Today Gov. John R. Kasich signed legislation relieving Ohio's public schools of several unfunded mandates. Through House Bill 30 (Gardner) -- the School Mandate Relief Act -- schools will no longer be obligated to fund some of the most costly portions of the "Evidence-Based Model," a plan passed during the last general assembly.
"With the passage of the School Mandate Relief Act, school districts across the state were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief," said Kasich. "Forcing schools to pay for unnecessary and costly mandates is irresponsible, and this legislation addresses concerns raised throughout the education community. At a time when school and taxpayer budgets are stretched thin, it is crucial we do everything we can to eliminate unfunded mandates while continually and appropriately striking the balance between education needs and taxpayers' limitations."
Many changes under the School Mandate Relief Act impact various accounting, spending and reporting requirements, including eliminating the authority of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to impose rules in these areas. The legislation also lifts the unfunded mandate requiring schools to offer all-day kindergarten and places the authority to charge tuition for all-day kindergarten back in the hands of most districts. Other provisions include the elimination of the requirement that school districts set aside a specified amount per pupil into a textbook and materials fund, and ending a policy requiring school districts to establish family and civic engagement teams.