Ohio Gadfly Daily

Geeks, robo-students, squawkers, and more

Legislating begins, district runs released, and quite a bit of "squawking"

Transportation study fail, virtual day fail, budget cutting fail, and more.

So, it’s all about that budget today? No trouble.

  1. First up, the Beacon Journal. They equate the traditional district and charter school proposals in their headline, but definitely spend most of their column inches “spotlighting” those related to charter schools. How much so? So much that Chad is quoted and the Fordham-sponsored CREDO report on charter school quality in Ohio gets a name-check. Nice. (Akron Beacon Journal)
     
  2. Next, the Big D. They separate various budget strands in separate stories. Their K-12 education piece begins by noting, “more than half of Ohio school districts would see their state funding reduced” under the new budget. There is some mention of charter school oversight and funding changes along with some bullet points on the return of Straight A Grant funding and a proposed increase in EdChoice voucher amounts. (Columbus Dispatch)
     
  3. In the Blade, they combine K-12 and higher ed coverage. Their K-12 section begins by noting, “Increased revenue would go to Ohio schools,” under the new budget, but that district-by-district changes depend on “multiple factors”. There is a tiny notation of charter school oversight and funding changes. (Toledo Blade)
     
  4. There really is just one “factor” that’s most at play in the district funding changes proposed in the new budget. And that is the buzzword of “capacity”, by which is most simply meant the ability of localities to tax themselves to support local education and other stuff besides. It is a more complex calculation in reality, based on a comparison of income wealth and property wealth in an area, as highlighted last week in a report from the Tax Policy Institute covered in these very clips. The complex nature of the calculations is probably why the “tax runs” for individual districts were not available yesterday. When these
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Governor Kasich released his FY 16-17 biennial budget today. True to his word, Kasich featured charter school reforms prominently, with a focus on  improving sponsor quality, eliminating conflicts of interest, and addressing some of the funding inequities that plague charter schools.

“Governor Kasich has proposed some bold reforms that could significantly improve Ohio’s charter school sector,” said Chad L. Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “While facility funding and opening the door to sharing local dollars will dominate the headlines, it would be a mistake to overlook the innovative sponsor reforms being put forward.”

Sponsors are the entities in Ohio responsible for overseeing charter school performance. The budget would ensure that all sponsors are:

  • Subject to the state’s newly implemented sponsor evaluation system
  • Accountable to the department of education
  • Closed immediately for poor operation
  • Prohibited from selling services to schools that they sponsor, and
  • Incentivized for being a high quality authorizer.

“By ensuring proper oversight of Ohio charter school sponsors and aligning incentives with performance, Governor Kasich is placing Ohio’s charter sector on a new and better path.”

Kasich’s proposed reforms join those offered last week in House Bill 2 by Representatives Mike Dovilla and Kristina Roegner. The provisions in House Bill 2--focused on accountability, responsibility, and transparency—align well with Kasich’s proposal.

“We look forward to working with the Governor and the General Assembly in improving Ohio’s charter schools in a way that benefits children, parents, and communities,” Aldis concluded.

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For further comment, please contact Chad L. Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy by email at caldis@edexcellence.net or by phone at 614-404-9309 (mobile) or 614-223-1580 (office).

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Looking at the state of education in Ohio’s State of the State cities

Charter school bill, charters in the budget, EdChoice applications, and much more.

Opining on HB 2 begins, replacing the FRPL indicator, Austintown v Youngstown, and more

House tackles charter law, Senate tackles testing, Toledo tackles Kindergarten readiness, more

  1. It took a few days, but newspaper editors have finally started taking note of the state auditor’s report on charter school attendance. Check out opinion pieces from the Akron Beacon-Journal and the Columbus Dispatch.
     
  2. Academic Standards Review Committees were mandated in state law last year, with members appointed by the Senate, the House, and the Governor. The committees began work yesterday, and the Statehouse is still standing. However, it does appear that a couple of the members are under the mistaken idea they were appointed to the legislature of the state board of education. Weird. (Gongwer Ohio)
     
  3. Administration of PARCC tests is to begin in earnest in Ohio soon. The Ohio Department of Education did a little rollout event yesterday. You can check out the dry – but informative – version of the story, focusing on the rollout event itself in Gongwer Ohio. Or you can go down to the district level – far less dry and with far more skeptical commentators – with the Dayton Daily News.
     
  4. So the state auditor releases a report on charter school attendance and the result is at least 10 stories across the state and the above-noted op-eds so far, all of them baying for immediate action to end the travesty. So, this story about a report on Lorain City Schools (who are already under the aegis of an Academic Distress Commission) should bring the house down right? A student allowed to sleep during class (in front of an outside observer!), the district withholding information about testing for a child who might need an IEP, “hidden rules” that give rewards to children who didn’t earn them and withhold those rewards from others who did, teachers attending the wrong professional development courses. The outrage should be
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