130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. B. No. 79  As Introduced
As Introduced

126th General Assembly
Regular Session
2005-2006
H. B. No. 79


Representatives Raga, Latta, Setzer, C. Evans, Hagan, DeWine, McGregor, Willamowski, Gilb, Flowers 



A BILL
To amend sections 3314.03, 3319.291, and 3319.311 and to enact sections 3319.313, 5126.253, and 5153.176 of the Revised Code to require that information about professional misconduct or child abuse or neglect committed by a person licensed by the State Board of Education be submitted to the Superintendent of Public Instruction and to require the State Board to request a criminal records check prior to renewing an educator license.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 3314.03, 3319.291, and 3319.311 be amended and sections 3319.313, 5126.253, and 5153.176 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 3314.03.  A copy of every contract entered into under this section shall be filed with the superintendent of public instruction.
(A) Each contract entered into between a sponsor and the governing authority of a community school shall specify the following:
(1) That the school shall be established as either of the following:
(a) A nonprofit corporation established under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code, if established prior to April 8, 2003;
(b) A public benefit corporation established under Chapter 1702. of the Revised Code, if established after April 8, 2003;
(2) The education program of the school, including the school's mission, the characteristics of the students the school is expected to attract, the ages and grades of students, and the focus of the curriculum;
(3) The academic goals to be achieved and the method of measurement that will be used to determine progress toward those goals, which shall include the statewide achievement tests;
(4) Performance standards by which the success of the school will be evaluated by the sponsor;
(5) The admission standards of section 3314.06 of the Revised Code;
(6)(a) Dismissal procedures;
(b) A requirement that the governing authority adopt an attendance policy that includes a procedure for automatically withdrawing a student from the school if the student without a legitimate excuse fails to participate in one hundred five consecutive hours of the learning opportunities offered to the student. Such a policy shall provide for withdrawing the student by the end of the thirtieth day after the student has failed to participate as required under this division.
(7) The ways by which the school will achieve racial and ethnic balance reflective of the community it serves;
(8) Requirements for financial audits by the auditor of state. The contract shall require financial records of the school to be maintained in the same manner as are financial records of school districts, pursuant to rules of the auditor of state, and the audits shall be conducted in accordance with section 117.10 of the Revised Code.
(9) The facilities to be used and their locations;
(10) Qualifications of teachers, including a requirement that the school's classroom teachers be licensed in accordance with sections 3319.22 to 3319.31 of the Revised Code, except that a community school may engage noncertificated persons to teach up to twelve hours per week pursuant to section 3319.301 of the Revised Code;
(11) That the school will comply with the following requirements:
(a) The school will provide learning opportunities to a minimum of twenty-five students for a minimum of nine hundred twenty hours per school year;
(b) The governing authority will purchase liability insurance, or otherwise provide for the potential liability of the school;
(c) The school will be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and all other operations, and will not be operated by a sectarian school or religious institution;
(d) The school will comply with sections 9.90, 9.91, 109.65, 121.22, 149.43, 2151.358, 2151.421, 2313.18, 3301.0710, 3301.0711, 3301.0712, 3301.0715, 3313.50, 3313.608, 3313.6012, 3313.643, 3313.648, 3313.66, 3313.661, 3313.662, 3313.67, 3313.671, 3313.672, 3313.673, 3313.69, 3313.71, 3313.716, 3313.80, 3313.96, 3319.073, 3319.313, 3319.321, 3319.39, 3321.01, 3321.13, 3321.14, 3321.17, 3321.18, 3321.19, 3321.191, 3327.10, 4111.17, 4113.52, and 5705.391 and Chapters 117., 1347., 2744., 3365., 3742., 4112., 4123., 4141., and 4167. of the Revised Code as if it were a school district and will comply with section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code in the manner specified in section 3314.17 of the Revised Code;
(e) The school shall comply with Chapter 102. of the Revised Code except that nothing in that chapter shall prohibit a member of the school's governing board from also being an employee of the school and nothing in that chapter or section 2921.42 of the Revised Code shall prohibit a member of the school's governing board from having an interest in a contract into which the governing board enters that is not a contract with a for-profit firm for the operation or management of a school under the auspices of the governing authority;
(f) The school will comply with sections 3313.61, 3313.611, and 3313.614 of the Revised Code, except that the requirement in sections 3313.61 and 3313.611 of the Revised Code that a person must successfully complete the curriculum in any high school prior to receiving a high school diploma may be met by completing the curriculum adopted by the governing authority of the community school rather than the curriculum specified in Title XXXIII of the Revised Code or any rules of the state board of education;
(g) The school governing authority will submit within four months after the end of each school year a report of its activities and progress in meeting the goals and standards of divisions (A)(3) and (4) of this section and its financial status to the sponsor, the parents of all students enrolled in the school, and the legislative office of education oversight. The school will collect and provide any data that the legislative office of education oversight requests in furtherance of any study or research that the general assembly requires the office to conduct, including the studies required under Section 50.39 of Am. Sub. H.B. 215 of the 122nd general assembly and Section 50.52.2 of Am. Sub. H.B. 215 of the 122nd general assembly, as amended.
(12) Arrangements for providing health and other benefits to employees;
(13) The length of the contract, which shall begin at the beginning of an academic year. No contract shall exceed five years unless such contract has been renewed pursuant to division (E) of this section.
(14) The governing authority of the school, which shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of the contract;
(15) A financial plan detailing an estimated school budget for each year of the period of the contract and specifying the total estimated per pupil expenditure amount for each such year. The plan shall specify for each year the base formula amount that will be used for purposes of funding calculations under section 3314.08 of the Revised Code. This base formula amount for any year shall not exceed the formula amount defined under section 3317.02 of the Revised Code. The plan may also specify for any year a percentage figure to be used for reducing the per pupil amount of disadvantaged pupil impact aid calculated pursuant to section 3317.029 of the Revised Code the school is to receive that year under section 3314.08 of the Revised Code.
(16) Requirements and procedures regarding the disposition of employees of the school in the event the contract is terminated or not renewed pursuant to section 3314.07 of the Revised Code;
(17) Whether the school is to be created by converting all or part of an existing public school or is to be a new start-up school, and if it is a converted public school, specification of any duties or responsibilities of an employer that the board of education that operated the school before conversion is delegating to the governing board of the community school with respect to all or any specified group of employees provided the delegation is not prohibited by a collective bargaining agreement applicable to such employees;
(18) Provisions establishing procedures for resolving disputes or differences of opinion between the sponsor and the governing authority of the community school;
(19) A provision requiring the governing authority to adopt a policy regarding the admission of students who reside outside the district in which the school is located. That policy shall comply with the admissions procedures specified in section 3314.06 of the Revised Code and, at the sole discretion of the authority, shall do one of the following:
(a) Prohibit the enrollment of students who reside outside the district in which the school is located;
(b) Permit the enrollment of students who reside in districts adjacent to the district in which the school is located;
(c) Permit the enrollment of students who reside in any other district in the state.
(20) A provision recognizing the authority of the department of education to take over the sponsorship of the school in accordance with the provisions of division (C) of section 3314.015 of the Revised Code;
(21) A provision recognizing the sponsor's authority to assume the operation of a school under the conditions specified in division (B) of section 3314.073 of the Revised Code;
(22) A provision recognizing both of the following:
(a) The authority of public health and safety officials to inspect the facilities of the school and to order the facilities closed if those officials find that the facilities are not in compliance with health and safety laws and regulations;
(b) The authority of the department of education as the community school oversight body to suspend the operation of the school under section 3314.072 of the Revised Code if the department has evidence of conditions or violations of law at the school that pose an imminent danger to the health and safety of the school's students and employees and the sponsor refuses to take such action;
(23) A description of the learning opportunities that will be offered to students including both classroom-based and non-classroom-based learning opportunities that is in compliance with criteria for student participation established by the department under division (L)(2) of section 3314.08 of the Revised Code;
(24) The school will comply with section 3302.04 of the Revised Code, including division (E) of that section to the extent possible, except that any action required to be taken by a school district pursuant to that section shall be taken by the sponsor of the school. However, the sponsor shall not be required to take any action described in division (F) of that section.
(B) The community school shall also submit to the sponsor a comprehensive plan for the school. The plan shall specify the following:
(1) The process by which the governing authority of the school will be selected in the future;
(2) The management and administration of the school;
(3) If the community school is a currently existing public school, alternative arrangements for current public school students who choose not to attend the school and teachers who choose not to teach in the school after conversion;
(4) The instructional program and educational philosophy of the school;
(5) Internal financial controls.
(C) A contract entered into under section 3314.02 of the Revised Code between a sponsor and the governing authority of a community school may provide for the community school governing authority to make payments to the sponsor, which is hereby authorized to receive such payments as set forth in the contract between the governing authority and the sponsor. The total amount of such payments for oversight and monitoring of the school shall not exceed three per cent of the total amount of payments for operating expenses that the school receives from the state.
(D) The contract shall specify the duties of the sponsor which shall be in accordance with the written agreement entered into with the department of education under division (B) of section 3314.015 of the Revised Code and shall include the following:
(1) Monitor the community school's compliance with all laws applicable to the school and with the terms of the contract;
(2) Monitor and evaluate the academic and fiscal performance and the organization and operation of the community school on at least an annual basis;
(3) Report on an annual basis the results of the evaluation conducted under division (D)(2) of this section to the department of education and to the parents of students enrolled in the community school;
(4) Provide technical assistance to the community school in complying with laws applicable to the school and terms of the contract;
(5) Take steps to intervene in the school's operation to correct problems in the school's overall performance, declare the school to be on probationary status pursuant to section 3314.073 of the Revised Code, suspend the operation of the school pursuant to section 3314.072 of the Revised Code, or terminate the contract of the school pursuant to section 3314.07 of the Revised Code as determined necessary by the sponsor;
(6) Have in place a plan of action to be undertaken in the event the community school experiences financial difficulties or closes prior to the end of a school year.
(E) Upon the expiration of a contract entered into under this section, the sponsor of a community school may, with the approval of the governing authority of the school, renew that contract for a period of time determined by the sponsor, but not ending earlier than the end of any school year, if the sponsor finds that the school's compliance with applicable laws and terms of the contract and the school's progress in meeting the academic goals prescribed in the contract have been satisfactory. Any contract that is renewed under this division remains subject to the provisions of sections 3314.07, 3314.072, and 3314.073 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 3319.291.  (A) When any person initially applies for any certificate, license, or permit described in division (B) of section 3301.071, in section 3301.074, 3319.088, 3319.29, 3319.302, or 3319.304, or in division (A) of section 3319.303 of the Revised Code, and when any person applies for a renewal of such certificate, license, or permit, the state board of education shall require the person to submit with the application two complete sets of fingerprints and written permission that authorizes the superintendent of public instruction to forward the fingerprints to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation pursuant to division (F) of section 109.57 of the Revised Code and that authorizes that bureau to forward the fingerprints to the federal bureau of investigation for purposes of obtaining any criminal records that the federal bureau maintains on the person.
(B) The Except as provided in division (C) of this section, prior to issuing or renewing any certificate, license, or permit described in this section, the state board of education or the superintendent of public instruction shall request the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation to investigate and determine whether the bureau has any information, gathered pursuant to division (A) of section 109.57 of the Revised Code, pertaining to any person submitting fingerprints and written permission under this section. If the person does not present proof that the person has been a resident of this state for the five-year period immediately prior to the date upon which the investigation described in this division is requested, or does not provide evidence that within that five-year period the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation has requested information about the person from the federal bureau of investigation, the state board or the superintendent of public instruction shall request the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation to obtain any criminal records that the federal bureau of investigation has on the person. If the person presents proof that the person has been a resident of this state for that five-year period, the state board or the superintendent of public instruction may request the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation to obtain any criminal records that the federal bureau of investigation has on the person.
(C) The state board or the superintendent of public instruction may choose not to request any information required by division (B) of this section if the person applying for the issuance or renewal of a certificate, license, or permit described in this section provides proof that a criminal records check was conducted on the person as a condition of employment pursuant to section 3319.39 of the Revised Code within the immediately preceding year. The state board or the superintendent of public instruction may accept a certified copy of records that were issued by the bureau of criminal identification and investigation and that are presented by a person applying for the issuance or renewal of a certificate, license, or permit described in this section in lieu of requesting that information under division (B) of this section if the records were issued by the bureau within the immediately preceding year.
Sec. 3319.311.  (A) The state board of education, or the superintendent of public instruction on behalf of the board, may investigate any information received about a person that reasonably appears to be a basis for action under section 3319.31 of the Revised Code, including information received pursuant to section 3319.313, 5126.253, or 5153.176 of the Revised Code. The board shall contract with the office of the Ohio attorney general to conduct any investigation of that nature. The board shall pay for the costs of the contract only from moneys in the state board of education licensure fund established under division (B) of section 3319.51 of the Revised Code. All information received pursuant to section 3319.313, 5126.253, or 5153.176 of the Revised Code, and all information obtained during an investigation is confidential and is not a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code. If an investigation is conducted under this division regarding information received about a person and no action is taken against the person under this section or section 3319.31 of the Revised Code within two years of the completion of the investigation, all records of the investigation shall be expunged.
(B) The superintendent of public instruction shall review the results of each investigation of a person conducted under division (A) of this section and shall determine, on behalf of the state board, whether the results warrant initiating action under section 3319.31 of the Revised Code. The superintendent shall advise the board of such determination at a meeting of the board. Within fourteen days of the next meeting of the board, any member of the board may ask that the question of initiating action under section 3319.31 of the Revised Code be placed on the board's agenda for that next meeting. Prior to initiating that action against any person, the person's name and any other personally identifiable information shall remain confidential.
(C) The board shall take no action against a person under section 3319.31 of the Revised Code without providing the person with written notice of the charges and with an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
(D) For purposes of an investigation under division (A) of this section or a hearing under division (C) of this section, the board, or the superintendent on behalf of the board, may administer oaths, order the taking of depositions, issue subpoenas, and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, accounts, papers, records, documents, and testimony. The issuance of subpoenas under this division may be by certified mail or personal delivery to the person.
(E) The superintendent, on behalf of the board, may enter into a consent agreement with a person against whom action is being taken under section 3319.31 of the Revised Code. The board may adopt rules governing the superintendent's action under this division.
(F) The board automatically may suspend any license without a prior hearing if the license holder is convicted of or pleads guilty to one or more of the following offenses or a violation of an ordinance of a municipal corporation or a law of another state that is substantially comparable to one of the following offenses: aggravated murder; murder; aggravated arson; aggravated robbery; aggravated burglary; voluntary manslaughter; felonious assault; kidnapping; rape; sexual battery; gross sexual imposition; or unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. A suspension under this division is effective on the date of the conviction or guilty plea.
For a suspension under this division, the board, in accordance with section 119.07 of the Revised Code, shall issue a written order of suspension to the license holder by certified mail or in person and shall afford the person a hearing upon request. If the person does not request a hearing within the time limits established by that section, the board shall enter a final order revoking the person's license. An order of suspension under this division is not subject to suspension by a court during the pendency of an appeal filed under section 119.12 of the Revised Code.
An order of suspension under this division shall remain in effect, unless reversed on appeal, until the final order of the board, issued pursuant to this section and Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, becomes effective. The board shall issue a final order within sixty days of the date of an order of suspension under this division or a hearing on an order of suspension, whichever is later. If the board fails to issue a final order by that deadline, the order of suspension is dissolved. No dissolution of an order of suspension under this division shall invalidate a subsequent final order of the board.
(G) No surrender of a license shall be effective until the board takes action to accept the surrender unless the surrender is pursuant to a consent agreement entered into under division (E) of this section.
Sec. 3319.313.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "License" has the same meaning as in section 3319.31 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Professional misconduct" means any conduct or misconduct described in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of section 3319.31 of the Revised Code.
(B) The board of education of each school district, the governing board of each educational service center, and the chief administrator of each chartered nonpublic school shall promptly submit to the superintendent of public instruction information the board or administrator has in the board's or administrator's custody about allegations of professional misconduct by an employee who holds a license issued by the state board of education, including any information about allegations of professional misconduct for which the employee was terminated or asked to resign.
Sec. 5126.253.  (A) As used in this section:
(1) "License" has the same meaning as in section 3319.31 of the Revised Code.
(2) "Professional misconduct" means any conduct or misconduct described in divisions (B)(1) and (2) of section 3319.31 of the Revised Code.
(B) Each county board of mental retardation and developmental disabilities shall promptly submit to the superintendent of public instruction information the board has in its custody about allegations of professional misconduct by an employee who holds a license issued by the state board of education, including any information about allegations of professional misconduct for which the employee was terminated or asked to resign.
Sec. 5153.176.  As used in this section, "license" has the same meaning as in section 3319.31 of the Revised Code.
Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in section 2151.421, 5153.17, or any other section of the Revised Code pertaining to confidentiality, a public children services agency shall promptly submit to the superintendent of public instruction any written documentation regarding the agency's investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect made pursuant to section 2151.421 of the Revised Code involving a person who holds a license issued by the state board of education where the agency has determined that evidence of child abuse or neglect exists. The agency shall not include in the information provided to the superintendent the name of the person or entity that made or participated in making the report of abuse or neglect.
Section 2. That existing sections 3314.03, 3319.291, and 3319.311 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
Section 3.  Section 3314.03 of the Revised Code is presented in this act as a composite of the section as amended by both Am. Sub. H.B. 3 and Am. Sub. H.B. 95 of the 125th General Assembly. The General Assembly, applying the principle stated in division (B) of section 1.52 of the Revised Code that amendments are to be harmonized if reasonably capable of simultaneous operation, finds that the composite is the resulting version of the section in effect prior to the effective date of the section as presented in this act.
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