A conference committee of state lawmakers reached an agreement on Ohio’s two-year, $112 billion budget late Monday night, voting 4-2 on party lines to approve the budget. The Senate will likely vote on the compromise budget today, and the House on Wednesday. Gov. Kasich has said he plans to sign the budget Thursday, and the budget would then take effect Friday.
Education spending is the second largest general revenue area of expense in the total two-year budget and the largest in terms of state-only funding. Medicaid is the single largest program in the state budget.
Among the changes included in the budget outlined by the Columbus Dispatch are:
- Every district by the start of the 2013-14 school year must adopt a new teacher-evaluation system that conforms to a framework the state Department of Education is to develop this year. That framework will require that 50 percent of an evaluation must be tied to student academic performance.
- Schools participating in Race to the Top would be required to pay teachers according to a performance-based system. (More than half of Ohio districts are participating in Race to the Top.)
- Districts are prohibited from using seniority as the preference when determining the order of layoffs.
- People or groups may establish as many as 20 charter schools a year over the next five years through the Department of Education instead of a traditional nonprofit sponsor.
Among the additional changes outlined by the Plain Dealer are:
- New e-schools are banned until 2013.
- School districts must only pay for two additional years of education for high school dropouts.
- Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson may remove collective bargaining rights for employees being converted into charter schools.
You can read through the 420-page bill yourself. See anything else interesting?