Ohio ACTE promotes innovative education and supports educators who inspire students of all ages and abilities.


Ohio ACTE advocates for career-technical and adult education through an advocacy program that focuses on increasing understanding and awareness of career-technical education with legislators, policy makers and other decision makers.   

Terrence O'Donnell, an attorney with Dickinson-Wright PLLC law firm is Ohio ACTE's Legislative Counsel, and he works with Ohio ACTE Leadership and the Ohio ACTE Legislative Committee to determine strategy and develop key relationships with legislators and policy makers at both the state and national level.  
The Legislative Committee is made up of representatives from all career-technical education delivery methods.  

Ohio ACTE works closely and collaborates with National ACTE on Federal Legislative issues, with a focus on developing relationships with the members of Congress from Ohio in order to to promote career-technical and adult education.

Ohio ACTE supports individual school's efforts to insure the interests of career-technical education is represented and career - technical and adult educators can continue to serve students who contribute to Ohio's economy.

March is Career-Technical Education and Skilled Workforce Development Recognition Month


To follow up on National CTE Month, March has been designated Career Technical Education and Skilled Workforce Development Month in Ohio. Read the Legislative resolution and post pictures on Ohio ACTE Facebook!

Click on the headline below to read the full article

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  • February 28, 2014 11:17 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    An overwhelming majority of business leaders say that even as demand for workers with degrees and other credentials is rising when it comes to making hiring decisions, a candidate’s knowledge and skills far outweigh where that candidate went to college or their major, according to new data released today.


    That key insight and others are part of the annual Gallup/Lumina Foundation poll that reveals reasons why America’s higher education system must be redesigned to serve the nation’s growing need for talent. -See more on the Lumina Foundation Website

  • November 04, 2013 12:33 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio ACTE continues to monitor HB 168, the Apprenticeship Bill, introduced by State Representative Christina M. Hagan (R-Marlboro Township).   The bill is aimed at increasing Ohio’s skilled labor workforce by giving high school students a viable option that can be an alternative or a compliment to college.

    Ohio ACTE representatives have met with Rep. Hagan to express concern over details of the Bill, especially funding for the initiatives.  CTE representatives, including Cindy Smythe, Superintendent at RG Drage Career Center in Massillon,  and Anthony Knickerbocker, Lancaster City Schools Career Technical City Schools Assistant Principal, attended a meeting Oct. 29.    The meeting was convened by Rep. Hagan and included interested parties, such as current apprenticeship programs, manufacturers’ and community college representatives.   

    Click  here for full text of HB 168


  • October 02, 2013 10:08 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Superintendent of Public Instruction, Richard A. Ross, released information regarding school funding provisions on Sept. 30.

    The new formulas and reports tied to state foundation payments will begin changing in October as ODE starts to implement H.B. 59 school-funding provisions. The budget bill required that state foundation payments be based on fiscal year 2013 calculations until September 29. After that, the Department may base payments on the new fiscal year 2014 formulas, according to the information from ODE.

    October payments for some will still reflect the calculations or formulas used in fiscal year 2013:

    • October payments for traditional districts and community schools will be based on new fiscal year 2014 formulas.
    • October payments for joint vocational school districts and county boards of developmental disabilities will be based on fiscal year 2013 formulas.
    • School treasurers will receive the Department’s School Finance Newsletter containing more details on October payments.

    Read the complete information here.

  • September 05, 2013 3:12 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    A pre-application is now available for businesses who want financial help to train their current workforce. The Ohio Development Services Agency is launching round two of the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program. This program will make $30 million in Fiscal Year 2014 available for employers to train their workforce. $27 million in grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The remaining $3 million will be used for loans. Applications for the grant program will be accepted for review on September 30, 2013.

    “Building a strong economy is about ensuring Ohio’s workforce has the tools it needs for success,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “We want our workforce to be ready for the competitive jobs of tomorrow.”

    Training can occur in: Advanced Manufacturing, Aerospace and Aviation, Automotive, Back Office, BioHealth, Corporate Headquarters, Energy, Financial Services, Food Processing, Information Technology and Services, Logistics, Polymers and Chemicals, and Research and Development. Training opportunities include, but are not limited to, classes at an accredited education institution, operational skills training, certification processes and equipment training. Training can occur at the employer’s facility, at the training provider’s facility or at a third-party site.

    This program is operated as a reimbursable program, and is for an Ohio company that has been in operation for at least 12 months. The Ohio Development Services Agency will reimburse the employer for up to 50 percent of the eligible training costs, up to $4,000 per employee, after 1) the employer pays the full cost of the training, and 2) the employee successfully completes the training. The maximum amount an employer may qualify for in a fiscal year is $250,000.

    For more information about the Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program visit http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_wtvp.htm.

  • September 04, 2013 2:21 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio’s public schools entered an era of greater accountability with the Ohio Department of Education’s August 22 release of new school and school district report cards that assign A-F letter grades in up to nine performance areas.   The new reporting system includes a separate report card for career-technical schools that includes some of the same measures used in all school districts, as well as different measures applicable to career-technical education to indicate performance.   The grades are available at Ohio’s new interactive report card site ,reportcard.education.ohio.gov.


    For the first time, career -technical schools will be issued their own report card that is similar to the report cards issued by the Ohio Department of Education to other schools.

  • August 21, 2013 10:39 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)
    The Ohio House of Representatives, Higher Education Study Committee, Rep. Clifford Rosenberger, Chair, held a hearing August 20, 2013 at Penta Career Center.  This is part of a series of the Committee’s Hearings throughout the state to gain information and insight on higher education opportunities in Ohio. 

    Approximately 70 people were in attendance and heard testimony from  Ron Matter, Superintended at Penta Career Center, business representatives, adult students and others regarding the impact of adult education to individuals and Ohio’s economy.

    Click here to read testimony from Supt. Matter.

  • August 08, 2013 5:49 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Penta Career Center will host one of six hearings held throughout the state in August by the House of Representatives Higher Education Study Committee.

    The focus of the August 20 meeting is “Transitioning to Higher Education.”  The Chairman of the Committee is Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville).

    Details of the meeting are:

    August 20, 2013: Penta Career Center, Perrysburg – 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.


    • Dual enrollment programs
    • Improved student preparation/reducing remediation rates
    • Developmental education reform
    • Higher education – high school alignment project
    • Career counseling
    • What parents need to know about higher education

    For a complete list of hearings and more information, visit the  House Committee’s Web page. 

  • July 17, 2013 3:17 PM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Ohio is changing the way it measures and rates the performance of schools and districts. The 2012-2013 school and district report cards will grade schools and districts on a mix of new and previously used items with an A-F letter-grade system.


    Previous school and district report cards mostly were based on how well students performed on state achievement tests. Achievement tests will still be a major part of school and district grades, but the new report card will view them in a different way. In addition, the new report cards will use expanded measurements to determine if students are prepared for success beyond high school.


    The Department of Education released simulated report card grades for Ohio’s new career-technical education accountability system on July 16. The new rating system is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation to use A to F letter grades and to exceed the requirements of the federal Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.


    “Career and technical education is an important educational option available to students in Ohio,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard A. Ross. “Holding career and technical centers accountable and ensuring they are providing a quality education is vital to the success of those schools and the success of the students that graduate from those schools.”


    The new career-tech report cards were developed by legislatively required representatives from the Ohio Board of Regents, the Office of Workforce Transformation, the Ohio Association of Career-Technical Superintendents, the Ohio Association of City Career-Technical Schools, the Ohio ACTE and the Ohio Department of Education.


    The 2012-2013 Ohio career-tech report cards will be published in late August along with new A-F report cards for traditional and community schools. The data will be for students from the graduating class of 2011 in each of Ohio’s 91 career-technical districts.


    “We want to continue to encourage these districts to find ways to expand their pathways for career readiness through innovative training programs, partnerships with business and quality credentialing,” added Ross.


    A simulation that includes preliminary grades has been posted to the Department of Education website and can be accessed here.


    The report card will include A-F letter grades in three areas: four-year and five-year graduation rates and post-program placement.


    The graduation rates measure the proportion of career-tech students who graduated within four and five years of beginning ninth grade. Students must be concentrating in career-technical studies by the end of their fourth year of high school to be included in these graduation rates. They will be graded using the same scale being used on the new A-F report cards for traditional and community schools.


    The Post-Program Outcomes component has two pieces:


    The Post-Program Placement measure receives a letter grade based on the proportion of students who were enrolled in postsecondary education, advance training, military service or employed within six months of leaving secondary education.  A report is given on the Industry Credentials measure, which measures the proportion of students earning an industry credential within six months after leaving secondary education.


    The Status Known Rate reflects the proportion of career-technical students who left school for whom follow-up data was reported during the March reporting period.

    Once the initial grade has been determined career-tech districts with Status Known Rates of 95 percent or above will have their placement grade increased by one letter grade. Districts with Status Known Rates between 85 percent and 94.9 percent will see no change in their initial grade. Districts with rates below 85 percent will have their placement grades decreased one letter grade.


    Additional components, measures and grades will be added to the career-tech report card over time. Information regarding report cards for 2014 and beyond will be made available after receiving State Board approval, likely in late 2013.

    Career-technical programs will continue to report data to the federal government as previously required.


    For more information, visit ODE CTE Webs site.


  • July 15, 2013 11:23 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    Boards of education, including those for joint vocational school districts, are required to track the amount of time schools must be open for instruction in hours, rather than in days.  This change is part of the legislation for Ohio’s state budget for the 2014 and 2015 fiscal years that was signed into law by Governor John Kasich on June 30, 2013 and takes effect for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year. 

    Previously, schools at all levels had to be open with pupils in attendance for at least 182 days per school year. The new law has tiers of hourly requirements depending on a student’s grade. In the case of pupils in grades 7 through 12, each school must be open for at least 1,001 hours per school year, according to Ohio Revised Code (R.C. 3313.48(A).

    The new law requires boards of education of city, village and local school districts to hold a public hearing no later than 30 days prior to adopting a school calendar to address topics including the total number of hours in a school year, length of school day, and beginning and end dates of instruction.  (Ohio R.C. 3313.48(B).

     Also, the new law requires all school boards, prior to making any change in the hours or days in which a high school under its jurisdiction is open for instruction, to consider the compatibility of the proposed change with the scheduling needs of any joint vocational school district in which any of the high school's students are also enrolled. The new law says a board shall consider the impact of the proposed change on student access to the instructional programs offered by the joint vocational school district, incentives for students to participate in career-technical education, transportation, and the timing of graduation.

    A school board must also provide the joint vocational school district board with advance notice of the proposed change, and the two boards must enter into a written agreement prescribing reasonable accommodations to meet the scheduling needs of the joint vocational school district prior to implementation of the change. (See R.C. 3313.48(D).

    “While there is no specific information on how to handle scheduling conflicts with associate schools, it is clear that the intent of this provision is to encourage schools to work with the career center to best serve students,” said Terrence O’Donnell, attorney with Dickenson Wright and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel.  Having a written agreement between schools and JVSDs will allow both to work together to develop a workable plan, he said.

  • July 10, 2013 10:11 AM | Ohio ACTE (Administrator)

    After a yearlong and sometimes grinding process, the Ohio General Assembly and Governor Kasich have come together around House Bill 59, the two-year operating budget of $62 billion. 


    The budget includes  significant changes to CTE.  Those include:


    School Funding:  The budget revises the state’s school funding formula.  At a base level, the new formula provides funding based on student population so “the money follows the student.”  However, as with past formulas, there are “guarantees” in place to ensure no district loses funding (even with lower student populations) and “caps” such that no district gains more than 6.5% in FY ’14 and 10.5% in FY ‘15.  Overall, the budget increases state education funding by $1.5 billion in the next two years.


                “We are very pleased that the budget preserves the additional funds associated with CTE, often called “weighted funding, ”  said Terrence O’Donnell, attorney with Dickenson Wright and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel.  But the weighted funding amounts are new, he added.  Under the old formula, generally each CTE student was funded at an additional 57% for workforce development programs and 28% for CBI / Family & Consumer Science programs.  This percentage was indexed by the “state share,” meaning wealthier districts did not receive the full 57% (in fact, some saw no weighted funds) while poorer districts could capture the entire 57%.  The new formula similarly indexes weighted funds based on state share, said O’Donnell.


                Under the new formula, weighted funds are not simply allocated “per student,” but rather according to which field of study an individual CTE student enters.  In other words, weighted funds are provided in a “tiered” approach laid out in the in the new law. Note the weighted funds increase slightly from FY ‘14 to FY ‘15.  By targeting dollars by the tiers, the budget seeks to incentivize investment in career fields believed to be in greater demand.


                There is no requirement the dollars provided under the formula actually be spent for programs associated with the tier in which they were provided, so schools will retain flexibility in terms of setting their budgets.  However, the Ohio Department of Education’s requirement that 75% of these weighted funds be allocated to non-personnel such as equipment is retained (and in fact now codified in law).  View the program tiers here.


    Approval of New CTE Programming

                The budget specifies that a city, local, or exempted village school district, community school, or STEM school that wishes to offer CTE programming must first seek approval of the “lead district” in career technical planning district (“CTPD.”)  The intention is to increase student access to valuable CTE programs while maintaining a coordinated delivery of services.  Note that if a lead district in the CTPD disapproves a new program, the district may appeal this decision to ODE. 


                The lead district’s decision is to be based on rules to be adopted by ODE.

    JVSD Board Composition


                The budget contains another very important policy change that pertains to the composition of Joint Vocational School District boards.  Currently, JVSD boards are comprised pursuant to local “plans” that were developed at the founding of the JVSD.  Many such JVSD plans provide that the board is made up one elected school board member from each participating district, and perhaps additional representation from the local Educational Service Center.


                While clear that the local plans need not change as a result of the new law, HB 59 adds significant new experience criteria required to serve as a board member.  The law is also clear that a JVSD Board member need not be an elected official from a local district or ESC.  The new law specifically contemplates that some or all of the JVSD board members could be appointed from local school boards or ESCs.  If an existing board member meets the criteria, he/she may continue to serve.  If not, he/she would be replaced upon expiration of his/her current term.


    In summary, the new law provides as follows.

    • Term limits:  Members of a JVSD board will serve a maximum of two 3-year terms. Three-fifths of the total members must live or work in JVSD territory.

    • Business Experience:  JVSD board Members must “have experience as CFOs, CEOs, HR managers, or other business, industry, or career counseling professionals who are qualified to discuss the labor needs of the region.”  The appointee shall “represent employers in the region who are qualified to consider the state’s workforce opportunities with an understanding of the skills, training and education needed for current and future employment.”  The appointing board may “give preference” to individuals serving on the JVSD advisory board.

    Mobile Welding Labs

                The state budget appropriates a $1 million earmark for a “demonstration project” to purchase portable welding stations for use by Lorain County Community College and a separate $1 million earmark for a portable welding lab for use at the Point Industrial Park in Lawrence County.  While not spelled out in statute, presumably the demonstration projects will coordinate welding training in some manner with existing programs, including those at nearby career centers.


                To conclude, Governor Kasich signed the State Budget into law on Sunday, June 30 and it took effect July 1.  As the various state agencies such as the Department of Education, the Board of Regents, and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation work to implement the new provisions, Ohio ACTE will continue to advocate on behalf of career-technical and adult education and provide information on changes impacting CTE.


    Access the entire budget summary, district spreadsheets and other information here.

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