By Will Vorys
The Ohio General Assembly remains hard at work finalizing the state operating budget bill (HB 33), which is currently under consideration in the Ohio Senate. We expect the Upper Chamber to release its substitute budget bill on June 6, with the omnibus package of final amendments coming shortly thereafter. The Senate appears poised to vote on HB 33 during the second week of June, sending the bill to the Conference Committee where the Governor, House, and Senate will negotiate a final version by June 30. View a comparison that includes all of the changes made to the budget thus far. OACTS members have testified in both the House and Senate over the last several months, most recently before the Senate Education and Senate Higher Education Committees. Read the testimony. Note the following CTE-related issues we continue to advocate, and that we would recommend emphasizing with legislators:
K-12 School Funding: The executive version of the budget continues to phase in years 3 and 4 of the Fair School Funding Plan, and the House updated the formula’s 2018 teacher salary input data to 2022. We have expressed support for these changes as they appear to result in approximately $93M of additional funding to JVSDs collectively. (See simulations) We continue to recommend legislators establish a floor for state share of 50% as applied to CTE supplemental funding.
Facilities Funding: The House maintained the $200M in funding for CTPD Facility Expansion and we continue to encourage the Senate to do the same. The Construction Expansion Selection Committee continues to vet proposals.
OTC Plus: We continue to advocate revisions to the Executive Budget’s OTC Plus language (facilitating high school students enrolling in OTC programs under certain circumstances). The amendment would require the state to cover tuition costs at $12 per clock hour, and would make other technical corrections. (View language).
Other Budget Items: We continue to emphasize our support for the $100M in CTE Equipment funding, the Adult Diploma Program, the $90M in short term certificate funding (Talent Ready and Work Ready), TechCred, and IWIP. We have expressed concern regarding the proposed expansion of College Credit Plus (View language).
In addition to the budget bill, legislators remain interested in pursuing Senate Bill 1, which would rename ODE the Department of Education and Workforce (DEW) with one Career-Technical Education Division and one Primary and Secondary Education Division (each lead by a deputy director serving on the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board). The bill would also transfer policymaking authority from the State Board of Education to the newly established DEW. Attached is the bill analysis. SB 1 has received one hearing in the House and could receive more in the coming weeks. Some legislators have also expressed interest in incorporating SB 1 into the budget bill. We will continue to support SB 1 and keep you updated in the weeks ahead.