Beginning in late summer, we published a series of policy briefs designed to help frame the biggest education issues facing Ohio lawmakers in the upcoming budget cycle.
Here’s a quick look at the issues we covered and our policy recommendations.
Ohio policymakers have strongly supported parental choice in education for decades. Today, more than 250,000 of the state’s 1.6 million students attend public charter schools, enroll in private schools with the support of state-funded scholarships, or participate in interdistrict open enrollment.
In this brief, we explored ways that they could continue to strengthen school choice. Recommendations focused on ways to improve funding for charter schools, expand eligibility for private school scholarships, and make interdistrict open enrollment a reality throughout the entire state.
You can read the full school choice brief here.
Funding questions already loom large over the upcoming budget season. The state’s current funding formula, which was enacted during the previous budget cycle, remains a work in progress, as state lawmakers will need to decide whether to fully fund the new system. But it’s not just about the final price tag. State leaders must also ensure that the funding they allocate to schools is spent wisely and in support of students. With these priorities in mind, we offered several recommendations aimed at moving Ohio toward a more efficient, productive, and transparent funding structure.
You can read the full school funding imperatives brief here.
Media coverage of teacher shortages was common across Ohio in 2022. But the stories often focused on pandemic issues or current societal forces when many of the pipeline problems have been building for years.
We spelled out how longstanding issues around teacher licensing, out-of-state reciprocity, compensation structures, and retirement policies combine to keep talented individuals away from the profession. Our recommendations include concrete ways to recruit, hire, and retain the best talent for Ohio’s classrooms.
You can read the full teacher pipeline brief here.
In 2012, Ohio took an important step toward strengthening early literacy education by enacting the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. However, education disruptions experienced during the pandemic have shaken that foundation, and the negative impacts continue to be felt by our youngest students.
Despite efforts by some to remove the retention requirement for third graders reading below grade level, legislators seem eager to respond with new policies and initiatives in the upcoming state budget. We laid out three key principles they should follow as they look once again to boost early literacy: Empower parents to support their children, implement high-quality literacy programs, and maintain strong accountability for the schools and educators that do this vital work. Adhering to these precepts, we offered specific recommendations that aim to help our youngest readers reach their full potential.
You can read the full early literacy brief here.
The process of crafting of Ohio’s next biennial budget will begin in earnest in January. We are hopeful these papers will help inform and inspire lawmakers to enact policies that can drive higher student achievement in the Buckeye State.