Current Issues, Bills & Statuses

Bills that did not pass, and expired 12/31/16

HB 346     SCHOOL FUNDING (Brenner, A.) To require that each city, local, and exempted village school district receive a per-pupil amount of state funding that is at least as much as the statewide per pupil amount paid for chartered nonpublic schools in Auxiliary Services funds and for administrative cost reimbursement, and to make an appropriation. View Current Version

Implications for OASBO Members: State Representative Brenner has sponsored this legislation in the past. A similar provision was included in the legislature’s version of HB 64, the biennial budget bill, but was vetoed by Governor Kasich. OASBO supported the measure in the budget bill as part of a big picture school funding plan (proposed by the House) that was aimed at addressing the needs of all districts.

HB 346 (and the similar budget bill provision) addresses the concern that private schools in Ohio receive more per-pupil state funding than some public school districts.  

Status: This bill did not pass and expired 12/31/16

HB 383    FINANCIAL LITERACY (Hagan, C.; McColley, R.) To require one-half unit of economic and financial literacy in the high school social studies curriculum, to require the Chancellor of Higher Education to prepare an informed student document for each state 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."
Implications for OASBO members: This bill would require high school students to take ½ credit in financial literacy as part of their social studies requirements. They could also take the course as an elective. OASBO - along with BASA and OSBA -  testified as “Interested Parties”, sharing concerns about the implications for school districts and the added resources that might be necessary to help students comply.
Status: This bill did not pass and expired 12/31/16

HB 398    AGRICULTURAL LAND (Hill, B.) To require that the computation of the capitalization rate for the purposes of determining CAUV of agricultural land be computed using a method that excludes appreciation and equity buildup and to stipulate that CAUV land used for a conservation practice or enrolled in a federal land retirement or conservation program for at least three years must be valued at the lowest of the values assigned on the basis of soil type. SB 246 is a companion bill pending in the Senate. View current version.
Implications for OASBO members: The effect of this legislation would be to lower the value of agriculture property. While “HB 920” requires that districts would generally receive the funding levels approved by the voters (inside mills would produce less revenue), the reduction in agriculture will shift the tax burden to residential taxpayers as the rates must be set higher to collect the same level of tax revenue approved by the voters. Also, new levies may need to be set at a higher rate to make up for the overall loss in value. There will also be implications for the State Share Index portion of the formula which will affect all districts ~ not just those with lower agriculture values.
While farmers are concerned about recent increases in property taxes because of the uptick in CAUVs, caution should be used in making changes to the system. The CAUV formula is designed to adjust values as conditions change. It is incumbent on the state to verify the current methodology and make changes that make sense economically over time ~ not simply as a reaction to the current situation.
OASBO opposed this legislation.
Status: This bill did not pass and expired 12/31/16

HB 474    HIGHER EDUCATION (Brown, T.) The Higher Ed. MBR. With respect to the coordination and administration of higher education programs and the College Credit Plus program.
OASBO testimony on HB 474
Analysis of HB 474
College Credit Plus Recommendations

Implications for OASBO Members: The bill has two provisions that affect school districts, both of which we oppose. 1. The bill would eliminate the ability for the chancellor to approve waivers for the “floor” amount for college credits for students. 2. It would allow for a pilot program to include college remedial courses as part of College Credit Plus. OASBO, along with OSBA and BASA have developed a set of recommendations that we propose for HB 474. Click here for a copy. However, we do not expect the legislature to take up the bill in the Lame Duck session. We believe there is some support in the legislature to make changes, but will likely not make significant changes holding off the discussion next year.
Status: This bill did not pass and expired 12/31/16

SB 246    AGRICULTURAL LAND (Hite, C.) This bill is identical to HB 398 (see above).

Status: This bill did not pass and will expire on 12/31/16.
            Click here to download analysis by Dr. Howard Fleeter, and OASBO's opposition testimony.

Passed Legislation
HB 2     COMMUNITY SCHOOLS (Dovilla, M., Roegner, K.) Regarding sponsorship and management of community schools.

Implications for OASBO Members: HB 2 represents a positive step toward more effective oversight of Ohio’s charter school sponsors. The changes made by the Senate strengthened the bill and OASBO supported the Senate version. The Conference Committee amended the Senate version of the bill before recommending HB 2 to the full House and Senate.
Status: Signed by the Governor on 11/1/15. Effective 90 days from signing.

HB 39     INHALER USE (Duffey, M., DeVitis, T.) To permit schools and camps to procure and use a metered dose inhaler or dry powdered inhaler used to alleviate asthmatic symptoms in accordance with prescribed policies and to exempt them from licensing requirements related to the possession of these inhalers. View Current Version

Implications for OASBO Members: This legislation allows school districts to have asthma inhalers on hand for emergency use. Currently, inhalers are allowed for specific children when prescribed by a doctor. These inhalers could not be used in an emergency situation for another child.
The bill:
•    Permits a school or camp to procure and possess asthma inhalers for use in emergency situations.
•    Requires a school or camp that chooses to do so to adopt an inhaler policy that includes a prescriber-issued protocol.
•    Allows a school district to deliver inhalers to a school under its operation.
•    Grants a school or camp qualified immunity from civil liability for damages allegedly arising from the procurement, maintenance, access, or use of an inhaler.
•    Permits a drug manufacturer to donate inhalers to a school and authorizes a school or camp to receive financial donations to purchase inhalers.
Status: Signed by the Governor on 11/1/15. Effective 90 days from signing.

HB 305     RETIREMENT SYSTEMS (Schuring, K.) To include new nonteaching employees of The University of Akron as members in the Public Employees Retirement System and to make an appropriation for the University's School Employees Retirement System employer surcharge payments.

Implications for OASBO Members: This bill would put future non-teaching employees for the University of Akron into the PERS system rather than the SERS system. There are concerns about the long-term effects such a change could have on the SERS system as a whole, in addition to concerns that other groups may want to change systems in the future.

Generally, OASBO members are members of SERS, and we are concerned about the bill’s potential for undermining the system. Legislative efforts to make this change in the past have failed, however, the legislator sponsoring HB 305 is seen as a leader on public pension issues in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Status: PASSED in House 02/23/16. Effective 9/28/16.

SB 208    SMALL BUSINESS TAX DEDUCTION (Beagle, B.) To modify the commercial activity tax exclusion for receipts from the transfer of personal care products within an integrated supply chain, to make technical changes to the state income tax law, to provide that, for the 2015 taxable year, any taxable business income under $125,000 for married taxpayers filing separately or $250,000 for other taxpayers is subject to graduated tax rates similar to those applicable to nonbusiness income, while business income in excess of those amounts remains subject to the existing 3% flat tax, to modify the formula for calculating reimbursement payments to school districts for their loss of tangible personal property tax revenue, and to establish a formula for making supplemental foundation aid payments to school districts in fiscal year 2017. View current version.

Implications for OASBO Members: The following are key points from the TPP provisions in SB 208 and the current TPP phase-out status:
•    SB 208 restores 96% of the TPP/PUTPP supplement for FY 2017 previously vetoed by Gov. Kasich.
•    Districts not qualifying for the TPP/PUTPP supplement in FY 2017 are not affected by SB 208 (for example, districts with school-funding increases equal to or above the loss of TPP/PUTPP replacement payments).
•    Remaining TPP/PUTPP replacement payments at the end of FY 2017 (for all school districts with remaining payments) will be phased out beginning in FY 2018 at a rate
of 5/8 mill per year (an amount equal to what 5/8 mill will raise in each individual district) as a result of the SB 208 changes.
•    The HB 64 phase-out of TPP/PUTPP replacement payments is still in place for all districts with remaining TPP/PUTPP through FY 2017.
•    SB 208 did not address concerns over the omission of JVSDs from qualification for the TPP/PUTPP supplement in HB 64.

Status: Signed by the Governor on 11/1/15. Effective 2/15/16.

HB 89    MEDICAID SCHOOL PROGRAM (DeVitis, T.) Regarding the state’s Medicaid School Program, HB 89 would specifically allow districts to utilize OTs, PTs, and Speech and Audioligist professionals already employed in the district to provide Ordering, Prescribing and Referring (ORP) services for special education students qualifying for Medicaid. This would correct an earlier rule that would have required districts to contract with a physician, physician’s assistant or an advanced practice nurse for ORP services. We believe this will satisfy the Federal CMS agency.
Implications for OASBO Members:  Several school districts in Ohio participate in the School Medicaid Program. Among other program provisions, HB 89 was proposed to expand the types of services that can be claimed by school districts for Medicaid coverage with the hopes of increasing the level of reimbursements they can receive. However, the Ohio Department of Medicaid says they can work to expand the program administratively without legislation and that is their preference.
HB 89 was amended significantly to remove the original provisions of the bill and to address in statute the problems Ohio has encountered related to the ordering, referring, prescription (ORP) process. HB 89 changes Ohio law to expressly permit school based therapists to handle ORPs. The hope is this would eliminate the change that was announced in January 2016 regarding those professionals allowed to provide ORPs.
Status: Signed by the Governor 12/19/16. Effective 90 days.

SB 235    Industrial/commercial development-tax exempt until construction begins (Beagle, B.; Coley, B.). This bill was introduced to provide mandatory exemptions for property purchased for development or redevelopment (commercial & industrial). The bill would effectively freeze the value of the property at the time of the purchase for up to 10 years or until the business is up and running.

We have been working with the other local government groups and economic development professional organizations to oppose the bill. Our 3 organizations prepared letters of opposition for the House Finance Committee members. However, the other local government groups and economic development professionals worked out some compromise options that the House is adopting. A substitute version of the bill was accepted; the changes will make this new economic development tool “permissive” for use by local governments and it would reduce the exemption period to 6 years. While we cannot support the legislation, the House version represents a much lower level of exposure for our members. We believe our advocacy efforts have resulted in a much better bill.

Dec. 7, 2016 SB 235 Substitute Provisions
Nov. 24, 2016 OASBO testimony on SB 235
April 25, 2016 OASBO testimony on SB 235
SB 235 Opposition Letter

Implications for OASBO members: The original version of SB 235 would have authorized tax exemptions for undeveloped land that may be in a pre-development stage and reduce property taxes for land purchased for redevelopment. The tax exemption through SB 235 would have effectively frozen the value of the property until it is fully developed or 10 years whichever came first. This would have meant that local taxing authorities, including school districts, would lose out on new tax revenue that would otherwise be realized as the value of the property increased. In addition, it could also have interfered with other local economic development projects already in existence.
Our three education associations testified in opposition to the bill while it was being heard in the Senate (see link to testimony above). We also joined with other local government groups and economic development organizations in opposition to SB 235. That coalition worked on improvements to the bill which the House accepted. However, our education organizations did not support SB 235 even in its amended form.
The House made significant changes to SB 235 in the Lame Duck session before passing it and sending it to the Senate for approval. The following is a bullet point list of provisions contained in the as-passed version of the bill:

  • Substitute SB 235 addresses local control ~ becomes a permissive economic development tool for local governments.
  • Owner applies to local government for exemption.
  • Reduced the maximum exemption period to six years (or until occupancy, owner sells, zoning changes, or parcel part of subdivided plat).
  • Provides a claw-back if owner sells with no improvements or activity begins before occupancy permit.
  • Provides for school district notification.

Status: Signed by the Governor 12/27/16. Effective 90 days from signing.

HB 410    TRUANCY (Rezabek, J., Hayes, B.) Regarding habitual and chronic truancy and compulsory
school attendance.
This bill would prevent districts from expelling or suspending students for truancy and require districts to establish absence intervention teams.

OASBO testimony on HB 410
Analysis of HB 410

Implications for OASBO Members:  HB 410 prohibits expelling or suspending a student for truancy. The bill represents a one-size-fits-all approach to school discipline, creating new mandates and restrictions. The bill contains significant reporting requirements for school districts, creating new administrative burdens. HB 410 mandates the establishment of new absence intervention teams and plans for each truant student. OASBO has concerns about the additional costs the bill would impose on school districts. The following are changes made to the bill before it passed:

  • The number of people required to be in the intervention teams was scaled down to three (two administrators and a parent).
  • Creates a pilot program for districts that choose to have outside stakeholders serve on the intervention teams.
  • Includes a 5% threshold for districts that do not need to comply with the intervention team requirements (districts with fewer than 5% truancy).
  • Districts must allow truant students to make up work.
  • Districts must develop alternative consequences for students when behavioral suspensions are necessary at the end of a school year.

Status: Sent to the Governor for signature 12/27/16.

SB 3     EDUCATION LAWS (Hite, C., Faber, K.) To exempt high-performing school districts from certain laws; to revise the law regarding the administration of state primary and secondary education  assessments; to permit school districts to contract with hospitals, health care professionals, and educational service centers for school health services; to revise the competitive bidding threshold for school building and repair contracts; and to require the School Facilities Commission to develop a legislative proposal assisting high-performing school districts in purchasing technology, building expansion, and physical alterations to improve school safety or security.

Original provisions contained in SB 3
Amendments to SB 3

IImplications for OASBO Members: OASBO supports measures meant to free up districts from unnecessary state requirements. SB 3 would increase the competitive bidding threshold from $25,000 to $50,000 for all districts, a provision we have supported for some time. There are a few other provisions that apply to all districts, but the bill creates a definition for “qualified school districts” and grants specific exemptions for these districts. While we appreciate efforts to “deregulate” school districts, we believe all the exemptions should apply to all school districts.
Qualified School Districts:
•    At least 85% of total possible points on performance index score
•    Grade of “A” for performance indicators met
•    Four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 93%
•    Five-year adjusted cohort graduation rate of at least 95%
•    Estimate is that approximately 120 districts would qualify
Status: Signed by the Governor 12/15/16. Effective 90 days.

Upcoming ODE Deadlines

1/20/2017 >

Tax budget (or alternate form) due to County Auditor.

1/31/2017 >

Special education catastophic costs due to finance regional office.
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