COLUMBUS—The Ohio House today concurred on Senate changes to House Bill 438, sponsored by State Representatives Steve Hambley (R-Brunswick) and Darrell Kick (R-Loudonville), which improves policies governing Ohio’s educational service centers (ESC) in order to better serve local school districts.
Members of the Ohio House today favorably passed a slate of 28 bills that impact residents across the state, demonstrating that the House is committed to getting back to work and focused on meaningful legislation. The legislation has four main provisions, the first allowing governing boards of ESCs that serve only one county to add members to their governing board to represent the local school district that the ESC serves. This simply applies the same authority given to multi-county ESCs to single-county ESCs to ensure full and adequate representation on the board.
The second provision addressed in HB 438 allows a local school district to sever its territory from one ESC in order to join an adjacent ESC. This only applies to those districts who had previously taken these steps prior to 2011 through a portion of the Ohio Revised Code that has since been repealed.
“House Bill 438 is a narrowly focused bill that updates the way educational service centers address membership, annex territory, and serve licensed professionals,” said Hambley. “ESCs have proven to be a cost-effective tool for school districts and we should leverage these institutions as much as possible. House Bill 438 does just that.”
“I’m proud to work alongside Rep. Hambley to help schools better use the great asset that are ESCs in our state,” said Kick.
The third objective gives ESCs permission to establish Local Professional Development Committees to serve Ohio licensed educators who are not currently employed, but wish to retain their teaching license. These committees will review the educator’s coursework and continuing education requirements to ensure the activities meet the qualifications for licensure.
Added by the Senate, the fourth provision requires the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission to conduct at least three rounds of grant funding for high-performing community school distribution, using $3.8 million left over from previous rounds. A community school that has received funding in the past shall still be eligible for the funding, if the school chooses to apply.
House Bill 438 passed with bipartisan support and now awaits the Governor’s consideration.