Legislative Watch – December 18, 2020

HB 409 – Ohio Senate Passes More Covid-19 School Flexibility Measures

The Ohio Senate passed more Covid-19 school flexibility measures supported by OEA this week (12.17.20). The Ohio House still needs to concur with Senate changes to House Bill 409.

HB 409 would do the following:

  • Suspends report card letter grades for the 2020-21 school year.
  • Establishes a safe harbor from penalties and sanctions for school districts and schools based on the state report card data for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Exempts for the 2020-2021 school year schools from retaining a student under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee based solely on the student’s academic performance in reading, unless the student’s principal and reading teacher determine the student is not reading at grade level and is not prepared for fourth grade.

For a summary and status of recent legislation with Covid-19 flexibility provisions, click here.

HB 442 – Reduces Resident Educator License to 2 years and Eliminates Certain Licenses

Before passing HB 442 this week (12.17.20), the Ohio Senate Transportation, Commerce, and Workforce Committee added language that would do the following:

  • Eliminates the requirement that individuals hold a substitute license from the state board of education.
  • No longer require a separate pupil services license from the state board of education for certain individuals already licensed by another professional board (i.e. school speech language pathologists, audiologists, school nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and social workers).
  • Requires the State Board of Education to determine a method to condense the four-year Teacher Residency program into a two-year program, including a timeframe by which individuals already enrolled in the program will complete the program.

For a summary of HB 442, click here.