Prepared Text for Board Meeting – January 26, 2009

Marc A. Schare  614 791-0067 Work -  614 791-1779 Fax

marc9@aol.com

 

 

David, I have three  legislative updates this evening.

 

The first has the potential to be a whopper. In the lame duck session of 2006, the general assembly passed SB311 which contained the Ohio Core provision. That bill also contained language that mandated the State Board of Education to adopt a plan that enables students to earn high school credit based on a demonstration of subject area competency, instead of or in combination with hours of classroom instruction.  The State Board will adapt the plan by March 31 and our district must phase in provisions starting in the next school year – 2009-2010.

 

Not to be overly dramatic, but this legislation could have a huge programmatic impact. If students can start earning credit by testing out of required courses, what would that do to our program? Do we add more electives? Do we downsize the high schools? What would happen to the cocurricular program if kids started graduating early? Do we offer a different model for earning high school credit, one based on service or one based on the Linworth walkabout model. As we think about high school renewal, the potential impacts of SB311 must be considered. I will be attending a session of the State Board of Education that will be held on February 11. At that meeting, the design team responsible for the state regulations will be having a “conversation” to solicit ideas about what the regulations should look like. In discussions with various people inside and outside of the district, this legislation has been completely off the radar screen of administrators, board members and the education community. Time is short to be able to influence what may turn out to be, according to OSBA,  a major change in K-12 education delivery.

 

Along the same lines of unhelpful state mandates, I confirmed with OSBA that we are not the only school district that is concerned that we may have to make painful cuts to our gifted services program to comply with ODE’s ill advised, one size fits all mandate. Once again, as we embark on our quest to solicit money from the community, it is my hope that we identify these situations, lest someone believe that their child is no longer receiving gifted services because of something we did. Their anger should be directed at the State Board of Education and while our current representative was not on that board when these regulations were adopted, it would appropriate to offer her name and number to parents who might erroneously believe that we are cutting services because of anything that has to do with the levy.

 

My final legislative update is more of an FYI. This board made the common sense decision to wait until after the Governor speaks on Wednesday to make a determination of a millage amount. On Friday, Senate President Bill Harris weighed in with this:

 

 “In think there’s things that can be tweaked. But in my humble opinion, I don’t want us to develop a new way of funding”

 

Since any real change to the funding formula is likely to be negative for Worthington, this could represent some good news for us. Time will tell, but clearly, we won’t have the final answer in time for our levy decision.