State Budget Impacts OAPSE Members

Ohio has a new two-year state spending budget, even though it took legislators almost three weeks longer than state law allows to finalize it and have the governor sign off.

Among the highlights is good news for the free college program offered to OAPSE members. The budget provides a one-year phase-in to changing the SSI (State Share of Instruction) formula for community colleges. This will allow OAPSE’s partner, Eastern Gateway Community College, time to prepare for the change so that our members are not affected and can continue to enroll in the program that gives two years of free college.

The budget includes $675 million for wraparound wellness services for at-risk students, which can be utilized for things such as mental health treatment, counseling, tutoring and after-school programs.

The two-year deal creates a one-year moratorium on the creation of new Academic Distress Commissions (ADCs). The Ohio Department of Education is now  prohibited from creating new ADCs prior to October 1, 2020.
The three current ADC districts — Youngstown, East Cleveland, and Lorain —  remain under state control.

Governor DeWine vetoed 25 items in the budget, but the top lines of what he signed off on are:

  • Establishes a report card study committee to be convened within 30 days. The committee must issue a report to the General Assembly by December 15, 2019.
  • Modifies the grading scale used to determine letter grades assigned for the report card’s value-added progress dimension.
  • Changes the grading scale for assigning letter grades for the overall score on the value-added progress dimension on the report card. The changes in the scale should result in higher scores for many districts.
  • Establishes a study committee to study the calculation and weighting of performance measures, components, and the overall letter grade of the report card.
  • Creates new graduation requirements are effective for the class of 2023. Students who fail to meet the requirements will have alternative options.
  • Requires ODE to establish a program, under which higher-poverty public schools must offer breakfast to all students either before or during the school day, to be phased in over a three-year period.
  • Institutes a 4 percent income tax rate cut across the board.
  • Increases the Local Government Fund by 1.68%, resulting in an additional $5.2 million each year..
  • Moves the Ohio presidential primary election to the third Tuesday after the first Monday in March, which next year will coincide with St. Patrick’s Day on March 17.