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Two Education Bills That Could Help Ohio's Dropouts

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Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 9:47 PM

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This spring, Governor John Kasich called attention to Ohio's dropout problem when he mentioned the 24,000 students who leave Ohio schools without a diploma each year. In his mid-year budget review, Kasich laid out a number of initiatives to get students at risk of dropping out re-engaged in their education. The resulting legislation made its way through the Ohio House this week, and there's a separate bill pending that could also help students who didn't graduate from high school.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the legislation on the table.

House Bill 487-- Budget Review education proposals
  • Introduced March 18th, the bill would require school districts to develop criteria to identify students at risk of dropping out. The criteria must be research and or locally based, but the bill doesn’t give any specifics as to what that means.
  • Requires school districts create a so-called success plan for any student flagged as being at risk of dropping out. The success plan would lay out a pathway for the student to graduate and incorporate career tech education or experiential learning options available to the student.  The student’s parents or guardian must get a copy of the plan, and the district must also provide that student with some amount of career advising.
  • Where the bill stands: passed the House and is now awaiting debate by the Senate.
House Bill 343—Education programs for those without a high school diploma
  • First introduced by Republican Representative Gerald Stebleton last November, this bill would allow adults ages 22-29 to go back to a dropout recovery school, Ohio's 8 big urban school districts, or a poor performing school district to earn a high school diploma.
  • Dropout recovery schools--which are largely charter schools run by White Hat Management--could receive $5800 in state funding per adult student, and the money would come from the district where the adult student lives.
  • Allows charter schools that serve students in a dropout recovery program to operate an adult basic and literacy education program.  Such programs offer basic reading, math, and GED tutoring.  Those charter schools could receive state grants to offer those programs.
  • Where the bill stands: It's sitting in the House Education Committee, and has not yet had any hearings.

 Update: H.B. 343 has largely been folded into H.B. 483 as an amendment--another bill stemming from Governor Kasich's mid-biennium budget review--according to State Representative Teresa Fedor who serves on the House Education Committee.

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