Huffman Announces Legislation Providing Additional Support and Flexibility to Ohio's Schools Heads to Governor
COLUMBUS - The House concurred today with Senate amendments included in House Bill 164, championed by State Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima), giving K-12 schools additional support and flexibility as they plan for the new school year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our job as state leaders is to help provide support and flexibility to our local leaders," said Huffman. "This is what we have done in House Bill 164. In order for our schools to open this fall, we needed to act quickly to help provide them with resolution and direction that will help make their lives easier as they plan for the new school year."
The Senate worked to include the following amendments to House Bill 164:
- Allows superintendents flexibility in assigning a licensed teacher outside of their subject matter or grade band in 2020-2021.
- Provides additional funding from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) to each school district based on its combined state foundation aid and the federal CARES Act School Emergency Relief Fund.
- Suspends the requirement that the State Board of Education increase the cut score for 4th grade promotion in the 3rd grade reading test for the 2020-21 school year, and allows districts to assign more teachers to assist struggling readers.
- Allows students who were unable to take their scheduled state end of course exams in spring 2020 to earn points toward their graduation requirements based on their letter grade for that course instead of having to take the exam in a subsequent year.
- Directs ODE to create an online bus driver recertification program in lieu of required classroom hours.
- Allows the governing body of a public school to adopt a remote learning model for the 2020-21 school year.
- Extends the current authority for licensed special education providers to serve children using tele-health and electronic communication through the 2020-2021 school year.
- Provides additional funding for school districts that have experienced valuation losses that were not accounted for through foundation funding.
To learn more on this legislation, click here.
The bill, having passed both the Ohio Senate and House with strong bipartisan support, now heads to the Governor for a signature.