5 of 8 Rule
Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3301-35-05, adopted in 1983, requires local districts to have a certain number of elementary art, music and physical education teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, social workers and visiting teachers. Specifically, schools must have at least five of these eight positions for every 1,000 students, the so-called 5 of 8 rule.
Under the current proposal, the state Board of Education would abolish the 5 of 8 rule, and the operating standards would require that “educational service personnel are credentialed staff with the knowledge, skills and expertise to support the educational, instructional, health, mental health and college/career readiness needs of students.”
OEA supports keeping the language in Rule 5 for the following reasons:
- Removing the Current Rule 5 language would have the immediate effect of further reducing the educational opportunities that are available to boys and girls in Ohio’s schools.
- Current Rule 5 language already provides significant flexibility to local school districts; there is no compelling reason to change it.
- Without rules requiring Ohio’s schools to provide specific services that meet the needs of the whole child (including school counseling, nursing, library media support, social work, and elementary art, music and physical education instruction), school districts will have the incentive to focus personnel and other resources only on tested subjects.
- Maintaining the 5 of 8 rule demonstrates that the State Board of Education is committed to equal educational opportunity for all of Ohio’s students. If the 5 of 8 rule were eliminated from the Operating Standards, children from low-wealth communities—those who need these services the most —would be the most likely to be deprived of the support they need for a well-rounded education.
RESOLVED: OCTELA believes that students flourish academically when they are nourished by support personnel that ensure the creativity, health, and well being of the whole child; therefore, eliminating the 5 of 8 Rule will have a direct and negative impact on Ohio students, including many in low-wealth districts where the need for a broad-range of school-based supports for children is most acute.