From the Superintendent
Last week’s sequestration announcement is raising many questions about the impact that federal cuts will have on local education funding. Here’s what we do know, the earliest impact will be in the 2013-2014 school year. We do not know yet what the exact impact will be at the federal grant levels.
While the sequester will reduce the amount received for most of the annually-appropriated federal grants, it is not expected to impact already awarded competitive grants such as Race to the Top, Early Learning Challenge, Teacher Incentive Funding and Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems. Once the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2013 budget is approved by Congress, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) will determine state and district allocations by grant later this spring. ODE will then inform districts of the allocations.
I encourage you to keep abreast of developments and to closely evaluate the options and choices you face in making spending decisions. Remember, these reductions in allocations do not change compliance requirements such as Maintenance of Effort and Supplement, not Supplant. In other words, if you consider moving the funding of a program from a federal source to a state or local source, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to move back to a federal source at a later date.
We will continue to provide you with guidance as soon as it is issued by the USDOE.
Also, the State Board of Education Accountability Committee is wrapping up its work to develop the new Local Report Card as specified in House Bill 555. On March 12, during the State Board of Education Meeting, committee members will present their draft recommendations and report card designs to the full board. Educators from around Ohio will continue to have the opportunity to provide their thoughts on report card elements and presentation. For more information and to comment, click here.
Finally, the Ohio General Assembly is considering SB 21, which proposes modifications to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee with regard to teacher qualifications and students with significant disabilities. For a summary of the proposed changes as they currently stand and information on future policy updates on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, please click here.