Current Issues, Bills & Statuses

“Hot Issues” bills followed by OASBO
Prepared by: Barbara Shaner
Report created on October 18, 2017
 

HB21    
COMMUNITY SCHOOL ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION (HAMBLEY S)

Regarding verification of community school enrollments.
Current Status:  9/12/2017 - House Education and Career Readiness, (Third Hearing)
 

HB108
INFORMED STUDENT DOCUMENT ACT  (HAGAN C, MCCOLLEY R)

To require one-half unit of financial literacy in the high school curriculum, to require the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each institution of higher education, to require the State Board of Education to include information on the informed student document in the standards and model curricula it creates for financial literacy and entrepreneurship, and to entitle the act the "Informed Student Document Act."
Current Status: 9/12/2017 - House Education and Career Readiness, (Third Hearing)
 

HB200    
OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM CREATION  (KOEHLER K)

To eliminate the Educational Choice Scholarship Pilot Program and Pilot Project Scholarship Program and to create the Opportunity Scholarship Program.
Current Status: 10/10/2017 - House Education and Career Readiness, (Sixth Hearing)
 Comments: House Bill 200, would expand voucher eligibility to all families regardless of where they live or the performance of their local schools. Families with household incomes at or below 400% of the federal poverty level (roughly $96,000 for a family of four) would be eligible for a portion of the full voucher amount. The voucher amounts, as proposed in this legislation, would increase to $5,000 for students in grades K-8 and $7,500 for high school.

In addition, the legislation proposes the introduction of Education Savings Accounts(ESAs). The ESA would include any unused portion of the voucher that will be retained by the state under the student's name and may be used later towards future private school tuition at an Ohio school. Lastly, the proposal ends the practice of deducting the funding from the local public district and directly funds this new voucher from the state. HB 200 is a companion bill to SB 85.

We are opposed to any expansion of Ohio's school voucher system. HB 200 would further divert public taxpayer dollars away from traditional public school districts to be used for private and parochial school tuition. Ohio should not enact a policy that undermines the public-school system in favor of privatization. The fact remains that state dollars are public dollars and school districts rely heavily on our state's school funding system to provide a high-quality education for our students. Private entitlements provided by HB 200 is bad public policy and further drains funding from public schools.

We hope members will take the opportunity to educate their representatives and senators on the range of choice options currently available to students in your districts. Highlight special programs, including STEM, the arts, Advanced Placement courses, InternationalBaccalaureate programs, career-technology or other curricula, that promote educational achievement.

OASBO, OSBA and BASA presented opposition testimony on HB 200 in the House Education Committee on October 11th.
 

HB312    
LOCAL GOVERNMENT CREDIT CARDS  (SCHURING K, GREENSPAN D)

Regarding use of credit cards and debit cards by political subdivisions.
Current Status: 10/17/2017 - House Government Accountability and Oversight, (Third Hearing)
Comments: The OASBO Auditor of State(AOS) Advisory Committee met last November with representatives from the StateAuditor's office to discuss possible legislation aimed at putting more guardrails around credit card usage. That initial discussion included possibleOhio Revised Code (ORC) parameters around what credit cards could be used for,spending limits on school district credit cards and more specific hands-on responsibility for boards of education with the use of credit cards.

As a result of the feedback from the committee, the AOS stepped back and re-evaluated the proposal. OASBO,along with OSBA and BASA, were recently asked to react to a new version of proposed legislation that focused more on school district "controls" and the process for determining those controls, rather than codifying in the ORC specific rules for credit card use. Once again, the OASBO AOS AdvisoryCommittee provided feedback. 

OASBO, OSBA and BASA presented "interested party" testimony in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee on October 17th utilizing the comments OASBO members continue to share with us about the bill.

Following the most recent feedback by the committee, HB 312 was introduced. Members are urged to weigh in on the proposal by contacting legislators and providing testimony when hearings are scheduled. It will be important for lawmakers to be aware of the current policies and procedures for school district credit cards. OASBO will continue to monitor the proposed legislation.

 
HB342    
LOCAL TAX ISSUES-ELECTION DATES (MERRIN D)

To permit local tax-related proposals to appear only on general and primary election ballots and not on an August special election ballot and to modify the information conveyed in election notices and ballot language for property tax levies.
Current Status: 10/11/2017 - House Government Accountability and Oversight, (First Hearing)
Comments: This bill would eliminate the August Special Election option for schools and local governments. Language in HB 49, the biennial budget bill, has already eliminated the February Special Election. OASBO opposes the removal of the August Special Election as one option districts may want to utilize.

HB 342 also changes the way the amount produced by the levy is expressed in ballot language. 

 
HB343    
PROPERTY VALUE CONTEST-RESOLUTIONS (MERRIN D)

To require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners.
Current Status: 9/19/2017 - Referred to Committee House Ways and Means
Comments: This bill requires a separate board resolution for every parcel of land for which a school district intends to challenge the tax valuation. The property owner would need to be notified in advance of the passage of the board resolution. This onerous requirement appears to be an effort to reduce the number of valuation challenges by school districts. OASBO is opposed to the bill.
 

SB123    
PROPERTY TAX COMPLAINT PROCESS (COLEY W)

To limit the right to initiate most types of property tax complaints to the property owner and the county recorder of the county in which the property is located.
Current Status: 6/14/2017 - Senate Ways and Means, (Second Hearing)
Comments: This legislation mirrors a bill from the last General Assembly. It would prohibit school district boards of education from challenging property values on properties they believe are valued too low. Instead, the County Recorder and the property owner would be the only persons permitted to challenge the values set by the County Auditor. If a property owner files a claim to lower property values, school districts could become a party in the claim. 

No action was taken on this legislation before the summer recess, however, we expect to see more activity later in the session.

We oppose this legislation as it takes away one component of the current checks and balances system for maintaining an equitable property tax system. 
     Position: Oppose
 

SB216    
PUBLIC SCHOOL DEREGULATION ACT (HUFFMAN M)

To enact the "Ohio Public School Deregulation Act" regarding the administration of preschool and primary and secondary education programs.
Current Status: 10/18/2017 - Senate Education, (First Hearing)
Comments: This bill came about as a result of input from a group of superintendents with Senator Matt Huffman's legislative district. He agreed to propose the bill as an "Education Deregulation" bill. SB 216 covers a wide range of issues. For more information, click here to view the LSC analysis of the bill.
 
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