(A) The superintendent of public instruction shall establish an academic distress commission for each school district that meets any combination of the following conditions for three or more consecutive years:
(1) The district has been declared to be in a state of academic emergency under section 3302.03 of the Revised Code, as that section existed prior to March 22, 2013, and has failed to make adequate yearly progress;
(2) The district has received a grade of "F" for the performance index score and a grade of "D" or "F" for the value-added progress dimension under division (A) or (B) of section 3302.03 of the Revised Code;
(3) The district has received an overall grade of "F" under division (C)(2) of section 3302.03 of the Revised Code
Each commission shall assist the district for which it was established in improving the district's academic performance.
Each commission is a body both corporate and politic, constituting an agency and instrumentality of the state and performing essential governmental functions of the state. A commission shall be known as the "academic distress commission for ............... (name of school district)," and, in that name, may exercise all authority vested in such a commission by this section. A separate commission shall be established for each school district to which this division applies.
(B) Each academic distress commission shall consist of five voting members, three of whom shall be appointed by the superintendent of public instruction and two of whom shall be residents of the applicable school district appointed by the president of the district board of education. When a school district becomes subject to this section, the superintendent of public instruction shall provide written notification of that fact to the district board of education and shall request the president of the district board to submit to the superintendent of public instruction, in writing, the names of the president's appointees to the commission. The superintendent of public instruction and the president of the district board shall make appointments to the commission within thirty days after the district is notified that it is subject to this section.
Members of the commission shall serve at the pleasure of their appointing authority during the life of the commission. In the event of the death, resignation, incapacity, removal, or ineligibility to serve of a member, the appointing authority shall appoint a successor within fifteen days after the vacancy occurs. Members shall serve without compensation, but shall be paid by the commission their necessary and actual expenses incurred while engaged in the business of the commission.
(C) Immediately after appointment of the initial members of an academic distress commission, the superintendent of public instruction shall call the first meeting of the commission and shall cause written notice of the time, date, and place of that meeting to be given to each member of the commission at least forty-eight hours in advance of the meeting. The first meeting shall include an overview of the commission's roles and responsibilities, the requirements of section 2921.42 and Chapter 102. of the Revised Code as they pertain to commission members, the requirements of section 121.22 of the Revised Code, and the provisions of division (F) of this section. At its first meeting, the commission shall adopt temporary bylaws in accordance with division (D) of this section to govern its operations until the adoption of permanent bylaws.
The superintendent of public instruction shall designate a chairperson for the commission from among the members appointed by the superintendent. The chairperson shall call and conduct meetings, set meeting agendas, and serve as a liaison between the commission and the district board of education. The chairperson also shall appoint a secretary, who shall not be a member of the commission.
The department of education shall provide administrative support for the commission, provide data requested by the commission, and inform the commission of available state resources that could assist the commission in its work.
(D) Each academic distress commission may adopt and alter bylaws and rules, which shall not be subject to section 111.15 or Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, for the conduct of its affairs and for the manner, subject to this section, in which its powers and functions shall be exercised and embodied.
(E) Three members of an academic distress commission constitute a quorum of the commission. The affirmative vote of three members of the commission is necessary for any action taken by vote of the commission. No vacancy in the membership of the commission shall impair the rights of a quorum by such vote to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the commission. Members of the commission are not disqualified from voting by reason of the functions of any other office they hold and are not disqualified from exercising the functions of the other office with respect to the school district, its officers, or the commission.
(F) The members of an academic distress commission, the superintendent of public instruction, and any person authorized to act on behalf of or assist them shall not be personally liable or subject to any suit, judgment, or claim for damages resulting from the exercise of or failure to exercise the powers, duties, and functions granted to them in regard to their functioning under this section, but the commission, superintendent of public instruction, and such other persons shall be subject to mandamus proceedings to compel performance of their duties under this section.
(G) Each member of an academic distress commission shall file the statement described in section 102.02 of the Revised Code with the Ohio ethics commission. The statement shall be confidential, subject to review, as described in division (B) of that section.
(H) Meetings of each academic distress commission shall be subject to section 121.22 of the Revised Code.
(1) Within one hundred twenty days after the first meeting of an academic distress commission, the commission shall adopt an academic recovery plan to improve academic performance in the school district. The plan shall address academic problems at both the district and school levels. The plan shall include the following:
(a) Short-term and long-term actions to be taken to improve the district's academic performance, including any actions required by section 3302.04 or 3302.041 of the Revised Code;
(b) The sequence and timing of the actions described in division (I)(1)(a) of this section and the persons responsible for implementing the actions;
(c) Resources that will be applied toward improvement efforts;
(d) Procedures for monitoring and evaluating improvement efforts;
(e) Requirements for reporting to the commission and the district board of education on the status of improvement efforts.
(2) The commission may amend the academic recovery plan subsequent to adoption. The commission shall update the plan at least annually.
(3) The commission shall submit the academic recovery plan it adopts or updates to the superintendent of public instruction for approval immediately following its adoption or updating. The superintendent shall evaluate the plan and either approve or disapprove it within thirty days after its submission. If the plan is disapproved, the superintendent shall recommend modifications that will render it acceptable. No academic distress commission shall implement an academic recovery plan unless the superintendent has approved it.
(4) County, state, and school district officers and employees shall assist the commission diligently and promptly in the implementation of the academic recovery plan.
(J) Each academic distress commission shall seek input from the district board of education regarding ways to improve the district's academic performance, but any decision of the commission related to any authority granted to the commission under this section shall be final.
The commission may do any of the following:
(1) Appoint school building administrators and reassign administrative personnel;
(2) Terminate the contracts of administrators or administrative personnel. The commission shall not be required to comply with section 3319.16 of the Revised Code with respect to any contract terminated under this division.
(3) Contract with a private entity to perform school or district management functions;
(4) Establish a budget for the district and approve district appropriations and expenditures, unless a financial planning and supervision commission has been established for the district pursuant to section 3316.05 of the Revised Code.
(K) If the board of education of a district for which an academic distress commission has been established under this section renews any collective bargaining agreement under Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code during the existence of the commission, the district board shall not enter into any agreement that would render any decision of the commission unenforceable. Section 3302.08 of the Revised Code does not apply to this division.
Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary in Chapter 4117. of the Revised Code, if the board of education has entered into a collective bargaining agreement after September 29, 2005, that contains stipulations relinquishing one or more of the rights or responsibilities listed in division (C) of section 4117.08 of the Revised Code, those stipulations are not enforceable and the district board shall resume holding those rights or responsibilities as if it had not relinquished them in that agreement until such time as both the academic distress commission ceases to exist and the district board agrees to relinquish those rights or responsibilities in a new collective bargaining agreement. The provisions of this paragraph apply to a collective bargaining agreement entered into after September 29, 2005, and those provisions are deemed to be part of that agreement regardless of whether the district satisfied the conditions prescribed in division (A) of this section at the time the district entered into that agreement.
(L) An academic distress commission shall cease to exist when the district for which it was established receives a performance rating of in need of continuous improvement or better, under section 3302.03 of the Revised Code as that section existed prior to March 22, 2013, or a grade of "C" or better for both the performance index score under division (A)(1)(b), (B)(1)(b), or (C)(1)(b) and the value-added progress dimension under division (A)(1)(e), (B)(1)(e), or (C)(1)(e) of section 3302.03 of the Revised Code for two of the three prior school years; however, the superintendent of public instruction may dissolve the commission earlier if the superintendent determines that the district can perform adequately without the supervision of the commission. Upon termination of the commission, the department of education shall compile a final report of the commission's activities to assist other academic distress commissions in the conduct of their functions.
Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 487, §1, eff. 9/17/2014.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.184, HB 555, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.
Effective Date: 09-29-2005; 2007 HB119 09-29-2007; 2008 HB420 12-30-2008
Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4