Legislative Watch


March 26, 2018

House Bill 540 – OTES Reform Bill Receives Sponsor Testimony from Rep. Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Rep. Manning (R-North Ridgeville)

OEA strongly supports the proposed reforms to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) contained in HB 540.The sponsors of the bill testified before the House Education Committee on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. The sponsors, Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Rep. Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville, are both members of the Committee.

The OTES reforms in HB 540 are based on the recommendations of the teacher-majority Educator Standards Board. These OTES reforms are similar to those contained in SB 216.

Take Action and send an email to your state representative asking them to support the teacher evaluation reforms in HB 540!

Senate Bill 216 Passed by Ohio Senate; Heads to Houses for Further Consideration

The Ohio Senate passed SB 216 by a vote of 32-0 on Thursday, March 22, 2018. SB 216 is a wide-ranging bill with numerous policy proposals that impact educators and students. The bill contains Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) reforms long-sought by the OEA.

However, the bill contains a multitude of provisions impacting other areas of education policy. Some of these other provisions are cause for concern, such as those that impact teacher licensure. OEA will continue to review the bill as it moves to the House and will urge that our concerns be addressed in the House consideration of the bill.

Teacher evaluation system

The SB 216 OTES reforms are based on the January 2017 recommendations made by the Educator Standards Board.

• Requires ODE to revise the state framework for OTES based on those recommendations and requires the State Board of Education to adopt the revised framework by May 1, 2019, and each district board, by July 1, 2019, to update its teacher evaluation policies to conform to the updated framework;
• Eliminates a requirement that 50% of an evaluation consist of value-added student data and replaces it with at least two measures of “high-quality student data,” as defined by ODE, including the value-added progress dimension and at least one other measure;
• Eliminates shared attribution of performance data among all teachers in a district, building, grade, content area, or group;
• Eliminates an option for districts to formally observe an “accomplished” teacher only once (instead of the general requirement of twice) as part of the teacher’s evaluation if the teacher meets certain requirements;
• Eliminates the alternative framework for the evaluation of teachers; Prohibits the use of student learning objectives;
• Eliminates the requirement that certain “ineffective” teachers of core subject areas in traditional and joint vocational school districts and all teachers of core subject areas in low-performing community and STEM schools take content area tests; and
• Requires ODE to provide guidance to districts on various aspects of the revised evaluation system and professional development and technical assistance through a pilot program in the 2018-2019 school year.

State achievement assessments – online and paper formats

• Authorizes public and chartered nonpublic schools to administer the third, fourth, and fifth grade state achievement assessment in any combination of online and paper formats, potentially increasing the state’s cost for the assessments. State assessments are primarily funded by the General Revenue Fund.

Educator license grade bands

• Requires the State Board to specify whether an educator is licensed to teach in pre-kindergarten through the fifth grade, grades four through nine, or grades seven through twelve when issuing resident, professional, senior professional, and lead professional educator licenses.
• Current law does not require educator licenses to be issued for particular grade bands, but the State Board’s rules specify that licenses be issued for “Early Childhood” (pre-kindergarten through grade three), “Middle Childhood” (grades four through nine in named curriculum areas), and “Adolescence through Adult” (grades seven through twelve in named curriculum areas).
• The changes to the grade band specifications will not apply to a person who holds a license prior to the bill’s effective date.
• The bill generally extends the same grade band requirements for a teacher licensed as an intervention specialist for students with disabilities except that a licensed intervention specialist with mild-moderate or moderate-intensive specialty areas will be licensed to teach grades kindergarten through twelve, as under current practice. These provisions are intended to provide public districts and schools with additional flexibility in responding to certain staffing needs.

Teaching outside of license area

• A school district superintendent may employ licensed teachers with three or more years of experience to teach a subject area or grade level (within two grade levels of the teacher’s licensure grade band) for which the teacher is not licensed for up to three school years, provided the teacher passes an examination in the teaching area.
• After teaching for one year in a subject area or grade band for which the person is not licensed, a license may be obtained if that person successfully completes the pedagogy and instruction in the teaching of reading required by ODE.

o  The federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) eliminated the Highly Qualified Teacher requirement related to Title I funds. Accordingly, the bill eliminates from current state law the requirement that a teacher of a core subject area be highly qualified as well as a number of other related provisions. However, ESSA requires states to implement teacher equity plans to ensure economically disadvantaged and minority students are not disproportionately served by ineffective, out-of-field, or inexperienced teachers, principals, and other school leaders.
o  According to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC), one factor to consider regarding this provision is that the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires state plans for Title I funds to contain assurances that teachers working in Title I-supported programs meet state licensure requirements. Thus, placing teachers outside the subject area or grade level for which a teacher is licensed may put Ohio at risk for certain federal sanctions. The U.S. Department of Education may impose a range of enforcement actions for noncompliance, including placing a state’s Title I, Part A grant on high-risk status, withholding Title I, Part A state administrative funds, or, in what is likely to be the most severe option, withholding Title I, Part A programmatic funds.

Download the latest issue of OEA Legislative Watch












OEA Legislative Watch Archive

OEA Legislative Watch is the association’s newsletter covering the legislation and policies that affect public education employees.


March 26, 2018
House Bill 540 – OTES Reform Bill Receives Sponsor Testimony from Rep. Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Rep. Manning (R-North Ridgeville); Senate Bill 216 Passed by Ohio Senate; Heads to Houses for Further Consideration

March 12, 2018
Senate Bill 246 Seeks Changes to Out-of-School Suspensions and Expulsions for Ohio’s Youngest Learners; OEA Testifies in Opposition to Education Consolidation Bill; SB 216 – OTES Reform Long-Sought by OEA Passes Senate Education Committee; HB 98 – Senate Education Committee Passes Bill to Provide Students More Information About Careers in the Skilled Trades; Other Education Amendments Included; Local School Districts Stand to Recover Money Lost to Troubled Charter Schools with the House Passage of HB 87

March 2, 2018
Kasich Administration Voices Support for Education Consolidation; Senate Bill 216 – Public School “Deregulation Act” Continues to Receive Hearings; School District Report Card Reform Discussions Unfold

February 16, 2018
Legislation Introduced to Consolidate Education Departments

February 9, 2018
OEA Supports Teacher Evaluation Reforms in Senate Bill 240; OEA Opposes Senate Bill 216 – Public School “Deregulation”, Ohio General Assembly Passes Bi-Partisan Congressional Redistricting Plan


December 15, 2017
Attend OEA Member Lobby Day on January 31, 2018

October 12, 2017
Sen. Huffman Introduces Senate Bill 216; Wide-Range of Public Education Provisions

July 28, 2017
OEA Analysis of Recently-Signed State Budget

July 6, 2017
Ohio House Acts to Override Some of Kasich’s Budget Vetoes

June 29, 2017
Legislature Passes Budget Bill and Sends to Governor Kasich

June 16, 2017
Senate Unveils Substitute Version of Budget Bill

May 19, 2017
OEA Testifies in Senate on K-12 Portion of Budget Bill

May 5, 2017
Ohio House Passes Budget Bill

April 28, 2017
House Finance Committee Unveils Substitute Budget Bill

March 31, 2017
Workgroup Recommends Graduation Alternatives for Class of 2018

March 17, 2017
ODE to Submit ESSA Plan in September and OEA Members Share Views on High School Graduation Requirements

March 10, 2017
OEA President Testifies on State’s Draft ESSA Plan and K-12 Portion of Budget Bill, and Opposes Bill Aimed at Voucher Expansion

February 17, 2017
State Budget Includes Teacher “Externships” Requirement for Licensure Renewal & HB 53

February 6, 2017
Governor’s Proposed School District Funding Released


May 6, 2016
OEA President Becky Higgins Testifies in Support of E-School Accountability Bill

April 14, 2016
OEA Voices Support for Senate Bill 241

February 10, 2016
“Gotcha” School Employee Penalty Removed from Sub. HB 420 by Ohio House Education Committee

January 29, 2016
Sub. HB 420:  OEA Strongly Opposes “Gotcha” School Employee Penalty Regarding Opt-Outs


November 6, 2015
HB 2:  Governor signs bill overhauling oversight of charter schools

October 27, 2015
Legislature Moves to Restore $44 Million in Tangible Personal Property Tax Supplemental Aid to School Districts

October 7, 2015
HB 2:  Long-awaited Charter School Reform Package Passes Ohio House & Senate

July 10, 2015
OEA Analysis of Recently-Signed State Budget

July 1, 2015
Kasich Exercises Veto Authority – Reduces Funding for School Districts – and Signs Budget Bill

June 26, 2015
HB 2 – Charter School Reform Bill Supported by OEA Passes Unanimously in Ohio Senate

June 25, 2015
Last minute, surprise legislative amendment sets the stage for state takeover of Youngstown City Schools

June 12, 2015
Senate Unveils Substitute Version of Budget Bill

May 22, 2015
OEA Testifies in Support of Charter School Reform – Senate Bill 148

May 15, 2015
House Passes Its Version of Testing Reform

May 1, 2015
Testing Committee Makes Recommendations

April 24, 2015
Ohio House Passes Budget Bill

April 17, 2015
House Finance Committee Unveils Substitute Budget Bill

March 27, 2015
Committee on Testing Establishes Website for Public Input

March 20, 2015
HB 2 – Charter School Reform Bill Receives 20 Amendments, but Many Key Changes Rejected

March 13, 2015
OEA Identifies Priorities Around Student Testing

March 6, 2015
OEA Testifies on K-12 Portion of Budget Bill

February 27, 2015
Senate Education Committee Passes Student “Safe Harbor” Legislation (HB 7)

February 11, 2015
OEA Statement on Governor Kasich’s Proposed K-12 Funding Formula

February 6, 2015
Kasich Releases Executive Budget Proposal

February 2, 2015
Senate Committee to Hold Testing Hearings


December 19, 2014
House Bill 367 Packed with Education Provisions Before Being Sent to Governor

December 17, 2014
Preserve Free Choice of Provider for Ohioans with Developmental Disabilities

December 12, 2014
Bipartisan Redistricting Proposal Clears Ohio Senate

December 5, 2014
HB 343 Passes Ohio House After Being Amended to Keep Current Law Regarding School Salary Schedules

November 21, 2014
House Bill 343:  Eliminates Minimum Teacher Salaries and Single Salary Schedule

November 14, 2014
HB 343 Amendment Would Eliminate Teacher Minimum Salaries & Single Salary Schedules for All School Employees

June 5, 2014
Teacher Evaluation Language Good “First Step, but More Fixes are Needed”

May 23, 2014
Mid-Biennium Review Bills Pass the Senate

May 15, 2014
Second House Version of Senate Bill 229 – Still a Bad Bill

April 11, 2014
Mid-Biennium Review Bills Head to the Senate

March 28, 2014
Sub. SB 229: Teacher Evaluation Bill Intended to Provide More Local Flexibility is Turned Upside Down by House Education Committee

March 20, 2014
HB 472: Mid-Biennium Reveiw Bill Introduced

March 20, 2014
Analysis of HB 472 as Introduced

March 12, 2014
Long Awaited Resolution to Calamity Days Bill

February 28, 2014
Governor Outlines Education Proposals in State of the State

February 21, 2014
Senate Bill 229 Gets First Hearing

January 24, 2014
Ohio House Passes OEA Opposed House Bill 8