Ohio’s two main pieces of education reform legislation are bringing the General Assembly back together this week in Columbus.  The Cleveland Plan is on the agendas of both the House and Senate Education committees (remember when this “bipartisan” bill was a slam-dunk to pass?), while Senate Bill 316 (Governor Kasich’s bill) appears to be headed BACK to the House Education Committee in a planned re-referral from the full session (more details on the SB316 revisions in a minute).

Here is the schedule for this week:

  • House Education CommitteeTuesday, June 12, 9:00 am – Scheduled to hear HB525 (House version of Cleveland Plan) & re-referred SB316 (more on that)
  • House (Full session): Tuesday, 11:00 am (will apparently re-refer SB316 to committee)
  • House (Full session): Wednesday, 1:30 pm
  • Senate Education Committee: Tuesday, 10:30 am – Scheduled to hear SB335 (Senate version of Cleveland Plan)
  • Senate (Full session): Tuesday, 1:30 pm
  • Senate (Full session): Wednesday, 1:30 pm

Following the timing, Tuesday’s House schedule deserves the most attention.  We’re not sure how the Cleveland Plan will end up in the House Ed committee long-term, but it seems very unlikely that the committee will approve the plan on Tuesday morning prior to the full session at 11:00 am.  We’re also confident that the House Ed committee will take a recess on Tuesday morning to convene with the full session and vote to re-refer SB316 back to committee to enact revisions (see below) before sending it back to the full House for a floor vote on Wednesday afternoon.

Here’s where it gets intriguing.  Unless the full House ALSO subsequently opts to take an extended recess to allow the House Ed Committee to pass the revised SB316 and sent it BACK to the House on the same day, waiving established rules to do so, the Governor’s education bill seems as though it will languish in the Statehouse a while longer before being passed off to a conference committee to iron out the major differences between the two chambers.  With the House and Senate meeting concurrently on Wednesday, the Senate would not be able to consider the House changes until their NEXT full session which will seemingly not happen until next Tuesday at the earliest.

The same scenario may also play out with the Cleveland Plan, but only if the Education committees can actually bring it to a vote first.  Again while this may be a sure thing in the Senate where both sponsors (Lehner, Turner) sit on the Education committee, the House committee is facing their 8th hearing on the bill with no discernible end in sight (while they simply try to keep up with the amendments being agreed to by numerous entities from outside the House).

Now back to Senate Bill 316 in the House.  The Education Committee chair, Gerald Stebelton, sent a memo to the committee members explaining how the need to “tweak” the bill after “working with” Speaker Batchelder.

Fellow committee members,

As you know, SB 316 was reported out of the Education Committee on May 24 and informally passed on the House floor for further consideration. I have been working with the Speaker on this bill, and we have decided that there a few tweaks to make to the bill before having a full House vote. Below is an outline of these changes I am proposing.

SB 316 Substitute Bill:

  • Insert requirement that reading intervention services provide “”intensive, explicit, and systematic instruction.” R.C. 3313.608
  • Insert requirement that the reading improvement plan developed by districts include curriculum that includes, but is not limited to, “”provide skill development in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.” R.C. 3313.608
  • Remove the reference to the “General Assembly’s Children’s Caucus” in Section 733.30.
  • Adds “Ohio Association of City Career-Technical Schools” as an entity the State Board of Education should consult with to develop JVSD and CTPD report cards. R.C. 3302.033
  • Removes dropout recovery program language (will likely be addressed in HB 555).
  • Require schools to provide State School Report Cards to Students transferring into that school. R.C. 3313.6411
  • Reinstates R.C. 3324.08 regarding gifted education coordinators.
  • Removes language regarding hybrid schools.
  • Reinstates the As Introduced language regarding digital and blended learning.
  • Modification of the eTech Ohio earmark – SB 316 made a modification to this earmark from HB 153. The sub-bill reinserts this and includes homeschooled students. Sections 610.10 and 610.11.
  • Removes changes to community school sponsor rankings (will likely be addressed in HB 555).
  • Provides the Superintendent of Public Education the option of sponsoring a non-renewed community school. R.C. 3314.015
  • Inserts provision to allow individuals to serve on up to five community school governing authorities. R.C. 3314.02
  • Insert provision allowing Single-Gender Community Schools without a comparable school for the other gender R.C. 3314.06
  • Removes the provision allowing for regional gifted schools.
  • Require ODE to Post Community School Contracts on the Internet. R.C. 3314.03 and Section 733.15

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Gerald L. Stebelton
Chairman, House Education Committee
House District 05

If you’re so inclined to offer feedback, or if you “have any questions”, you can contact Representative Stebelton by phone at 614-466-8100 or by email at District05@ohr.state.oh.us

For the current version of Senate Bill 316 as originally passed by the House Committee, click here.