On June 25, 2021, the Ohio General Assembly passed its biennial operating budget bill (HB 110), which Governor DeWine signed (complete with a veto message) shortly thereafter on June 30. The budget includes numerous provisions beneficial to career-technical education, including the Fair School Funding Plan—which recognizes the high value of CTE through its revised, localized base cost approach. It also contains high levels of funding for high school and adult industry recognized credentials and Ohio Technical Centers (OTCs). Shortly after passage, the legislature recessed for the summer and will not return until the (September) Fall legislative session. Included below is a snapshot summary of CTE-specific provisions; Ohio ACTE counsel and the Department of Education will provide more information on the budget during the Ohio ACTE annual (July 26-28) Summer Conference.
Fair School Funding Plan:
Funding for Industry Recognized Credentials:
- Adopts the FSFP and establishes a six-year phase-in; after this period, schools are to receive full funding under the new framework. HB 110 specifically allocates funding for the Plan’s first two years, but allows the legislature to determine any adjustments necessary at the conclusion of the biennium (during the next budget cycle), for purposes of funding the following four years.
- Includes a revised, localized base cost approach that will vary from district to district. The base cost per career-tech student is inherently higher under the Plan than that of a traditional student, with a statewide (CTE) average of appx. $8,300. The Plan also maintains existing (“categorical”) career-tech weighted funding levels, but converts the (tiered) amounts to percentages of the base cost to allow for growth if/when the base cost increases.
- Maintains $1.1B in Wellness and Success funding, but re-directs those dollars to the Disadvantaged Pupil Impact Aid Fund for distribution.
- Eliminates Caps/Guarantees after fully phased-in, but still contains a transitional guarantee for certain districts over the next biennium.
- Maintains career exploration dollars and requires those dollars to flow through the CTPD for distribution to associate school districts.
- Includes $41M in funding for high school industry recognized credentials (IWIP, Test Reimbursement)
- Includes $58M for TechCred, which can in part be used to fund Individual Micro-credential Assistance Program (IMAP)
Funding for Short Term Certificates:
- Allocates $7M over the biennium for tuition assistance to OTC or Community College students enrolled in Short Term Certificate Programs
OTC Funding Increase:
- Increases the OTC line item by appx $2M over the biennium ($21.3M in FY 22 and $21.8M in FY 23)
Expansion of Adult Diploma Program:
- Expands eligibility for ADP by reducing minimum age from 22 to 20, and allowing ODHE to transfer additional dollars into the program if demand exceeds funding levels.
- by Will Vorys, Dickinson Wright, LLC, Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel