With a new decade approaching, Network advocates are planning to hit the ground running in 2020. We asked leaders across the Network to share further details on the work they’re most excited to tackle in 2020 and beyond, from state report card improvements to advancing science-based reading instruction. Find the full series here.
What are you most excited to work on in 2020 (and beyond)?
By Chad Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy, Thomas B. Fordham Institute-Ohio
Education advocacy in Ohio typically follows a regular pattern. Odd years are dominated by the biennial budget process and endless education policy debate within the halls of the Statehouse. Even years, like 2020, are harder to predict but generally have only a smattering of legislative activity as lawmakers prepare for fall elections. Nonetheless, we’re excited about a couple of opportunities we might get to advance (and protect) good education policy during the next year.
First, a legislative committee is currently meeting to discuss ways to improve Ohio’s state report card. While the report card can certainly be improved, we’ll likely be fighting a defensive effort as foes of accountability and transparency use these deficiencies and the negative public opinion toward testing to attempt to significantly weaken the report card. This has major implications in Ohio as report card grades determine eligibility for vouchers, prescribe when districts are subject to state takeover, control where new charter schools can open, and impact charter closure and authorizer evaluations.
Second, for the last two years, there has been a concerted effort to institute a new school funding formula. It’s too early to tell if the bipartisan proposal currently being discussed will gain traction, but education—like nearly every other policy area—is shaped by funding and funding decisions.
This debate and any legislation presents an incredible opportunity to ensure that all students receive the resources they need to be successful.
It’s hard to predict whether state report cards will be modified or the school funding formula rebuilt. But one thing is certain: We’ll be spending much of 2020 laying the groundwork for a successful 2021 legislative session and the biennial budget. This includes our usual research, commentary, and education of policy makers on a variety of topics likely to be important in 2021 (in addition to report cards and funding) including equitable charter school funding, expanded eligibility for vouchers, and high quality career and technical education.
Interested in connecting with Chad about any of this work? Reach out to the PIE Network team for an introduction.