Fiscal Note & Local Impact Statement

125 th General Assembly of Ohio

Ohio Legislative Service Commission

77 South High Street, 9th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215-6136 ² Phone: (614) 466-3615

² Internet Web Site: http://www.lsc.state.oh.us/

BILL:

Am. Sub. H.B. 106

DATE:

May 26, 2004

STATUS:

As Passed by the Senate

SPONSOR:

Rep. Williams

LOCAL IMPACT STATEMENT REQUIRED:

No —

Minimal cost

 


CONTENTS:

Requires that upon a child’s discharge or release from the custody of the Department of Youth Services certain records pertaining to that child be released to the juvenile court and the superintendent of the school district in which the child is entitled to attend school, specifies that a school district’s policy on the assignment of students to an alternative school may provide for the assignment of any child released from the custody of the Department of Youth Services to such a school, makes the Department of Youth Services eligible for certain grants and services from the Ohio SchoolNet Commission, includes public and chartered nonpublic schools as out-of-home care entities for the purposes of the Juvenile Code, exempts limited English proficient students who have been enrolled in United States schools for less than one year from certain testing and accountability requirements, requires the county probate court, instead of the educational service center governing board, to perform the duties of or fill vacancies on the board of education of a local school district if the board fails to perform those duties or fill vacancies, eliminates the deadline for issuing one-year conditional teaching permits in the area of intervention specialist, clarifies the calculation of transitional aid to school districts in FY (fiscal year) 2005, establishes a per student rates to be paid by the Department of Education for a safe school help line, permits a reverse auction to satisfy any law requiring a political subdivision to competitively bid for services or supplies, clarifies the minimum population requirement for counties that create a regional arts and cultural district under alternative procedures, requires the State Board of Education to request a criminal records check of an applicant prior to issuing an educator license, and clarifies the procedures for awarding grants to teachers certified by the National Board for Teaching Standards

 

State Fiscal Highlights

 

STATE FUND

FY 2005

FY 2006

FUTURE YEARS

General Revenue Fund

     Revenues

- 0 -

- 0 -

- 0 -

     Expenditures

Minimal increase

Minimal increase

Minimal annual increase

Note:  The state fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.  For example, FY 2005 is July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2005.

 

·        Department of Youth Services (DYS).  For calendar year 2001, DYS reports that it released or discharged 2,449 individuals from its custody, the majority of whom would have sought admission to their resident school district.  This would suggest that, as a result of the bill, DYS could be copying and transmitting certain records of over 2,000 individuals annually to various school districts around the state.  As of this writing, DYS anticipates that the annual cost associated with this records release duty will be no more than minimal, which, for the purposes of this fiscal analysis, means an estimated cost of less than $100,000 per year for the state.

·        SchoolNet Commission.  The bill makes DYS eligible to obtain funds from the SchoolNet Commission for school technology improvements and services.  While the bill makes no appropriation changes to SchoolNet’s operating budget, it is possible that, in future budgets, the Commission will need to request more GRF moneys in order to accommodate the needs of DYS and maintain current funding to schools that the Commission currently serves.  At this time, it is unclear whether this would occur, and if so, what the magnitude of that increase would be.

·        Department of Education.  The bill makes various changes to Ohio education law that will not produce significant direct fiscal effects for the state.

·        Transitional aid.  The bill clarifies that the FY 2004 state formula funding amount used in the calculation of transitional aid for FY 2005 includes the transitional aid paid in FY 2004.  This clarification will not result in a state funding increase above the amount previously budgeted.

·        Safe school help line.  The bill requires that the Department of Education continue to pay $1.80 per student for the safe school help line in FY 2005 as long as the Department does not exceed its appropriated amount.

·        Criminal background checks.  The bill requires criminal background checks on all people who initially apply for a certificate, license, or permit issued by the State Board of Education.  The State Board already requires these background checks, so there will be no additional cost to the state.  The state agency required to perform background checks, the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII), will not be doing more background checks, thus there will be no additional revenues or expenditures for BCII.

Local Fiscal Highlights

 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

FY 2004

FY 2005

FUTURE YEARS

School Districts

     Revenues

- 0 -

- 0 -

- 0 -

     Expenditures

Increase, likely to be no more than minimal

Increase, likely to be no more than minimal

Increase, likely to be no more than minimal annually

Public Children Services Agencies

     Revenues

- 0 -

- 0 -

- 0 -

     Expenditures

Potential minimal increase

Potential minimal

increase

Potential minimal

annual increase

Note:  For most local governments, the fiscal year is the calendar year.  The school district fiscal year is July 1 through June 30.

 

·        School districts and delinquent children discharged by the Department of Youth Services.  As of this writing, it does not appear that the requirement that a school district request and review the records of certain students prior to assigning those students to an appropriate school will create more than a minimal ongoing administrative responsibility.  Keeping in mind that the bill permits and does not require the assignment of certain students to alternative schools, the annual expenditures of some school districts may increase from what the level of expenditures might otherwise have been under current law and practice, but the magnitude of any such increase seems unlikely to exceed minimal annually.  For the purposes of this fiscal analysis, minimal means an estimated annual cost of no more $5,000 for any school district with an average daily membership (ADM) of 1,000 or more, or an estimated annual cost of no more than $1,000 for any school district with an ADM of less than 1,000.

·        School districts generally.  The bill makes various other changes to Ohio education law that will not produce significant direct fiscal effects for the state.

·        Public children services agencies.  The bill may cause an increase in the administrative burden of a public children services agency (PCSA) relative to providing more detailed information to a school district's superintendent about an allegation of child abuse or neglect perpetrated by a school employee.  However, the increase in the administrative burden is not likely to exceed minimal given that PCSA staff are already familiar with providing such information in other instances involving out-of-home care and the number of cases involving a perpetrator who is a school employee is likely to occur less than 13% of the time.

·        Criminal background checks.  The bill requires criminal background checks on all people who initially apply for a certificate, license, or permit issued by the State Board of Education.  The State Board already requires these background checks, so there will be no additional cost to school districts.

 


 

 

Detailed Fiscal Analysis

 

Overview

 

For the purposes of this fiscal analysis, the bill most notably:

 

·        Requires that when a child is discharged or released from the custody of the Department of Youth Services (DYS), certain records be released by DYS to the superintendent of the school district in which the child will be entitled to attend school.

·        Prohibits the school from admitting the child until the superintendent has received the above-noted records.

·        Makes DYS eligible for SchoolNet Commission funds to support technology improvements in the Department’s schools.

·        Makes various modifications to law governing the Department of Education and local school districts.

·        Makes modifications to current law concerning the provision of information by a public children services agency to school authorities when abuse or neglect allegations are made regarding an employee or employees of a school.

 


Delinquent children released from the Department of Youth Services

 

As a result of the bill, the annual expenditures of two entities – the Department of Youth Services and school districts – will or may be affected, as described in the paragraphs immediately below.

 

Department of Youth Services (DYS)

 

It appears that the most notable administrative burden created by the bill will fall on DYS in the form of ongoing, annual costs associated with the copying and transmission of certain records of a child released or discharged from DYS custody to the superintendent of the child’s intended resident school district.  The records required to be released include:  (1) a document stating the nature of each violation for which the child was adjudicated a delinquent child, (2) the warrant to convey the child to DYS, (3) a copy of the juvenile court’s journal entry ordering the commitment of the child to the legal custody of DYS, (4) a copy of the child’s arrest record,  (5) a copy of the predisposition investigation report, and (6) a copy of various records from when the child was in the custody of DYS.

 

For calendar year 2001, DYS reports that it released or discharged 2,449 individuals from its custody, the majority of whom would have sought admission to their resident school district.  This would suggest that, as a result of the bill, DYS could be copying and transmitting certain records of over 2,000 individuals annually to various superintendents of school districts around the state. As of this writing, DYS anticipates that the annual cost associated with this records release duty will be no more than minimal. For the purposes of this fiscal analysis, minimal is less than $100,000 annually.

 

School districts

 

As of this writing, it does not appear that the requirement that a school district request and review the records of certain students prior to assigning those students to an appropriate school will create more than a minimal ongoing administrative responsibility.

 

In the matter of alternative schools, under current law, school district boards of education are authorized to establish alternative schools and certain school district boards of education – the Big-Eight School Districts and districts with significantly substandard graduation rates – are required to establish at least one alternative school.  The purpose of such schools is to serve certain students, for example, those on suspension, having truancy problems, a history of classroom disruption, experiencing academic failure, or exhibiting other academic or behavioral problems.  It seems likely to be the case that the cost per student is higher in an alternative school than would typically be the case in a more traditional school. 

 

The bill adds to the list of students who may be assigned to an alternative school those who have been discharged or released from the custody of DYS.  It appears, however, that in many cases such students may already be assigned to alternative schools, as delinquency is often accompanied by the types of difficulties for which children can be assigned to alternative schools under current law.  As a result, LSC fiscal staff does not anticipate that adding such students to the list of students who may be assigned to an alternative school will trigger a noticeable rise in the number of students assigned to an alternative school. 

Thus, keeping in mind that the bill permits and does not require the assignment of such students to alternative schools, the annual expenditures of some school districts may increase from what the level of expenditures might otherwise have been under current law and practice, but the magnitude of any such increase seems unlikely to exceed minimal annually.  For the purposes of this fiscal analysis, minimal means an estimated annual cost of no more $5,000 for any school district with an average daily membership (ADM) of 1,000 or more, or an estimated annual cost of no more than $1,000 for any school district with an ADM of less than 1,000.

 

SchoolNet Commission

 

The bill makes DYS eligible to obtain funds from the SchoolNet Commission for school technology improvements and services.  While the bill makes no appropriation changes to SchoolNet’s operating budget, it is possible that, in future budgets, the Commission will need to request more GRF moneys in order to accommodate the needs of DYS and maintain current funding to schools that the Commission currently serves.  At this time, it is unclear whether this would occur, and if so, what the magnitude of that increase would be.

The effect of this provision on DYS would be to potentially free up some funds that are currently being used for technology purchases that could be used for other purposes.  It may also result in improvements to the quality of the technology that DYS uses in its schools.

 

Reverse auctions

 

Under the bill, if a political subdivision is required by law to purchase services or supplies by competitive sealed bidding or competitive sealed proposals, a purchase made by reverse auction satisfies that requirement.  Under current law, such a political subdivision may purchase services or supplies by reverse auction if it determines that the use of a reverse auction is advantageous to the political subdivision.  A reverse auction is a purchasing process in which the buyer, in this case a political subdivision, requests proposals from sellers who compete against each other in an open environment via the Internet.  It is termed “reverse” because in a typical auction the seller requests bids from competing buyers.  Assuming political subdivisions use reverse auctions wisely, their use could result in a savings.

 

Intervention specialist teaching permit

 

            Substitute House Bill 196 of the 124th General Assembly established a one-year conditional teaching permit in the area of intervention specialist, but provided that such a permit could not be issued after November 20, 2004.  The bill removes this deadline, allowing for the issuance of this type of permits indefinitely.  This provision has no direct fiscal effect, however, to the extent that these permits increase the availability of intervention specialists, this change may make it easier for school districts to hire intervention specialists when needed.

 

Testing of limited-English proficient students

 

The bill exempts limited-English proficient (LEP) students who have been enrolled in schools in the United States for less than one full school year from the requirement of taking proficiency or achievement tests in reading or writing.  The bill adjusts the accountability requirements accordingly.  There is little direct fiscal effect from this exemption, although it may temporarily improve the test scores for school districts and buildings with large LEP populations.

Transitional aid in FY 2005

 

            Amended Substitute House Bill 95 of the 125th General Assembly provides for transitional aid in FYs 2004 and 2005 to prohibit state formula funding (SF-3 plus the charge-off supplement) for each school district from falling by more that 5% from the preceding year.  The bill clarifies that the FY 2004 state formula funding amount used in the calculation of transitional aid for FY 2005 includes the transitional aid paid in FY 2004.  This clarification is consistent with the understanding of transitional aid that was used to establish the FY 2005 budget for formula funding.  It will not, therefore, result in a state funding increase.

 

Safe school help line

 

            Amended Substitute House Bill 95 of the 125th General Assembly set aside $1.8 million in fiscal years 2004 and 2005 from GRF appropriation item 200-578, Safe and Supportive Schools, for a safe school help line.  In FY 2004, the Department of Education contracted for this service at a rate of $1.80 per participating student.  The Executive Order cuts of 2004 reduced the FY 2005 set aside appropriation to $1.2 million.  The bill requires that the Department continue to pay the $1.80 per student rate as long as they do not exceed the $1.2 million appropriation, but allows the per student rate to decrease if participation in the program increases to such an extent that the $1.80 rate cannot be maintained without exceeding the appropriation.  Under current participation rates, the Department will be able to maintain the $1.80 per student rate and still remain within the $1.2 million appropriation.

 

Regional arts and cultural districts

 

            Current law provides that any county, or any two or more counties, municipal corporations, townships, or any combination thereof may create a regional arts and cultural district by the adoption of a resolution by all the entities joining to create the district.  Current law also provides an alternate procedure for a county containing a city with a population of 500,000 or more.  Such a county may create a regional arts and cultural district by adoption of a resolution by the board of county commissioners.  Apparently this alternate procedure is easier since it does not require agreement among all the municipal corporations and townships within the county.  The bill modifies current law to allow any county with a population of 500,000 or more to create a regional arts and cultural district using the alternate procedure, thus allowing more counties to take advantage of the easier procedure.  Presumably, once a regional arts and cultural district is created under the alternate procedure it can continue to exist even if the county no longer meets the population requirements.  This change does ensure, however, that counties, such as Cuyahoga County, that have already created a regional arts and cultural district under the alternate procedure, but that contain cities with populations that have fallen below 500,000, are still eligible to maintain these districts.

 

National Board certification           

 

The bill changes the timing of the awarding of grants to National Board certified teachers.  Current law requires teachers to submit evidence that they qualify for a grant by August 1st; the grants are then paid in the fall for the preceding school year.  The bill requires teachers to submit evidence that they qualify for a grant by April 1st; the grants are then to be paid in the spring for the current school year.  According to the Department of Education, this change conforms the law to current practice and will, therefore, have no fiscal effect.

 

Criminal background checks

 

Current law permits the State Board of Education or the Superintendent of Public Instruction to request a criminal background check when a person initially applies for any certificate, license, or permit issued by the State Board.  The bill makes this background check mandatory.  According to the Department of Education, the State Board currently does require the background check, so this provision should not increase costs for the state or school districts. The state agency required to perform background checks, the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII), will not be doing more background checks, thus there will be no additional revenues or expenditures for BCII.

 

Public children services agencies

            Under current law, no later than the end of the day following the day on which a public children services agency (PCSA) receives a report of alleged child abuse or neglect, or a report of an alleged threat of child abuse or neglect that allegedly occurred in or involved an out-of-home care entity, the PCSA must provide written notice of the allegations contained in and the person named as the alleged perpetrator in the report to the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer of the out-of-home entity, unless the person who is to receive the written notice is named as the alleged perpetrator.  If the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer of the out-of-home entity is named as the alleged perpetrator, the PCSA is to provide written notice to the owner or governing board of the out-of-home care entity that is the subject of the report.  In addition, not later than three days after the day on which the PCSA that conducted the investigation makes a disposition of an investigation, the PCSA is to send written notice of the disposition of the investigation to the administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer and the owner or governing board of the out-of-home entity. 

The current definition of "out-of-home care" does not include schools.  For the purposes of allegations of child abuse or neglect described above, the bill includes "schools" in the definition of "out-of-home care."  In addition, the bill specifies that "administrator, director, or other chief administrative officer" means the superintendent of the school district if the out-of-home care entity subject to a report made as described above is a school operated by the district.

When a PCSA receives a report of alleged child abuse or neglect that involves a teacher or other school employee, the current practice is to send a short letter to the school principal or superintendent stating that a report was received and that the report was substantiated, indicated, or unsubstantiated.  Under the bill, in circumstances involving a school employee (i.e., teacher, aide, janitor), a PCSA is required to provide written notice containing more detailed information than is currently provided and is required to provide that information to the school district's superintendent.  This provision is likely to cause an increase in the administrative burden of PCSAs to prepare and distribute such notices.

The Children's Bureau of the United States Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the states developed the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System to collect annual statistics on child maltreatment from state child protective services agencies.  The Children's Bureau publishes a report each year based on data submissions by the states.  In Child Maltreatment 2002, Ohio reported that, in calendar year (CY) 2002, 110,495 children were the subject of an investigation or assessment of alleged child abuse or neglect.  Cases that involve an alleged perpetrator who is a school employee are likely to involve children who are five years of age and older.  Legislative Service Commission staff was not able to obtain a breakdown of the 110,495 children who were the subject of an investigation or assessment by age.  However, data is available on the number of actual victims, and, of the 50,141 child victims in Ohio in CY 2002, approximately 68% were school age.  In addition, based on national data, most perpetrators (83.8%) are found to be the child's parent.  A perpetrator is not the child's parent 13% of the time (in 3.2% of the cases, the perpetrator is unknown).  Non-parental perpetrators may include teachers or other school employees, but may also include neighbors, mother's boyfriend, clergy, and so forth. 

Therefore, while the bill may cause an increase in the administrative burden of a PCSA to provide more detailed information to the school district's superintendent about an allegation of child abuse or neglect perpetrated by a school employee, the increase in the administrative burden is not likely to exceed minimal given that PCSA staff are already familiar with providing such information in other instances involving out-of-home care and the number of cases involving a perpetrator who is a school employee is likely to occur less than 13% of the time.

 

State and local revenues

 

The bill will not directly affect revenues of the state and its political subdivisions.

 

 

 

LSC fiscal staff:  Laura A. Potts, Budget Analyst

                         Melaney Carter, Economist

                         Maria Seaman, Senior Analyst

 

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