A bill was introduced in the Ohio Senate in October that would reduce the number of required mandates for school districts. This bill is known as the Ohio Public School Deregulation Act, sponsored by Senator Matt Huffman (12th District). If approved, approximately 100 mandates would be reduced, many of which adversely affect Sidney City Schools.
Most school districts, including Sidney, continue to have a shortage of substitute teachers. This bill would establish a single substitute license and eliminate a long-term substitute license. The long-term substitute license currently requires that a substitute teaching in a particular area for more than 5 continuous days possess the same teaching license. Thus, securing a sub teacher in areas such as Physics, Chemistry, Special Education, and Calculus is a difficult task.
The bill would also change teacher licensure by consolidating teacher licenses into two grade bands, K-8 and 6-12, instead of the current licensure structure of Pre K-3, 4-9, and 7-12.
Open Enrollment costs SCS close to $3.6 million annually in lost revenue. The school district where an Open Enrollment student from SCS attends receives both the state share ($3,438) and local share ($2,572) for a total of $6,010. By sending only the state share and retaining the local share (that taxpayers have paid for) would result in a win-win situation, not winners and losers.
Finally, the Autism/Jon Peterson Scholarship is awarded to parents who elect to send their child to a private or parochial school, and who have special needs, ranging from speech to visual impairment to autism. Last school year (2016-2017), SCS paid out $537,162 in scholarship costs.
It would certainly be a welcome relief if unfunded mandates and mandates from the state would be reduced or eliminated.
Lastly, 2017 Hall of Honor recipient Mick Given was inadvertently not mentioned in my May newsletter message. Mick, SHS ‘75, continues to be a strong leader in our community and has been especially influential in the development of the Workforce Partnership and Workforce Academy programs within Sidney City Schools. We’re grateful for his service to our community.