The Ohio House of Representatives is considering amendments that would benefit our school as a part of House Bill 49, the state’s biennial budget. We are asking those who support our school and independent education to contact their representative to ask them to support these important, nonpartisan changes to state law.
The state of Ohio has rigid curriculum requirements that our upper school students must complete in order to receive our school’s diploma. These seat time and unit requirements found within state law fundamentally inhibit the innovation our school is able to implement in our upper school’s curriculum. The ability to adjust our school’s curriculum to what colleges are seeking from our school’s graduates, and what is expected of ISACS-accredited schools, is secondary to what state law requires. This setup is contradictory to the role of an independent school in our state’s educational landscape. Amendment HC 2202 will allow our school, not the state, to determine the curriculum and credits needed to receive our school’s diploma.
Our school is incredibly fortunate to receive funding from the state of Ohio for instructional materials and for certain services provided by our school. However, since the 1960’s, these funds have gone first to the school district where our school is located. The school district then keeps part of the money as a “fee” and approves the use of these funds by our school. This setup is in place because of a clause in the Ohio Constitution that prohibits religious organizations from receiving school funds directly. This provision, of course, is not applicable to our school. Amendment HC 2201 permits our school to receive this money directly and spend it according to what state law allows, and also subjects the money to an audit by the Ohio Department of Education School districts would also ultimately benefit, as the money they receive in fees for managing these funds would be offset by the massive reduction in paperwork normally for auxiliary funds expenditures by our school.
Amendment HC 2197 would allow our school to choose whether or not to participate in the College Credit Plus program. Our teaching professionals and administrators make College Credit Plus participation decisions based on a number of factors. Our judgment should not be pre-empted by state government that force our participation. The amendment would permit our school to opt-out of participating in the College Credit Plus program. This opt-out would be allowed so long as the school provided notification to parents at the time of enrollment or re-enrollment that the school does not participate in the program.
The Ohio High School Athletic Association’s (OHSAA) current bylaws specifically prohibit “non-resident” international students enrolled at a school in Ohio from participating in any OHSAA-sanctioned events or any club teams in sports sanctioned by the OHSAA. The OHSAA bylaws do allow an exception for exchange students. This means that students attending a private school since the 6th grade may not play any sports in grades 9-12, yet an exchange student who is here for one year may participate. The current bylaw is designed to discriminate against private schools, which often enroll foreign students for multiple years, as opposed to exchange students who may attend public schools for one year. Amendment HC 2199 would allow international students to be treated the same as Ohio resident students at our school and participate in athletics.
Please consider contacting your member of the House of Representatives on our behalf. You can find your representative by going to www.ohiohouse.gov and enter your zip code in the Member Search area at the left side of the page. Once you enter your zip code and press “Search,” you can click on the link on the next page to email your representative. Please tell your representative you are emailing on behalf of our school and that these nonpartisan amendments are important to you, to our school and independent education.