COLUMBUS – Today, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) introduced Senate Bill 39, a strengthened version of his online charter school (e-school) reform bill. The new provisions are based on input from Ohioans and legislators on both sides of the aisle. The bill is similar to Senator Schiavoni’s widely supported Senate Bill 298, which received several hearings – but no vote – in the 131st General Assembly.
“Quality education should not be a partisan issue. SB 39 includes suggestions from my Republican colleagues, as well as parents and educators,” said Senator Schiavoni. “Hopefully this year we can work together to make sure Ohio’s online students have a fair shot at graduation.”
One of the new provisions in Senate Bill 39 affirms that e-schools must “provide” rather than “offer” 920 hours of learning opportunities to students in each academic year. The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) argued in a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) that the law does not require e-schools to actively educate students as long as class materials are made available online. Last year, an audit determined that ECOT owed taxpayers $60 million for exaggerating student attendance.
“The governor’s budget plan leaves many districts without proper funding. But there’s one e-school that currently owes Ohio $60 million for one year of overpayments. Imagine what students and teachers at other schools could do with that money,” said Senator Schiavoni. “As Ohio prepares for a painfully tight budget, it's no longer acceptable for e-schools to simply place classes online and expect funding from the state.”
The original bill included the following requirements:
Some of the new provisions include:
Senate Bill 298 received four hearings in the Senate Finance Committee during the 131st General Assembly. It did not receive a committee vote.
COLUMBUS - Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and members of the Senate Democratic Caucus have launched a series of trips around the state to gather opinions from parents and educators on ways to improve education in Ohio.
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Columbus—Today, State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) testified before members of the State and Local Government Committee on Senate Concurrent Resolution 4 to urge Commissioner Robert Manfred to reinstate Pete Rose to Major League Baseball. The resolution also encourages the Baseball Writers' Association to consider Pete Rose for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Cleveland—Today, Senator Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland) released the following statement calling for accountability after Judge John O'Donnell found Officer Michael Brelo not guilty of voluntary manslaughter charges in the deaths of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams: