Monday, October 21, 2013

Joint Vocational Schools Are “Public” in Ohio

Q:       What is a joint vocational school (JVS)? 
A:        JVS districts are considered public school districts in Ohio. They provide career-technical education and workforce development for students from member high schools, which are usually located within a designated geographic area. (As an alternative to becoming a member of a JVS district, a public high school may provide career technical education “in-house” and invite students from other public school districts to attend.) 

Q:       What kind of career preparation does a JVS provide?
A:        JVS districts provide students with training through hands-on labs and workforce development. Programs may be offered in a number of diverse fields, including but not limited to agriculture, business and marketing, construction, education, engineering and science, law and public safety, government and public administration, hospitality and tourism, health sciences and information technology. 

Q:       How are joint vocational schools funded?
A:        JVS districts receive per-pupil foundation payments from the state, similar to traditional public schools. In addition, JVS districts may receive funding from taxes assessed on property owners in the district. JVS districts are also eligible for federal funding. 

Q:       Are joint vocational school teachers licensed?
A:        JVS teachers are required to comply with all of the Ohio Department of Education’s certification and licensing requirements for career-technical educators. 

Q:       How are joint vocational school students tested?
A:        JVS students must take state-approved career-technical assessments. JVS students must also take all graduation tests required of traditional public school students.

Q:       Can a student who graduates from a JVS qualify for admission to a college or university?
A:        Yes. While some JVS programs prepare students to enter the workforce immediately after high school, many programs are specifically designed to prepare students to transition into postsecondary education. JVS districts are also required to offer students a “dual enrollment” opportunity, often achieved through the post-secondary options program, which allows students to earn college credit before they graduate from high school. 

Q:       Is transportation provided to joint vocational schools?
A:        Transportation must be provided to the JVS district by the public high school that serves as the student’s home district. Transportation is provided between the home district’s high school and the JVS. 

This “Law You Can Use” column was provided by the Ohio State Bar Association. It was prepared by attorney Mark A. Weiker of the Columbus firm Means, Bichimer, Burkholder & Baker Co., LPA. Articles appearing in this column are intended to provide broad, general information about the law. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney.

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