Districts risk state funding if parents opt out of tests
School districts risk losing state funding for students who don’t take state standardized tests, but so far no money has been withheld.
As more parents keep their children from taking new state tests currently being administered in schools, the state plans to provide further guidance on the issue this week, said John Charlton, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Education.
Tom Ash, director of governmental affairs at the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, said the original intent of the state statute that allows money to be held back from districts when children don’t test was to ensure that school districts made a good-faith effort to test all students. That was a special concern for certain groups, such as those who have special needs, who are impoverished or whose first language isn’t English.
“I don’t think anyone anticipated the opting-out side of this,” Ash said.
His group, as well as the Ohio Association of School Business, has been peppered with calls from district leaders concerned about the issue.