State Representative Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bill 487, part of the Mid-Biennial Review pertaining to primary and secondary education.

“HB 487 improves on many of the reforms already initiated by this General Assembly,” said Brenner, who sponsored the legislation. “It opens dual enrollment to more students and it prevents bad community schools from reopening.”

Primarily, HB 487 creates the “College Credit Plus” (CCP) program, which was previously known as Postsecondary Enrollment Options. Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, public high schools and public colleges will be required to participate in CCP, with participation by private institutions being voluntary.

The bill establishes a formula under CCP for payments to colleges and universities based on where the course is taught and the individual instructor. The formula creates a cost range per credit hour per pupil.

Under the new guidelines, all college instructors of CCP courses must meet existing credential requirements, and school districts, except under limited circumstances, may not prohibit students from participating in the program.

An amendment was added to the bill that delays the requirement that school districts provide career technical programs to students in seventh and eighth grades to permit districts more time to plan.

Finally, an omnibus amendment was added, containing several provisions, including:

  • Allowing eligible students to use EdChoice Scholarships if the Cleveland Scholarship Program is over-subscribed

  • Requiring a peer evaluation every five years of the Department of Education Office of Community School Sponsorship

  • Implementing additional accountability measures for community schools, including requiring educational service centers (ESCs) to receive approval from the Ohio Department of Education to become a statewide sponsor or to sponsor a school outside of its service area or counties and requiring sponsors to ensure financial controls are in place and enrollment has been verified prior to flowing funds to a new community school.

  • Prohibiting discrimination against home-schooled students educated in nonchartered nonpublic schools regarding admission to a public college or university

House Bill 487 will now go to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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