Current Issues, Bills & Statuses

“Hot Issues” bills followed by OASBO    
Prepared by: Barbara Shaner
Report created on July 6, 2018

Click here to read the full report of bills OASBO is following.
HB21    COMMUNITY SCHOOL ENROLLMENT VERIFICATION (HAMBLEY S) Regarding verification of community school enrollments and community school sponsor contract specifications; regarding state assessment and graduation requirements for certain chartered nonpublic schools; eliminating the Education Management Information System (EMIS) Advisory Board in favor of a new EMIS Advisory Council; to make other education policy changes.
Current Status: 6/29/2018 - SIGNED BY GOVERNOR; Eff. 90 days
Comments: OASBO, along with OSBA & BASA, worked with the bill sponsor to amend HB 21 to address concerns about community school students' residences. The current version of the bill puts more responsibility on charter schools for maintaining student residency information. Community schools would adopt a policy for what constitutes students' residencies, and they need to update/confirm the residency information on an annual basis. The sponsor agreement with the community school will also need to address policies on updating student residency. 

The bill does not change school districts' ability to verify residencies, and the goal is for the new residency requirements for community schools to provide more residency information available. 

The Senate Education Committee held six hearings on the bill before recommending it to the full Senate. The committee added amendments to the bill including one requested by our members. The bill prohibits the Board of Building Standards from requiring the installation of a storm shelter in any school building operated by a public or private school prior to September 15, 2019. The bill further prohibits the Board from requiring such an installation in any applicable school building that is undergoing or about to undergo construction, alteration, repair, or maintenance for which financing has been secured prior to that date. Any rule adopted by the Board prior to September 15, 2019, that conflicts with the provision of the bill will not be effective until that date. 

HB 21 was approved by the Senate on May 23rd, and the House approved the Senate changes on June 7th. The governor signed the bill on June 29th ~ the bill will become effective 90 days from the date of the governor's signature.
HB87    COMMUNITY SCHOOL PUBLIC MONEYS (ROEGNER K) 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:  6/27/2018 - Consideration of Senate Amendments; House Does Concur, Vote 70-23
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. 

OASBO requested amendments included in HB 87:

  • Allow a Substitute Levy to be proposed in the last year of collection of the emergency levy it will replace (rather than the last effective year of the emergency levy as under current law)
  • A new provision calling for the superintendent or board president to sign the treasurer's employment documents (and those of the treasurer's family members (avoids ethical concerns/conflicts of interest)
  • Clarifies that the school treasurer signs the minutes of board meetings as part of his/her ministerial duties ~ the signature does not signify approval (important for meeting minutes where the treasurer's contract is approved, etc. 

The Senate used HB 87 as a bill to move a number of other education-related provisions before passing the bill on June 27th. The House concurred with the Senate amendments that same afternoon. The bill is awaiting the governor's signature.

Note:  Click here for more information on the OASBO requested amendments in HB 87 in the latest OASBO Advocacy eNews. 
HB291    EMPLOYEE DISHONESTY INSURANCE (WIGGAM S) To authorize counties, townships, and municipal corporations to purchase an employee dishonesty and faithful performance of duty insurance policy, instead of a bond, for protection from loss due to the fraudulent or dishonest actions of, and the failure to perform a duty prescribed by law by, an officer, official, employee, or appointee for which a bond is required by law.
Current Status: 4/17/2018 - Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs, (First Hearing)
Comments: This bill originally only applied to townships, counties and municipalities when it was introduced. The basic premise of the bill would be to allow these government entities to purchase liability insurance in lieu of purchasing a bond for the fiscal agent. OASBO has asked that schools be added to the bill and the sponsor has language drafted to that effect. 

HB 291 has been passed by the House and is currently being heard in the Senate Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee. The amendment to add schools to the bill has not officially been accepted yet.
HB312    LOCAL GOVERNMENT CREDIT CARDS (SCHURING K, GREENSPAN D) 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: 6/27/2018 - Consideration of Senate Amendments; House Does Concur, Vote 93-0
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. 

OASBO, OSBA and BASA presented "interested party" testimony in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee on October 17th utilizing comments from OASBO members. Two OASBO members also  presented testimony in the House committee. 

The bill passed the House unanimously on December 5th and was referred to the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on December 13th. 

A substitute version of the bill was accepted by the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee on March 14th. The Senate passed the bill on June 27th and the House concurred with the Senate changes that same afternoon. The bill is awaiting the governor's signature.

Click here for a summary of the substitute bill provisions. 

HB318    SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS-SCHOOL SECURITY (PATTERSON J, LATOURETTE S) 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: 6/27/2018 - Consideration of Senate Amendments; House Does Concur, Vote 71-20
Comments: This bill establishes a revised code definition of a school resource officer and provides requirements when a school chooses to utilize the services of a school resource officer. The House added a $10 million appropriation before passing it on April 11th; funding to be used for:
Support of school resource officer certification training.

  • Any type of active shooter and school safety training.
  • All grade level type educational resources.
  • Training to identify and assist students with mental health issues.
  • Any other training related to school safety.

The Senate voted the bill out on June 27th, but not before folding in the provisions of SB 246, a bill to place restrictions on the suspension and expulsion of students in grades K - 3. It also requires that school staff be trained in Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS). 

The House accepted the Senate amendments on June 27th. The bill is awaiting the governor's signature.
HB342    LOCAL TAX ISSUES-ELECTION DATES (MERRIN D) To modify the information conveyed in election notices and ballot
language for property tax levies.
Current Status: 6/20/2018 - PASSED BY HOUSE; Vote 61-32
Comments: OASBO, along with OSBA and BASA oppose this legislation. Click here for a copy of testimony from the three organizations which describes the provisions contained in the "as-introduced" version of the bill.

The House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee voted to recommend the bill to the full House on April 18th. However, before voting on the bill, the committee removed the provisions related to the August Special Election (in other words, the bill no longer prohibits August Special Elections). Our three organizations continue to oppose the bill's changes to levy ballot language. Click here for a memo to that effect sent to the chairman of the House committee prior to the vote.

HB 342 was approved by the House so our work will now focus on the Senate. Members should continue to urge legislators to oppose the bill.
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: 6/26/2018 - Senate Ways and Means, (Second Hearing)
Comments: This bill requires that a school district cannot file a challenge on the real properties the district believes are valued too low unless the board of education first adopts a resolution authorizing the filing of the complaint (or counter complaint) at a public meeting. The board can adopt one or more of these resolutions in a single vote.

Before adopting the resolution, the board must send written notice by ordinary or certified mail to the property owner's last known property tax mailing address and, if different, to the property's street address. The notice must declare the intent of the board or legislative authority to adopt the resolution and the proposed date of adoption and, if the resolution is initiating a complaint, the basis for the complaint. The notice must be postmarked at least seven business days before the resolution is scheduled to be adopted (i.e., seven days not counting weekends and legal holidays).

HB 343 was passed out of the House on March 21st. The Senate Ways and Means Committee has conducted two hearings on the bill (one for sponsor testimony, and one for all testimony ~ interested party, opponent and proponent). 

Click here for testimony presented jointly by OASBO, OSBA and BASA. Three OASBO members also presented opposition testimony in the most recent hearing.  

Members are urged to contact Senate members in opposition to HB 343. We also request that you consider presenting testimony if the bill comes up for another hearing.
HB512    CONSOLIDATE CAREER-EDUCATION GOVERNANCE (REINEKE W) To establish the Department of Learning and Achievement; to abolish the Department of Higher Education, the position of the Chancellor of Higher Education, and the Ohio Board of Regents; to transfer, with exceptions, the duties regarding the administration of primary and secondary education programs and all duties regarding the administration of higher education programs to the Department of Learning and Achievement; and to prescribe certain duties regarding educator licensure, community school sponsorship, and other education programs for the State Board of Education, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Department of Education.
Current Status: 3/21/2018 - House Government Accountability and Oversight, (Fifth Hearing)
Comments: OASBO, OSBA and BASA oppose this legislation. Click here for a copy of the organizations' testimony in the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee.

HB 512 had several hearings in the committee after its initial introduction. However, no hearings have been held since its 5th on March 21st. We are hopeful the bill has lost steam in the House, but members are urged to continue to contact legislators in opposition to the bill.

The following is a link to a recording of a PBS television show, The State of Ohio, where OASBO's advocacy specialist, Barbara Shaner, faces off with Ryan Burgess, executive director for the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation on HB 512 (segment begins at the 11:30 min. mark):
HB549    SCHOOL OPENINGS-AFTER LABOR DAY (ARNDT S) To generally require public and chartered nonpublic schools to open for instruction after Labor Day.
Current Status: 5/22/2018 - House Education and Career Readiness, (Second Hearing)
Comments: This bill is a companion to SB 34; both bills prohibit school districts from starting school until after labor day unless the board holds a special hearing and votes to opt-out of the requirement. OASBO opposes these restrictions; the school calendar should continue to be a local decision.

SB 34 was set for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee on June 27th, but was pulled from the calendar. Click here for a copy of the OASBO/OSBA/BASA opposition testimony.
HB705    LOSS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDS (HAMBLEY S) Regarding the circumstances in which school district and educational service center treasurers may be held liable for a loss of public funds.
Current Status: 6/13/2018 - Introduced
Comments: This treasurer liability legislation was proposed by OASBO on behalf of its members. Click here for more information from the most recent Advocacy eNews regarding the proposal. For a more detailed outline of all the provisions in HB 705, click here
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, 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: 6/27/2018 - Consideration of House Amendments; Senate does concur, Vote 28-1
Comments: This bill, sponsored by Senator Matt Huffman (R-12), had its genesis in a meeting that the senator had with superintendents in his Senate district. The intent of the bill is not only to reduce state mandates but also to increase local control. The bill has seen several changes since it was introduced. 

As it currently stands, the bill would expand the existing PreK-3 license to PreK-5 while maintaining both the grades four through nine and the grades seven-12bands. It would create additional intervention specialist license options to support dual licensure in general and special education. It would also give superintendents authority to assign experienced teacher within two grades of licensure for period of up to three years.

The bill would also align proposed rules for serving gifted students by changing the required 60 hours of training over two years to 60 hours over four years and granting credit to those teachers who have completed training in either the Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate programs.

Major changes would also be made to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) by implementing most of the changes recommended by the Educator Standards Board in January, 2017.

The House Education and Career Readiness Committee added several provisions to the bill before voting to recommend it to the full House. The following are some key amendments to the bill:

  • Prohibit ODE from requiring school districts to submit the Five-year Forecast before November 30th. Districts may still submit them sooner.
  • Study Committee to make recommendations on Academic Distress Commissions
  • Removed the provision in SB 216 that would have allowed school districts to charge students for half the cost of College Credit Plus textbooks (students with family incomes of 200% of poverty and lower could not be charged). 

The House approved the bill on June 27th and the Senate concurred with the House amendments that afternoon. The bill is awaiting the governor's signature.
Click here to read the full report of bills OASBO is following.