COLUMBUS, Ohio — Dozens of education bills have become law during the current two-year session of the Ohio General Assembly, which is scheduled to end Dec. 21. But even more were featured – more than 125, in fact.
Each of the bills falls at different stages of the legislative process. Some are about to be enacted soon. Others have no chance of crossing the finish line.
Education measures ahead of the legislature include culture war hotspots, including several that dictate how race can be taught in history and current events. But not all of them drive rifts between Ohioans. Some attempt to reduce the bureaucracy of education and improve the quality of the school and the teaching profession.
Here are descriptions of some of the 125+ who haven’t passed yet, but might.
Third Year Playback Guarantee
HB 497 would eliminate the requirement for third-grade students to repeat the grade based on their English Language Arts Assessment score. Schools should always offer remedial measures to K-12 students who are falling behind. It is sponsored by Representatives Gayle Manning, a Republican from North Ridgeville, and Phil Robinson, a Democrat from Solon. Manning testified that as a retired elementary school teacher, she understands the importance of early literacy. But the high stakes of the third-grade test are too high for eight- and nine-year-olds. If a student who is generally a good candidate has problems at home or with friends, they may get a low score. She said parents would always work with a school and decide whether to retain students if necessary.
SB 120 would increase the maximum annual amount a teacher can claim as an income tax deduction for professional development and school supplies from $250 to $1,000. It is sponsored by Sens. Teresa Fedor, a Democrat from Toledo, and Nathan Manning, a Republican from North Ridgeville.
SB 221, sponsored by Rep. Niraj Antani, a Dayton-area Republican, would raise the price threshold at which people are exempt from sales tax during the three-day August back-to-school sales tax holiday. from $75 for clothing, $20 for school supplies to $20 for teaching materials to $100 for each of the three categories. The bill would also exempt laptops, notebooks and tablets priced under $2,000 from holiday sales tax.
HB 323 would provide families with an income tax credit of up to $1,500 per child for educational expenses associated with homeschooling, traditional public schooling, and charter or private schooling. Rep. Sarah Fowler Arthur, a Republican from Ashtabula, is sponsoring the bill.
bullies at school
Two bills aim to reduce bullying.
HB 147 would require the Ohio Department of Education to develop a process by which a student or parent can request an investigation into a public school’s compliance with its policy prohibiting harassment, bullying, and bullying. It is sponsored by Democratic Representatives Kristin Boggs of Columbus and Mary Lightbody of suburban Columbus.
SB 267 would create a new offense, aggravated intimidation, a third degree misdemeanor. It would also require annual training for students on preventing harassment, bullying or bullying at school. School districts and charter schools would implement a tiered disciplinary process for harassment, bullying, and bullying. Senator Sandra Williams, a Democrat from Cleveland, is the godmother.
Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series on the various education bills currently being considered by the Ohio Legislature. The Lima News will publish details of other bills like these over the next few days.