State Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield) yesterday voted in support of House Bill 70, which passed in the Ohio House with bipartisan support. HB 70 defines the community learning center model and provides a framework for implementation that may be used by school districts.
A community learning center is a school that participates in a coordinated, community-based effort with community partners to provide comprehensive educational, developmental, family, and health services to students, families, and community members. Together, these schools provide greater recreational, educational, social, health, civic and cultural opportunities for students and can assist in revitalizing communities.
“I support House Bill 70 because it requires parents and guardians to be involved in the process of turning their school districts around,” said Koehler. “House Bill 70 attempts to layout a plan, used successfully in Cincinnati area schools, for other school districts that are struggling with getting students the support they need at home. The plan laid out in this bill uses existing services and parental involvement to help families that don’t have the history of good habits that foster success in school.”
Specific provisions of the bill include:
- Permitting school districts and community schools to transition appropriate school buildings into a Community Learning Center
- Requiring a school district or community school to hold a vote among parents, guardians, teachers and nonteaching employees on whether to initiate the process
- Requiring a district board or community school governing authority to create a school action team to conduct a performance audit/improvement plan of the community learning building
- Permitting a district or school that is not in improvement status under federal law to initiate a community learning process
- Requiring a community learning center, prior to providing health services to a student, to obtain the written consent of the student's parent, guardian, or custodian if the student is less than 18 years old, or the written consent of the student, if the student is at least 18 years old
House Bill 70 now moves to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.