The Bad and the Good News on Senate Bill 3
COLUMBUS – December 7, 2016 – The Ohio Education Association (OEA) said today that it remains troubled by provisions in Senate Bill 3, that make several changes to education law, and that were approved today along party lines by the House Education Committee. At the same time, OEA commends the House leadership for not including provisions that would have created accountability exceptions for some types of charter school sponsors..
Most troubling to OEA is a provision that would exempt certain school districts from having to hire licensed teachers. Other worrisome provisions include changes in the way new teachers would be mentored and the lifting of restrictions on class size.
“Opening the door to non-licensed teachers is a move in the wrong direction. Students are in a better position to succeed when they have qualified, licensed teachers,” said OEA President Becky Higgins. “In addition, keeping class sizes small allows for more individual instruction and that helps our students.”
To qualify for the exemptions in the bill, a school district must have received all of the following on the most recent report cards: at least 85% of the total possible points for the performance index score; a grade of “A” for performance indicators met; a four-year graduation rate of at least 93% and a five-year graduation rate of at least 95%. Since the bill was passed last year by the Senate, the number of qualifying districts has dropped substantially from around 120 to 18 based on the latest report cards.
OEA supports a strong charter school accountability system that is evenly applied to all sponsors, including school districts and Educational Service Centers.
“The OEA appreciates that the House Education Committee refrained from including provisions that would have weakened charter school accountability and would have created an unbalanced playing field for public schools in Ohio,” said Higgins.
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The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 123,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio's public schools, colleges and universities
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