Prepared Notes for Board Meeting

November 11, 2009

Marc A. Schare

 614 791-0067

marc9@aol.com

 

 

This is going to be a brief legislative update from the capital conference.

 

First, SB173 seeks to delay the state mandate to offer all day Kindergarten by one year, from FY11 (starting in Sept, 2010) to FY12. If enacted, this would provide us some relief on the margins as we could still have some control over the number of students who enrolled in the K+ program. In an email correspondence with Senator Cates, the sponsor of the bill, I opined that the immediate problem for us is not the mandate, it is the removal of our ability to continue to charge tuition. If you remove the mandate without allowing us to charge tuition, we might be forced to cancel the K+ program entirely and I’m fairly certain that wasn’t the intent of either the EBM or SB173. The Senator responded that he understood the problem.

 

There was a lot of discussion at the capital conference regarding the reimbursement of the tangible personal property tax. Apparently, the CAT tax is generating far less revenue than the projections from HB66, so any permanent reimbursement would come from the general fund unless Ohio’s economy dramatically improves or the rate of the cat tax is increased. Neither is likely to happen anytime soon. Statewide organizations including OSBA are committed to making sure that the legislature understands what the loss of those funds mean to school districts. It’s interesting to note that the amount of our TPP reimbursement is about the same as the total amount we receive from the Evidence Based Model in FY11. Should we spend our time lobbying for resources under the EBM or should we spend our time asking the state to restore the local dollars they took away in HB66 a few years back? I did ask if it was likely that the TPP reimbursement would be cut if the state experienced a huge problem in the next biennium and the consensus is that it is possible, but not likely.

 

Another hot topic was pending pension legislation. The pension funds want to see both the employee and taxpayer contributions rise over the next 10 years starting in 2011. The plan would start taking money from Ohio teachers in 2011 and from Ohio taxpayers in 2016. It is possible that this legislation could affect the millage amount of our next levy request.


 

I spoke with Howard Fleeter from ETPI about the chicken little scenario and likelihood of state budget cuts in the next biennium assuming the state is balanced in this biennium. There seems to be general recognition that the state has no money to fund the Evidence Based Model nor is the money likely to materialize in the next biennium. How that manifests itself is very hard to predict. Mr. Fleeter thought it was entirely possible that the guarantee in its current form could disappear as many districts are expected to drop off of it. ETPI’s most optimistic scenario is that the state have as much money in the next biennium as this one but absent additional federal money, that’s not likely to occur. While our forecast is valid until the law is changed, I think an assumption that we’re going to lose state funding or the tangible reimbursements off current levels is prudent.

 

Finally, a quick book report. We all read “Spark” about how physical education aids the learning process. This book, “Why kids hate school” by Daniel T Willingham looks at learning, memory, forgetting and related topics from the perspective of a cognitive scientist and then applies those observations to teaching and learning in school. If you ever wondered why you forgot your 7th grade algebra by the time your kids needed your help, this book is for you and you can get it from the Worthington library.