Catholic Conference of Ohio
Thursday, July 19, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

General Assembly enacts helpful provisions impacting Catholic school students

Lame Duck session in December, 2016, very busy

  • 13 January 2017
  • Author: Jim Tobin
  • Number of views: 908


Legislative Report
“Lame Duck Session’’
(December 2016)

Drug Prevention

Sheriff’s services at private schools and higher education institutions – A county sheriff is permitted to enter into contracts with chartered nonpublic schools located in the sheriff’s territorial jurisdiction to provide community preventive education programs, which include but are not limited to DARE programs and other programs designed to educate adults or children about the dangers of drug abuse. Note – this is permissive, not required. Effective March 16, 2016.


Kindergarten Readiness Assessment – Any chartered nonpublic school with a kindergarten program may elect to administer the Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.  Participating schools shall meet the following conditions:

  • Notify the State Superintendent of Public Instruction no later than March 31 prior to any school year in which the school will administer the assessment, which will be provided by the ODE at no cost to the school;
  • Agree to share each student’s assessment data with the ODE. Each participating student will be assigned a data verification code (Statewide Student Identifier Number), which is the same code assigned to state-sponsored scholarship students;
  • Ensure that a kindergarten teacher working under a nontax certificate either has been trained by the ODE or has been trained by another person who has completed such training, or order to administer the assessment. Effective for the 2018-2019 school year.

Administration of the ACT/SAT

A student who receives a “remediation-free” score in English, math and reading on the nationally standardized assessment (ACT or SAT) and has presented evidence of that  fact to the student’s district, school, or chartered nonpublic school, shall not be required to take the test a second time, but may do so if the student chooses.

As noted in the memo, “Graduation Requirements for Students in Chartered Nonpublic Schools, 2016-2017” (dated 10/20/16), the following are the TESTING requirements under Ohio law for students in chartered nonpublic schools: Testing requirements are different from graduation requirements. See also ODE website – (CNP information page), in the blue section of the blue and green grid on Graduation and Testing Requirements. Students in the class of 2018 (current juniors) and beyond, whether or not they hold state-sponsored scholarships, must do ONE of the following in order to meet testing requirements:

  • Take a national college admissions test (ACT or SAT) and 7 EOCS; OR
  • Take only the national college admission test, if the school published aggregate results for the class##; O
  • Take an approved alternative assessment (##Under RC3301.0711 (L) (3), aggregate scores are defined as the overall composite scores, mean scores, twenty-fifth percentile scores for each subject area of the assessment.)  

The General Assembly clarified in the below-stated language that select public and chartered nonpublic high school special needs students and students who do not speak English as their first language shall not be required to take the ACT and/or SAT.

Specifically, this applies to:

  1. A student who has significant cognitive disabilities and is administered an alternate assessment in accordance with the student's individual education plan (IEP);
  2. A student who has a disability that includes an intellectual disability, as outlined in guidance issued by the Department of Education;
  3. A student who is a limited English proficient student who has been enrolled in United States schools for less than two years and for whom no appropriate accommodations are available based on guidance issued by the Department;

In addition, the exemption specifically prohibits a district board or chartered nonpublic school governing authority from prohibiting such a student from taking the nationally standardized assessment that measures college and career readiness. Effective March 16, 2017.

Substitute end-of-course exams – Specifies that a student’s score on a substitute end-of-course exam, a score of 2 on an Advance Placement exam or a score of 2 or 3 on an International Baccalaureate exam is equivalent to a proficient level of skill. Effective March 16, 2017.

State Seal of Biliteracy -- The State Board of Education is required to establish a State Seal of Biliteracy  and develop rules for its use. The seal may be affixed to the transcripts of qualifying public and nonpublic high school students to demonstrate the attainment of a high level of proficiency in languages other than English. Note – use of the state seal of biliteracy is permissive, not required. Effective March 16, 2017.

School Security – The General Assembly has allocated $7.35 million in the Department of Public Safety to provide competitive grants of up to $100,000 to 501 (C) (3)  nonprofit organizations for “eligible security improvements that assist the organization in preventing, preparing for, or responding to acts of terrorism.”  The Emergency Management Agency of the Department of Public Safety is charged with administering the grants. Conference staff will forward information about the grant process once it is available from DPS. Effective immediately.

EDChoice Scholarship Program -- A district or specific public school that is designated for students to be eligible for EdChoice scholarships in 2016-2017 shall continue to be designated through the 2018-2019 school year, regardless of whether the district or building meets the conditions that would remove the designation.  Effective March 16, 2017.

Nonpublic school student participation in interscholastic athletics and other interscholastic contests -- A statutory change permits a student enrolled in a chartered nonpublic or nonchartered nonpublic school to participate in interscholastic athletics or competition in music, drama, or forensics at the school district in which the student’s nonpublic school is located if the student’s nonpublic school does not offer that particular interscholastic athletic or other interscholastic activity and the chosen district does offer such activity. The superintendent of the student’s district of residence and the superintendent of the district in which the nonpublic school is located must mutually agree in writing to allow the student to participate in the activity. Students, however, are prohibited from participating at both the resident district of residence and the district in which the nonpublic school is located. Effective March 16, 2017.

Alternative resident educator license – Qualifies for an alternative resident educator license an individual who has not completed coursework in the subject area for which the individual is applying to teach, as long as the individual holds a baccalaureate degree, completes required teacher preparation, and passes the exam in the subject area for which he/she is applying. Effective March 16, 2017.

Draft legislation for Independent Schools (Sen. Hite) – Sen. Hite met with several Catholic and other chartered nonpublic high school administrators in mid November to discuss his draft legislation to establish a Division of Accredited Schools for schools accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). At that meeting, Catholic and other chartered nonpublic high school administrators asked  Sen. Hite to reconsider the legislation on the grounds that it sets up a two-tiered class system of chartered nonpublic schools in which ISACS accredited schools, solely on the basis of being accredited by ISACS, would receive state-funding and other benefits of chartered status without having to comply with most state laws and regulations. In mid December, Sen. Hite asked the chartered nonpublic school associations opposing the draft legislation to present a counter proposal. Conference staff is collaborating with the Associations of Christian Schools International, Ohio District of the Lutheran Church and the Ohio Conference of Seventh Day Adventists to draft a proposal.

CCP (College Credit Plus) 

Reminders -- All public school, private school and homeschool students must declare their intent to participate by April 1, even if they participated last year. Letters of intent for private school and homeschool students must be uploaded from the “Forms” section below. To enhance data security, parents of private and homeschool students (ONLY) are required to establish a SAFE Account before their student can apply for funding (

All high schools must host an information session for families and students between October 1 and February 15.

Athletics and CCP -- Public and nonpublic school students shall not be denied the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics solely because the student is participating in the College Credit Plus Program. 

Categories: Education


Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking

Oh God, we didn't see them.

But you did-

The hundreds and thousands of human beings trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in modern-day slavery.

Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plow fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes, and haul water.

Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs and small shoulders for bearing rifles.

Their labor is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden from those who don't really want to see them.

But you see them all, God of the poor.

You hear their cry and you answer by opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts and loosening our tongues to insist:

No mas. No more.