Philanthropy Ohio and its members, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education, hosted the regional meetings, which over 1,500 people attended, between August 31 and October 6. As you know, the meetings gave Ohioans an opportunity to have in-person discussions with a wide variety of community members on key elements of ESSA required for the state plan.

In each community conversation, attendees identified the most important issues facing our students and schools today. The top issue identified was poverty and homelessness, followed by Ohio’s school funding system and resources; family engagement and home life; equitable access to resources; assessments; and the challenge of preparing all students for college and careers. This over-arching discussion of challenges was followed by more focused discussions on specific education issues and components that will need to be addressed in the state plan.

Key findings from the meetings are included in a white paper available online.

Yesterday, Philanthropy Ohio provided the feedback collected at these meetings to the Ohio Department of Education and other key policy makers for use in developing and refining the state’s ESSA plan. The ESSA state plan (replacing No Child Left Behind) must be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in early 2017.

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