(A) The chancellor of the Ohio board of regents shall establish a clearinghouse of interactive distance learning courses and other distance learning courses delivered via a computer-based method offered by school districts, community schools, STEM schools, state institutions of higher education, private colleges and universities, and other nonprofit and for-profit course providers for sharing with other school districts, community schools, STEM schools, state institutions of higher education, private colleges and universities, and individuals for the fee set pursuant to section 3333.84 of the Revised Code. The chancellor shall not be responsible for the content of courses offered through the clearinghouse; however, all such courses shall be delivered only in accordance with technical specifications approved by the chancellor and on a common statewide platform administered by the chancellor.
The clearinghouse's distance learning program for students in grades kindergarten to twelve shall be based on the following principles:
(1) All Ohio students shall have access to high quality distance learning courses at any point in their educational careers.
(2) All students shall be able to customize their education using distance learning courses offered through the clearinghouse and no student shall be denied access to any course in the clearinghouse in which the student is eligible to enroll.
(3) Students may take distance learning courses for all or any portion of their curriculum requirements and may utilize a combination of distance learning courses and courses taught in a traditional classroom setting.
(4) Students may earn an unlimited number of academic credits through distance learning courses.
(5) Students may take distance learning courses at any time of the calendar year.
(6) Student advancement to higher coursework shall be based on a demonstration of subject area competency instead of completion of any particular number of hours of instruction.
(B) To offer a course through the clearinghouse, a course provider shall apply to the chancellor in a form and manner prescribed by the chancellor. The application for each course shall describe the course of study in as much detail as required by the chancellor, whether an instructor is provided, the qualification and credentials of the instructor, the number of hours of instruction, and any other information required by the chancellor. The chancellor may require course providers to include in their applications information recommended by the state board of education under former section 3353.30 of the Revised Code.
(C) The chancellor shall review the technical specifications of each application submitted under division (B) of this section. In reviewing applications, the chancellor may consult with the department of education; however, the responsibility to either approve or not approve a course for the clearinghouse belongs to the chancellor. The chancellor may request additional information from a course provider that submits an application under division (B) of this section, if the chancellor determines that such information is necessary. The chancellor may negotiate changes in the proposal to offer a course, if the chancellor determines that changes are necessary in order to approve the course.
(D) The chancellor shall catalog each course approved for the clearinghouse, through a print or electronic medium, displaying the following:
(1) Information necessary for a student and the student's parent, guardian, or custodian and the student's school district, community school, STEM school, college, or university to decide whether to enroll in or subscribe to the course;
(2) Instructions for enrolling in that course, including deadlines for enrollment.
(E) Any expenses related to the installation of a course into the common statewide platform shall be borne by the course provider.
(F) The eTech Ohio commission, in consultation with the chancellor and the state board, shall distribute information to students and parents describing the clearinghouse. The information shall be provided in an easily understandable format.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28,HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.
Effective Date: 2008 HB562 09-22-2008