development amount from $14 in FY 2023 to $21 in FY 2024 and $28 in FY 2025.
- $5,357,606 in each fiscal year for gifted education at ESCs.
- Funding accountability and transparency language is now permanent (instead of sunsetting each biennium).
- ODE is required to post data on gifted services and the number of licensed gifted personnel employed or contracted by school districts.
- ODE is also required to report the amount of state gifted funds provided to each district.
- Removed “other ODE approved services providers” from the list of services on which gifted student funds may be spent. Districts will now be accountable for the use of gifted funds.
These are all great wins for gifted students in the state of Ohio!
SB1 – Reform the Department of Education was added into HB33 and thus also signed into law. The Ohio Department of Education will now be called the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce. The State Board of Education and state superintendent will both be stripped of most of their power. The director of ODEW will be appointed by the governor.
We will also be keeping an eye on HB235. This bill was recently introduced and would further change the State Board of Education.
The State Board of Education will meet both Monday, July 10th and Tuesday, July 11th. These meetings are always streamed on the Ohio Channel.