Current Issues, Bills & Statuses

“Hot Issues” bills followed by OASBO    
Prepared by: Barbara Shaner
Report created on Jan 8, 2019

Click here to view the full list of educated related bills OASBO is tracking.

Treasurer Liability Legislation

To allow certain political subdivisions to adopt a policy authorizing the use of an "employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty policy" instead of individual surety bonds for officers, employees, and appointees who are otherwise required by law to give bond before entering upon the discharge of duties.

CURRENT STATUS: 12/19/2018 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; eff. 90 days

COMMENTS: This bill is permissive, allowing school districts to purchase liability insurance in place of a bond covering the treasurer. OASBO worked with the bill sponsor to include school districts as part of the organization efforts to minimize treasurer liability.

To require the State Board of Education to issue a substitute license to specified pupil services personnel, to make changes regarding the circumstances in which school treasurers may be held liable for a loss of public funds, to require school districts to adopt a policy for assignments completed in connection with a suspension, to revise school resource officer training course requirements, to permit the Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board to temporarily approve certain counselor education programs, and to extend alternative high school graduation pathways through the class of 2020.

CURRENT STATUS: 12/19/2018 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; eff. 90 days

COMMENTS: This bill was originally proposed to provide options for alternative credentials for related services providers on a substitute basis. The Senate amended the bill to allow for alternative graduation requirements for the classes of 2019 and 2020. Also included in the bill were the provisions from HB 705, the treasurer liability legislation OASBO had requested.
Signed by the governor in December, the bill will become effective on March 19, 2019. The bill:
Changes the process for teachers filing a copy of their license with the district
The superintendent will be responsible for collecting the licenses and certifying to the treasurer that all teachers are properly credentialed
The bill states that treasurers (and superintendents) will not be held financially liable if mistakes are made with the handling of licensure verification for teachers
The bill states that the treasurer shall not be held liable for mistakes when relying on non-financial information in the district.

As part of efforts to minimize treasurer liability, OASBO and its members worked hard to secure passage of this legislation. Members are asked to contact legislators to thank them for support the treasurer liability provisions in this bill, and also the changes in HB 291.


Other Education Legislation

To establish the Subcommittee on Standards for Teacher Preparation of the Educator Standards Board, to establish the Undergraduate Mission Study Committee to evaluate each state university's efforts to secure participation in the undergraduate mission by its tenured faculty, to qualify public and private institutions of higher education as covered entities for cybersecurity program safe harbor, and to require a public school to notify the parent of a student who fails to arrive at school on time.

CURRENT STATUS: 1/4/2019 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; eff.90 days

COMMENTS: This bill was amended on the Senate floor to include the provisions from SB 82 which requires notification of parents/guardians within two hours after the start of the school day, if a student is absent without legitimate excuse from the school. Electronic means of communications are permitted. This bill will become effective 90 days from the date of the governor's signature.

Regarding public moneys returned to the state as a result of a finding for recovery issued pursuant to an audit of the enrollment records of a community school, to clarify the time period within which a school district emergency levy or substitute levy may be renewed or replaced, to clarify the responsibilities of a school district treasurer regarding the signing or executing of certain documents, to require the State Board of Education to adopt standards for learning management software for internet- and computer-based community schools, regarding qualification for state payments by internet- or computer-based community schools, regarding joint health and medical insurance programs by political subdivisions and county boards of developmental disabilities, regarding submission of five-year financial forecasts by public schools, and regarding the moratorium on certain provisions affecting community schools and school districts whose enrollments were affected due to enrolling students of a suspended e-school.

CURRENT STATUS: 8/3/2018 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; eff. 11/2/18

COMMENTS: This bill was introduced to determine where funds collected specifically as a result of a Finding for Recovery issued against a community school should be distributed. In the case of an enrollment issue where a Finding is issued, the funds would go to the school district from which funds were deducted. 

The Senate amended the bill prior to passage adding the following provisions:

  • Prohibit ODE from requiring 5-year Forecast Submissions prior to November 30th
  • Allow Substitute Levies to be proposed in the last year of collection
  • The superintendent or the board president will sign employment documents for the treasurer and his/her family members
  • Clarifies that by signing the board minutes, the treasurer is only attesting to what took place in the meeting and his/her signature does not represent approval (performing his/her ministerial duties)

To regulate the use of credit cards and debit cards by political subdivisions, to modify the duties and powers of the Auditor of State, to specify that electronic submission of a public record request entitles the requestor to damages if the public office fails to comply with the Public Records Act, to make changes to the law governing financial planning and supervision commissions, and to authorize a property tax abatement for certain property subject to a submerged land lease and held by a municipal corporation.

CURRENT STATUS: 8/3/2018 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; eff. 11/2/18

COMMENTS: The OASBO Auditor of State(AOS) Advisory Committee first met in November, 2016 with representatives from the State Auditor's office to discuss an AOS proposal aimed at putting more guardrails around school district credit card use. That initial discussion included possible Ohio 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 OASBO committee, the AOS stepped back and re-evaluated the proposal. Before HB 312 was introduced in the House, OASBO, OSBA and BASA were asked to weigh in. After further discussion, changes were made to the original proposal. The OASBO committee met with the AOS legislative staff again in November, 2017 to discuss the bill and continue to provide input. 

The House and the Senate made changes to the bill throughout the legislative process. An Auditor of State bulletin covering the provisions in the final version of HB 312 was issued in December. Click here for a copy of the bulletin.

With regard to school resource officers, to require the Facilities Construction Commission to study and report on school building security upgrades and school resource officers, to enact the "SAFE Act" with regard to suspension and expulsion of students in grades pre-kindergarten through three and positive behavior intervention and supports, and to make an appropriation.

CURRENT STATUS: 8/3/2018 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; Appropriation eff. 8/2/18, bill eff. 11/2/18

COMMENTS: Defines "School Resource Officer" (SRO) in law as: Peace Officer, Appointed through MOU with a law enforcement agency, Sets training and qualification requirements for SROs
Appropriation of $10 million for training and other safety-related purposes
Senate added provisions of SB 276 (the SAFE Act):
Prohibits suspensions for K-3 (except for health, safety reasons
Requires PBIS training for staff
In-school suspension in a supervised educational environment 

To require local governments that contest property values to formally pass an authorizing resolution for each contest and to notify property owners.


COMMENTS: The substitute version of this bill would have required that a school district could not file a challenge on the real properties the district believes are valued too low unless the board of education first adopted a resolution authorizing the filing of the complaint at a public meeting (could adopt one or more of the resolutions in a single vote). The substitute bill also changed the threshold for notification to the school district when a property owner filed a claim from $50K to $75K, prohibited counter-claims below the $75K threshold, and prohibited residential claims below $75K. 
The substitute version of the bill was developed after the Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman held an interested party meeting to discuss possible compromises. The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted to recommend the bill to the full Senate for approval. However, the Senate leadership declined to bring the bill up for a vote. As a result, the bill died for lack of action when the Senate adjourned at the end of December 2017.
Members of OASBO, OSBA and BASA, should be commended for their advocacy efforts on this issue. We made a difference! We may see new attempts at similar legislation in the next General Assembly, so we will need to be vigilant. 

With regard to educator in-service training on youth suicide awareness and prevention in public schools.


Regarding the circumstances in which school district and educational service center treasurers may be held liable for a loss of public funds.

CURRENT STATUS: 12/5/2018 - PASSED BY HOUSE; Vote 89-2


To reduce the minimum number of precinct election officials in a precinct in which electronic pollbooks are used.

CURRENT STATUS: 12/31/2018 - Informally Passed

COMMENTS: The House had amended the provisions from HB 342 into this bill, originally aimed at reducing the number of election poll workers required for a precinct where electronic pollbooks are used. The HB 342 provisions would have changed the terms used in ballot language to describe the levies proposed by school districts. Because the HB 342 provisions were amended into a Senate bill, we feared the Senate would vote to adopt the legislation. We sometimes see one chamber pushing its bills through by inserting them into bills proposed by the other chamber as a way to obtain support. However, in this case, the Senate chose to delay an official vote on the House changes to SB 21, to the point where it died for lack of action. We appreciate the work of members in the defeat of this legislation. We believe SB 21/HB 342 would have made it more confusing for voters and therefore, increased the possibility for "no" votes on school levies.

To enact the "Ohio Public School Deregulation Act" regarding the administration of preschool and primary and secondary education programs, to add the territory of Summit County to the Stark State College District, and to prescribe procedures for appointing the board of trustees of the combined technical college district.

CURRENT STATUS: 8/3/2018 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; eff. 11/2/2018

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. Since the bill was introduced, there have been a number of changes. Click here for a description of the version of the bill as passed by the Senate Education Committee (the bill did not change after this version).

Click here to view the full list of educated related bills OASBO is tracking.