Columbus Plan Legislation Talking Points
The legislation contains a number of recommendations from the Commission’s final report that require legislative approval. The Columbus Education Association (CEA) was represented on the Commission as various reform measures were considered. CEA supports the package contained in House Bill 167. As this legislation is the result of a local reform process, the OEA closely monitored the bill as an “Interested Party.” On June 25, 2013, the House concurred with Senate amendments to House Bill 167. The bill was passed with an emergency measure and will therefore go into effect immediately upon being signed by the Governor. The following are the major provisions in the bill:
- Requires a ballot issue where voters would approve or disapprove a levy for Columbus City Schools and “partnering” charter schools. The school board has the authority to determine which charter schools to partner with, if any. The question shall be submitted to the voters at the next general or special election occurring at least 90 days after the effective date of the bill. The ballot shall identify the total millage on the levy and specify how many of these mills are to be allocated for the school district and how many mills are to be allocated to partnering charter schools. The school board may distribute all or a portion (instead of 100%) of levy dollars in the “partnering community schools” fund during a fiscal year and must publish online by June 15 the estimated dollar amount per student.
- Requires a ballot issue where voters would approve or disapprove the creation of the position of an independent auditor for the Columbus City Schools with additional authority to audit partnering charter schools. The question shall be submitted to the voters at the general election occurring at least 90 days after the effective date of the bill.
- Authorizes the mayor and city council of Columbus to sponsor charter schools that are located in the school district of Columbus City Schools. The mayor shall establish standards for sponsoring charter schools not later than 180 days after the effective date of the bill.