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Rep. Robinson Statement On Suspension Of Some 2020-21 School Year Requirements Due To Pandemic

Says schools needed flexibility to address disruptions caused by COVID-19
December 23, 2020
Phillip M. Robinson, Jr. News

State Rep. Phil Robinson (D-Solon) yesterday voted in favor of House Bill (HB) 409, which included amendments from the Senate that suspend state report card grades for districts and other requirements for the 2020-2021 K-12 school year. These temporary changes are needed due to the uncommon school year caused by health safety measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This provides important flexibility that superintendents, school boards, teachers, and families have been asking for our schools,” said Rep. Robinson. “We need to look to addressing graduation requirements during the pandemic in the next General Assembly, but I am glad we could pass these needed moratoriums to help our schools and students in these difficult times.”

Rep. Robinson briefly spoke on the House floor in support of the bill and amendments, joining bipartisan support.

These school requirement moratoriums were also provisions in HB 197, the COVID-19 omnibus relief bill, for the 2019-2020 school year, now being extended to this academic year. Some of the waivers and temporary measures for the 2020-2021 school year include:

  • Suspending ranks and grades for the state report card for school districts;
  • Allow for substitute teachers who are not accredited to obtain temporary licenses;
  • Exempts students from being retained under the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee;
  • Gives the state superintendent the ability to waive some deadlines, including those for teacher evaluations.

The Senate passed HB 409 on December 17, and the House passed the amended bill 83-3 on Tuesday. It now goes to Gov. DeWine for his signature to become law.