Kasich pulls funding from PARCC Common Core tests in new budget

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There's been a lot of debate over the state's controversial Common Core tests.

Now, Ohio has become the latest state to pull out of the PARCC testing consortium.

Tuesday night, Gov. John Kasich signed the state's two-year budget bill. As part of that bill, he banned the state of Ohio from spending any further funding on PARCC tests in elementary and secondary school classrooms, PARCC officials confirm.

The portion of the budget bill that addresses the PARCC funding states that the bill:

"*Prohibits GRF appropriations from being used to purchase an assessment developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for use as the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments. (But) *Requires the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments to be "nationally normed, standardized assessments."

The bill calls for the Ohio Department of Education to immediately find a new test provider that will be better-accepted and more efficient when measuring student assessments.

The Ohio Department of Education released the following statement Wednesday morning:

"Our top priority is making sure Ohio has high-quality standards and rigorous assessments that ensure students are on the right path to be ready for college and careers. While Ohio educators have played a leading role in creating the PARCC assessments, we are committed to moving forward to build a seamless system that is easy to use and provides timely information to teachers and parents."

In matters not relating to the PARCC tests, the $71.2 billion budget also continues Kasich's expansion of the Medicaid health program and provides an income-tax cut.

The Republican governor made extensive use of his line-item veto, striking 44 provisions from the sweeping spending blueprint before signing it Tuesday. Several vetoes targeted benefits provided large businesses or industries, including power plants, big box retailers and nursing homes.

The spending measure provides a 6.3-percent state income-tax cut beginning in tax year 2015 as a part of a roughly $1.9 billion net tax reduction. That lowers the top income-tax rate to just below 5 percent. It also provides tax relief for small businesses and funds public schools.

Kasich left untouched two provisions that aided in the closing of more Ohio abortion clinics.

 For the entire House Bill 64 document, click here.

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