Sen. Peggy Lehner

State Senator Peggy Lehner heads the Senate Education Committee.
OhioHouseGOP / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio Senate Advisory Committee on Testing has released its recommendations for changes to next year’s PARCC exams. Those are the tests tied to the state’s new Common Core standards.

The group suggests having one test per year instead of two, spending fewer days on testing and scheduling exams toward the end of the school year.

Ohio Senate Takes Up Charter Reform

Apr 6, 2015
State Senator Peggy Lehner heads the Senate Education Committee.
OhioHouseGOP / Flickr/Creative Commons

 Now that the Ohio House has passed a bill aimed at reforming charter schools, the Senate will take up the issue. The head of the Senate Education committee says she is deeply concerned about the number of poorly performing charters.

The House bill would stop charter sponsors from selling services to the schools they oversee; the Senate is expected to go further and lay out the duties and limits of both sponsors and the operating companies who manage the schools.  

State Board Of Education Hearing Complaints About PARCC Exams

Mar 13, 2015
State Board of Education members have been hearing many complaints from anxious parents.
Mark Urycki / StateImpact Ohio

It’s known as the PARCC test, which stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. It’s meant to test what kids have learned in the now statewide Common Core curriculum.  Throughout Ohio about 60 percent of the districts are taking the test online and 40 percent on paper with few problems so far says Jim Wright of the Ohio Department of Education.

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Jennifer Helton’s son, Matthew, has multiple disabilities. Caring for him can be challenging—and it got more challenging about 10 years ago, when he outgrew the infant changing stations at many public facilities.

"When we're out, if he needs changed I have to do it on the floor of our van, kind of out there in the open," said Helton. "And the bigger he gets the harder it is to do that and that limits us in where we can go and what we can do.”

Some conservative Ohio lawmakers and some faith leaders who generally support conservative causes want to put millions of additional dollars into more preschool for at risk children, something a lot of Democrats have championed in the past, and the push is on at the Ohio Statehouse to get more money for early childhood education.

On Tuesday, Republicans in the Ohio House put forth a budget proposal that included an education funding formula quite different than the one Governor John Kasich put forward in his two year spending blueprint. 

Many welcomed the news that, under Governor Kasich’s plan, no schools would see their funding levels cut from the previous year. Yet, 60% of Ohio schools would get no funding increase, including some poorer districts, and some wealthy districts would have seen fairly large funding increases.

Governor Kasich has released his long awaited plan for funding Ohio’s schools. Kettering Republican Senator Peggy Lehner is the Chair of the Senate Education Committee. She joins McCord to discuss the impact of the Governor's education proposal.

Kettering Republican Senator Peggy Lehner was appointed this week to continue her work as chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Education. She previewed what's ahead this year with Emily McCord. Lehner says isnt' likely to see any more cash earmarked for education in the upcoming state budget, but other ways to find revenue are in the works to help Ohio's schools, like Governor Kasich's plan to overhaul the school funding system.

Ellen Belcher, who's filling in for Emily McCord, interviews state Sen. Peggy Lehner, a Republican from Kettering, about Ohio's decision to adopt a new grading system that many schools say will result in their getting poor report cards.