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On Tuesday (June 30), Governor John Kasich signed the biennial Ohio budget that included many amendments that impact school districts, students, and educators across the state.  Here are some of the items that have the greatest impact on Cleveland.

  • PAUSE ON PARCC/SAFE HARBOR – A provision that prohibits districts and schools from using value added ratings from 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years for evaluations or employment (of both teachers and principals) unless the district or school collectively agrees with its teachers or principals to use them.  This is the Pause on PARCC aka Safe Harbor that you sent emails and postcards to Senators keeping this issue in their minds and in the foreground of this budget cycle.  This does not eliminate growth measures as a part of evaluation, but does prohibit using PARCC and AIR assessments to create a value added score.  For teachers that are category A (where value added is 35% of growth measures and SLO is 15%) a new growth measure will have to replace the use of value added as a result of PARCC or AIR scores.
  • PARCC ELIMINATED – The budget eliminated PARCC.  A new assessment had to be chosen and Superintendent Richard Ross announced on Wednesday that ODE would work with AIR to create new assessments.  AIR is the company that designed the OAA and OGT tests as well as the science and social studies test used in high school this year.  This is going to be a newly designed test.  Dr. Ross has announced that “districts will have more information about how the tests will work before the start of the new school year” and that teachers, parents, and students will have opportunity to prepare for the new assessments.  All states are required to give a state-wide test under Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Until Congress changes that requirement, states must give a test in order to be eligible for funding.
  • TESTING LIMITATIONS – The budget reduced the amount of time students will spend testing by eliminating the PBA (assessments given in February/March).  Assessment will be administered as late in the year as possible.  Results will be required to be returned by June 30.
  • FUNDING/TPP – With a stroke of the pen on Tuesday night, Governor Kasich line item vetoed a measure approved by the House and Senate that would have compensated for the loss of revenue from the phase out of the tangible personal property tax (the phase out of the TPP was approved in a previous budget).  This line item veto cost the Cleveland Schools $13.8 milion.
  • EXPANSION OF VOUCHERS – The Cleveland Voucher Program was expanded to include schools outside of Cleveland. The provision was added in the House version of the budget bill, but removed in the Senate version.  It was included in the conference committee report.  I reached out to Governor Kasich to ask for a line-item veto of this provision.  We believe that the work we are doing in Cleveland has increased the options available to our high school students.  Schools such as Early College, STEM schools, Science and Medicine, Bard College, Architect and Design, Design Lab and Ginn Academy have addressed the concerns of providing options to our children.  This provision will pull students and funding out of the Cleveland Municipal School District.   Despite the fact that the Governor used 42 line-item vetoes, he left this in the budget.