(A) The board of education of any school district, the governing board of any educational service center, or the administrative authority of any chartered nonpublic school may submit an application to the state board of education for an exemption from specific statutory provisions and/or rules in order to implement a proposed innovative education pilot program. Applications shall be made in the format and in accordance with deadlines established by the department. No later than the thirtieth of March of each year, the department shall publish forms, instructions, and deadlines for applications for the upcoming school year on the department's website (www.ode.state.oh.us).
(B) The application shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Detailed description of the proposed innovative pilot program, including measurable outcomes, performance indicators, anticipated cost, and method of evaluation;
(2) Specific time lines for planning, implementation, and evaluation;
(3) Identification of the specific statutory provisions and/or rules for which an exemption request is made;
(4) Rationale for each exemption request; and
(5) Specific period of time for which each exemption is requested.
(C) An exemption may be granted if the following criteria are met:
(1) If the school district employs teachers under a collective bargaining agreement adopted pursuant to Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code, the application shall include, the written consent of the teachers' employee representative designated under division (B) of section 4117.04 of the Revised Code;
(2) The exemption request shall be limited to the provisions of Title XXXIII of the Revised Code or to any rule of the state board of education adopted pursuant to that title, except that no exemption shall be made from the provisions of, or rule adopted pursuant to, Chapters 3307. or 3309., sections 3319.07 to 3319.21, or Chapter 3323. of the Revised Code;
(3) The period of the exemption shall not exceed the period during which the proposed innovative pilot program is implemented, and a reasonable period thereafter to evaluate the effectiveness of the program with the stipulation that, if the innovative pilot program is terminated for any reason, all exemptions will be terminated no later than the end of the same school year; and
(4) The application shall include evidence that, at the time of the most recent school evaluation, the district had met the provisions of Chapter 3301-35 of the Administrative Code, or had taken appropriate corrective action(s).
(5) An application requesting exemptions in order to provide professional development for educators may be granted for research-based high quality professional development activities as defined by standards for professional development adopted by the state board of education, which are available on the department's website, www.ode.state.oh.us.
(D) The department shall review and approve or disapprove each completed application within forty-five days of receipt of all necessary documentation, and shall notify the school district, educational service center, or chartered nonpublic school in writing regarding the department's decision. No school district, educational service center, or chartered nonpublic school shall fail to adhere to any of the specific statutory provisions and/or rules for which an exemption request is made prior to the date that an exemption is granted.
(E) Each school district, educational service center, or chartered nonpublic school receiving an exemption shall make an annual report and such other reports as required by the department of education, in such form and containing such information as may reasonably be necessary to evaluate whether or not objectives of the pilot program are being met. Applications to continue programs approved in accordance with this rule shall not be considered complete until an annual evaluation report is completed and submitted to the department.