COLUMBUS—State Senator Jon Husted (R-Kettering) today introduced Senate Bill 180, legislation to help Ohio better compete for federal Race to the Top dollars. The $4.35 billion Race to the Top program was announced by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan earlier this year.

“Secretary Duncan has made it clear that only those states that are creating the conditions for innovation in education and reform will compete for this grant,” Husted said. “This bill puts Ohio in a much better position to compete with other states.”

Husted’s legislation will make Ohio more competitive by allowing for student performance to be linked to teacher evaluations, which Secretary Duncan has indicated is a key component for Race to the Top dollars.

Additional changes Senator Husted’s legislation will make include, allowing for operators of high performing brick and mortar community schools to open new schools and removing the moratorium on new start-up Internet or computer-based community schools. Duncan has repeatedly indicated states that limit school choice initiatives will be at a disadvantage in the Race to the Top competition.

The legislation will also allow for individuals who have participated in the Teach for America program to be eligible for a teaching license in Ohio.

“During these tough and uncertain financial times, I believe it is imperative that Ohio be in a strong position to take advantage of the Race to the Top dollars,” Husted said.

Husted also noted that seven other states –including Tennessee, Rhode Island, Indiana, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Colorado and Illinois- have revoked their limits on charter schools. The California legislature has also taken action to allow for the use of student performance data to evaluate teachers.

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