(A) If the department determines that a reporting entity has a data reporting issue, the department may initiate the progressive sanction process provided for in division (L)(2) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code (regarding financial and other penalties). The department may progress a reporting entity through the sanctions if the reporting entity continues to have data reporting issues or fails to submit a corrective action plan as requested by the department or fails to satisfy the requirement of a corrective action plan approved by the department. The department may set time limits for each stage of the progressive sanctions as it deems necessary for the severity of the data reporting issue of the reporting entity.
(B) Withholdings shall be a percentage of the total amount of state funds due to the reporting entity for the current fiscal year.
(C) If, after being subject to a withholding of up to ten per cent, a reporting entity continues to fail to meet the requirements enumerated in paragraph (A) of this rule, the department may withhold an additional amount of up to twenty per cent and, if after being subject to a withholding of up to twenty per cent, a reporting entity continues to fail to meet the requirements enumerated in paragraph (A) of this rule, the department may apply sanctions provided for in division (L)(2)(d) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code, which includes one or more of the following:
(1) Audit of the reporting entity's data reporting practices by the department or an outside entity;
(2) Site-visit and evaluation of the reporting entity by the department;
(3) Additional withholding of up to thirty per cent of state funds;
(4) Continued monitoring of the reporting entity's data reporting practices;
(5) Supervision by the department of the reporting entity's data management system and reporting practices;
(7) Indication on a reporting entity's report card, if applicable, that the reporting entity has been sanctioned for failing to meet data reporting requirements;
(8) Revised report card if the submission of incomplete or inaccurate data by the reporting entity likely resulted in a higher performance rating than it deserved under section 3302.03 of the Revised Code; and
(9) Any other reasonable action the department determines is necessary to correct the reporting entity's data reporting issue.
(D) The factors the department shall consider when applying a financial penalty may include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Type of data reporting issue;
(2) Magnitude of the data reporting issue;
(3) Whether a good faith effort was made by the reporting entity as determined by the department. The burden of proof shall be on the reporting entity to demonstrate that it made a good faith to report data as required under section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code;
(4) Withholdings applied in similar situations with other reporting entities;
(5) Data reporting history of the reporting entity; and/or
(6) Reporting entity's response to previous withholdings and other actions taken by the department regarding the reporting entity's data reporting practices;
(E) If any action taken under division (L)(2) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code resolves a reporting entity's outstanding data reporting issues to the department's satisfaction, the department shall not take any further action described by that division, except that the department may subject a reporting entity to sanctions if the department determines that a data reporting issue has reoccurred or the reporting entity has otherwise violated the reporting requirements of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code. The department may release a portion of withheld funding applied against a reporting entity if the department approves a corrective action plan submitted by the reporting entity pursuant to the requirements of this rule and section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code.
(F) If the department withheld funds from a reporting entity, the department may release those funds to the reporting entity; however, if the department withholds funding up to twenty per cent, the department shall not release funds previously held up to ten per cent nor shall the department release funds previously withheld up to twenty percent if the department ultimately withholds funding under division (L)(2)(d) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code.
(G) Any time a reporting entity becomes subject to a higher degree of sanctioning as provided for in division (L)(2) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code, the department shall notify the reporting entity in writing of such an escalation.
(H) Any reporting entity that has funds withheld under the provisions of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code may appeal the withholding in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code. In such cases, once the appeal request is filed with the department, the department shall promptly schedule the hearing and engage a referee. The report and recommendation of the referee shall be subject to a vote by the state board of education, who may accept, reject, or modify the recommendation of the referee. The recommendation by the hearing officer referee may reduce the withholding by any amount deemed appropriate; but the recommendation shall neither nullify the department's determination that one or more data reporting issues occurred nor release the reporting entity from future progressive sanctions.
(I) In determining whether a revised report card may be required for a reporting entity under division (L)(2)(d)(viii) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code, the department shall identify the impact of issuing a revised report card and include a statement to that effect with the notification.
Prior to issuing a revised report card for a reporting entity under division (L)(2)(d)(viii) of section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code, the department may hold a hearing to provide the reporting entity an opportunity to demonstrate that it made a good faith effort to report data as required by section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code. The hearing shall be conducted by a referee appointed by the department. Based on the information provided in the hearing, the referee shall recommend whether the department should issue a revised report card for the district. If the referee affirms the department's contention that the district did not make a good faith effort to report data as required by section 3301.0714 of the Revised Code, the reporting entity shall bear the full cost of conducting the hearing and of issuing any revised report card.