(A) This section shall operate as a pilot project that applies to any school that has been ranked according to performance index score under section 3302.21 of the Revised Code in the lowest five per cent of all public school buildings statewide for three or more consecutive school years and is operated by the Columbus city school district. The pilot project shall commence once the department of education establishes implementation guidelines for the pilot project in consultation with the Columbus city school district.
(B) Except as provided in division (D), (E), or (F) of this section, if the parents or guardians of at least fifty per cent of the students enrolled in a school to which this section applies, or if the parents or guardians of at least fifty per cent of the total number of students enrolled in that school and the schools of lower grade levels whose students typically matriculate into that school, by the thirty-first day of December of any school year in which the school is subject to this section, sign and file with the school district treasurer a petition requesting the district board of education to implement one of the following reforms in the school, and if the validity and sufficiency of the petition is certified in accordance with division (C) of this section, the board shall implement the requested reform in the next school year:
(1) Reopen the school as a community school under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code;
(2) Replace at least seventy per cent of the school's personnel who are related to the school's poor academic performance or, at the request of the petitioners, retain not more than thirty per cent of the personnel;
(3) Contract with another school district or a nonprofit or for-profit entity with a demonstrated record of effectiveness to operate the school;
(4) Turn operation of the school over to the department;
(5) Any other major restructuring of the school that makes fundamental reforms in the school's staffing or governance.
(C) Not later than thirty days after receipt of a petition under division (B) of this section, the district treasurer shall verify the validity and sufficiency of the signatures on the petition and certify to the district board whether the petition contains the necessary number of valid signatures to require the board to implement the reform requested by the petitioners. If the treasurer certifies to the district board that the petition does not contain the necessary number of valid signatures, any person who signed the petition may file an appeal with the county auditor within ten days after the certification. Not later than thirty days after the filing of an appeal, the county auditor shall conduct an independent verification of the validity and sufficiency of the signatures on the petition and certify to the district board whether the petition contains the necessary number of valid signatures to require the board to implement the requested reform. If the treasurer or county auditor certifies that the petition contains the necessary number of valid signatures, the district board shall notify the superintendent of public instruction and the state board of education of the certification.
(D) The district board shall not implement the reform requested by the petitioners in any of the following circumstances:
(1) The district board has determined that the request is for reasons other than improving student academic achievement or student safety.
(2) The state superintendent has determined that implementation of the requested reform would not comply with the model of differentiated accountability described in section 3302.041 of the Revised Code.
(3) The petitioners have requested the district board to implement the reform described in division (B)(4) of this section and the department has not agreed to take over the school's operation.
(4) When all of the following have occurred:
(a) After a public hearing on the matter, the district board issued a written statement explaining the reasons that it is unable to implement the requested reform and agreeing to implement one of the other reforms described in division (B) of this section.
(b) The district board submitted its written statement to the state superintendent and the state board along with evidence showing how the alternative reform the district board has agreed to implement will enable the school to improve its academic performance.
(c) Both the state superintendent and the state board have approved implementation of the alternative reform.
(E) If the provisions of this section conflict in any way with the requirements of federal law, federal law shall prevail over the provisions of this section.
(F) If a school is restructured under this section, section 3302.10 or 3302.12 of the Revised Code, or federal law, the school shall not be required to restructure again under state law for three consecutive years after the implementation of that prior restructuring.
(G) Beginning not later than six months after the first petition under this section has been resolved, the department of education shall annually evaluate the pilot program and submit a report to the general assembly under section 101.68 of the Revised Code. Such reports shall contain its recommendations to the general assembly with respect to the continuation of the pilot program, its expansion to other school districts, or the enactment of further legislation establishing the program statewide under permanent law.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.128,SB 316, §101.01, eff. 9/24/2012.
Added by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28,HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.