Ohio schools seek changes to college credit program

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Department of Education is pushing legislation that would makes changes to a statewide program offering free college credit to middle- and high-schoolers.

Changes to the College Credit Plus program that are backed by the department include eliminating a waiver that allows school groups to negotiate with colleges to set lower credit-hour fees, The Columbus Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/1Ue8rka).

Another provision would allow a pilot program under which students who aren’t ready for college could take remedial courses.

But lobbyists for some school organizations say the changes they want are not in the bill .

While they support the program’s goal of making college less expensive, school groups say it costs districts too much. Tuition payments for the program’s students come out of the districts’ pockets, along with other expenses.

The school groups— the Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio Association of School Business Officials and Buckeye Association of School Administrators —want help paying for textbooks for students. They also want a standardized way to compare the program to other credit-bearing courses, such as Advanced Placement.

Other changes include requiring parents who can afford it to pay something toward the cost.

Barbara Shaner, of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, said the proposed bill’s provision to allow students to take remedial courses through the program defeats its purpose.

“Our concern is, we thought the idea of College Credit Plus was to provide this opportunity for students who are already at college level,” she said. “This just seems like we’re trying to take the high school system and put it at the college system.”

The bill has had two hearings and could be taken up again in the General Assembly’s lame-duck session at the end of the year.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

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