Current Legislative Alerts and Updates
Senate Bill 229 - Teacher Evaluation Bill Intended to Provide More Local Flexibility is Turned Upside Down by House Education Committee
The House Education Committee made drastic changes to Senate Bill 229 this week when it unveiled a new version of the bill. It turned the bill on its head and left it almost unrecognizable from the bill that was approved unanimously by the Ohio Senate. The changes to what had been a bi-partisan bill in the Senate were accepted by the House committee on a party-line vote, with all Democrats voting “No.” In comments to the committee, ranking Democrat and former teacher Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) said the bill had been “hijacked.” OEA Vice President Scott DiMauro urged the Committee to support the Senate-passed version of SB 229.
Stripped from the Senate version of the bill was a key provision that provided local flexibility to adjust the student growth measure portion of teacher evaluations to 35% from 50%. Further, the provision that would provide local flexibility to adjust the frequency of full annual evaluations for highly-rated teachers was diluted. More than 30 new provisions were added to the bill, including changes to various aspects of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES). Click here to urge your Representative to oppose the new House version of Senate Bill 229.
Proposed Income Tax Cuts in HB 472 Shortchange Our Students
House Bill 472, the mid-biennium review, proposes to lower state income taxes by 8.5 percent over the next three years and reduce the highest income tax rate to 4.88%. Governor Kasich plans to pay for the income tax cut by increasing taxes on cigarettes over a two-year period, as well as increasing the commercial activity and severance taxes. The income tax cut is expected to reduce revenue by more than $2.1 billion over three years. Even when coupled with other tax changes, Ohio will lose an estimated $174 million in the General Revenue Fund over that period.
Take action today! Tell legislators that while House Bill 472 proposes increasing certain taxes, the revenue would go towards yet another round of income tax cuts that predominately favor wealthy Ohioans. Urge legislators not to support Kasich’s proposed income tax cuts and instead invest in Ohio’s students and public education.
Urge your Senator to Oppose House Bill 8 - The Wrong Approach to School Safety
On January 22, 2014, the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 8 (Roegner, Kunze) by a vote of 63-29. OEA strongly opposes the legislation that seeks to exclude from collective bargaining the development and implementation of a protocol for the designation of school employees who may carry concealed weapons. The bill also would allow school boards to enter into executive session to designate which employees may carry concealed handguns and prohibits the disclosure of those names to parents, school employees and members of the public. Additionally, the bill requires the Ohio Attorney General to adopt training curriculum, but falls short of mandating that local school boards utilize the curriculum. Click here to send a letter to your Senator today!