Wellston Interim Superintendent Mary Ann Hale recently shared with members of the Wellston City Schools Board of Education several updates on items of legislation currently under consideration in the Ohio General Assembly that would impact education, and more specifically the Wellston School District, in coming months.

During the report, delivered on the night of Monday, June 13, Hale began with House Bill (HB) 687, which she says intends to make available $100 million in state capital appropriations via a competitive-grant process. This legislation, Hale explained, could mean up to $100,000 per building for physical security and safety upgrades at the entrances of Wellston High School, Middle School, and Intermediate School. (The entrance of Bundy Elementary was recently upgraded.) Hale said the district would be trying to tap into these funds.

HB 583, Hale continued, would continue flexibility for substitute teachers across the state. This legislation would extend the allowance of substitutes not being required to possess a bachelor’s degree to be considered for employment, into 2024.

Next, Hale discussed HB 151, which she says pertains to the district’s resident educators. She explained this legislation proposes the reduction of the current four-year residency program down to two years and lifts the limit on the number of times an individual can take the summative assessment.

Also discussed were:

* HB 497, which proposes the elimination of the current requirement to retain third-graders who do not achieve a passing score on the Third-Grade Reading Guarantee.

* HB 492, which requires coaches to go through student mental health training. Hale said this legislation would also allow teachers with expired licenses to be considered “temporary,” but would require them to sign up for classes and afford them one year to renew their credentials.

* HB 606, or “Sarah’s Law,” requires seizure/action plans to be created for any student suffering from seizures. These plans, Hale explained, must then be shared with all school personnel who come into contact with the student in question, including bus drivers and coaches.

Those wishing to monitor these and other items of state legislation can visit ohiohouse.gov.