To The Point Blog

Recently Enacted Legislation May Affect Your Community School

Sep 09, 2014

In the Ohio Legislature’s recently enacted Mid-Biennium Budget Review (MBR), several changes were made to the Revised Code that may affect your school.  We have detailed below many of these changes and what they could mean for your school.

Operating a Montessori Community School
The MBR authorizes community schools to operate a preschool program using the Montessori method as the primary method of instruction.  This change creates an exception to the rule that community schools may not enroll students under the age of five—and may not be funded for preschool programs.  In addition, community schools operating Montessori community schools will be eligible to receive early childhood education funding.

Funding for Individuals over age 22. 
Beginning in the 2015 fiscal year, an individual who is 22 or older and has not received a high school diploma may enroll in community schools with dropout recovery programs.  The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) will pay the school $5,000 x Full Time Equivalent Basis.  Interestingly, school districts and certain joint vocation school districts are also permitted to enroll these students.  Please note, the classes are subject to several restrictions.  If your school is interested in developing a dropout recovery program for these individuals, please contact us for more details.

School Rating System. 
For the 2014 – 2015 school year, grades earned in that school year shall not be considered when determining if a community school is subject to sanctions, including closure.  ODE will also have authority not to assign individual grades for the six components of the state report card.  The “academic progress measure” will be included, but will not be graded in 2014 - 2015. 

Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Temporary law specifies that if a community school is unable to furnish teachers to satisfy the criteria for assisting students in the third grade reading guarantee, the school may submit alternative plans. 

Changing Academic Standards.
The State Board will adopt revised academic content standards.  These standards will place an emphasis on “essential knowledge.”

High School Graduation. 
As you may have heard, the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT) will be phased out.  Beginning with students who enter ninth grade in 2014 (this year); students will be required to meet one of three standards. 

Additional changes which will not take effect until the 2015 – 2016 school year because the legislature delayed the implementation of several new laws.  First, Post-Secondary Enrollment Program Policies will be replaced by a new statutorily created program called the College Credit Plus Program.  Second, Dual-Enrollment Program Policies will be replaced by a new program called the Advanced Stated Program Policy.  Third, you will have to adopt a policy on career advising.  Finally, the minimum requirements for graduation will need to be amended.  We will provide more updates on adopting these policies as details become available.

If you have questions on these changes or any legislation affecting your community school, please contact your Day Ketterer Education Law Attorney.

The content of this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice for any purpose. This blog is not intended to present an exhaustive summary of all applicable laws, or to take the place of legal advice.  If you have any questions regarding the law, please contact us for assistance.