• Re: Legislature passes legislation addressing COVID-19

    The General Assembly today passed House Bill (HB) 197 in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign the bill into law, which will take immediate effect upon his signature. Our three organizations are holding a free, video webinar on Friday, March 27, at 4 p.m. to discuss the bill and answer questions. We will provide details shortly. In the meantime, click here to read a synopsis of the bill, and click here to read the bill's fiscal note. 

    The bill makes the following education-related changes:
    • eliminates state and federal testing for the 2019-2020 school year;
    • prohibits the issuance of report cards for the 2019-2020 school year and provides a one-year safe harbor from sanctions related to the report card;
    • freezes EdChoice eligibility at the 2019-2020 list of 517 buildings;
    • permits students and their school-aged siblings who attended or would have attended a building on the 2019-2020 eligibility list to receive a voucher;
    • waives the third-grade reading guarantee retention requirement;
    • permits schools to grant high school diplomas to students on track to graduate and for whom the principal determines that the student has successfully completed the curriculum;
    • permits schools not to conduct evaluations of district employees, including teachers, administrators or superintendents, for the 2019-2020 school year if determined impractical or impossible;
    • prohibits the use of 2019-2020 value-added data for the purpose of teacher evaluations;
    • permits certain state-licensed individuals to provide services electronically or via telehealth communication to students with special needs;
    • delays all licensure deadlines so that expiring licenses must be renewed no later than 90 days after the emergency period ends or Dec. 1, 2020, whichever is sooner;
    • sets April 28 as the final day of voting for the March 17 primary election and prohibits in-person voting for that election;
    • authorizes the tax commissioner to extend school district income tax filing and payment deadlines for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency declaration;
    • permits boards of education to use electronic communication for in-person meetings and hearings during the emergency period but not later than Dec. 1, 2020;
    • permits the state director of agriculture to exempt school districts from registering as a food processing establishment overseen by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and from paying registration fees;
    • permits the issuance of one-year, nonrenewable, provisional educator licenses provided certain conditions are met;
    • permits schools to make up through distance learning any number of days or hours necessary to meet minimum instructional hour requirements.

COVID-19 Resources