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OAGC - Ohio Association for Gifted Children
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Advocacy Update 5.16.19 – State Budget Update; Testimony on Gifted Assessments Needed 

State Budget Update – OAGC provided testimony to the Ohio Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Subcommittee this week on Substitute House Bill 166 (the budget bill).  The testimony can be accessed at www.oagc.com/statebudget.asp. OAGC continues to request increased funding based on the gifted cost study, increased ESC gifted funding, and increased gifted funding accountability.  OAGC also supports two new studies on gifted included in the substitute bill regarding gifted funding transparency (with some revisions) and rural gifted incentives. However, OAGC is concerned about two new provisions in the substitute bill: 

  1. Report Card Changes - The House made some changes to report card calculations that are very concerning.  In particular, OAGC is troubled by the change to the composite grade to reflect the better of the performance index or the value-added grade – leaving the other report card components out of the calculation. This move would devalue all the other report card components, which are still critically important to students, parents, and the public at large. If the goal is to de-emphasize the composite grade, then perhaps it is better to just eliminate it altogether. But this House change, which has not been vetted, seems to infuse the performance index and the value-added measure with oversized importance relative to the other report card measures. 
  2. Non-Public School College Credit Plus Opt-Out - Another change the House included in the substitute bill is to allow accredited non-public schools to opt out of the College Credit Plus program. OAGC believes that all students regardless of their school setting should be allowed to access College Credit Plus. Allowing some non-public schools to opt-out will negatively impact students in these schools whose public-school options do not meet the majority of their needs. Regardless of setting, parents should be able to ultimately decide what is best for their children. 

The Ohio Senate will prepare a substitute bill over the next week or two and take final testimony on education before the full Ohio Senate Finance Committee on May 29th

ODE Gifted Assessment List – OAGC is extremely troubled by the new Ohio Department of Education list of approved assessments to be used for gifted identification. The list can be viewed at http://www.oagc.com/files/2019-2020-Approved-Assessment-List(1).pdf

OAGC has concerns about the lack of assessments for visual and performing arts and the thin number of assessments that can be used to adequately identify students who are multi-exceptional. We have prepared a full list of our concerns which can be accessed at:  

http://www.oagc.com/files/OAGC%20Concerns%20Regarding%20New%20ODE%20GIfted%20Assessment%20List%205.16.19%20.pdf

.  We are asking gifted coordinators and others to consider testifying before the State Board of Education on June 11th. It would likely be early afternoon. We need voices beyond the few of the OAGC board who have contacted board members. If you have concerns about this list and can testify, please contact Ann Sheldon at anngift@aol.com. You might want to use the list of OAGC’s concerns to help you write your testimony. 

Posted: 5/16/2019
Last Update: 5/17/2019

Advocacy Update 5.3.19 – State Budget Update; ODE Assessment List for 2019/2020

 

State Budget Update – Yesterday, the Ohio House Finance Committee accepted a sub bill for the biennial budget. As expected from prior press coverage, Sub HB 166 does NOT include the Cupp Patterson Fair School Funding Plan. It is possible that some version of the plan might be explored in the Senate. However, concerns about the lack of funding going to the poorest districts through the Cupp-Patterson funding mechanism have caused House leadership to effectively shelf the plan for now.  The House did propose additional funding for education in the sub bill for poorer, rural districts as well as school bus replacement.  No changes were made to gifted education. Several changes in taxes including a narrowing of the small business tax treatment were also included in the sub bill. Please go to www.oagc.com/statebudget.aspto view the sub bill as well as the comparison document. 

The Ohio Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Subcommittee will be taking testimony for the next two weeks on the education portion of HB166. 

ODE Assessment List – The Ohio Department of Education released a new list of approved assessments included those to be used for gifted identification. It can be viewed at http://www.oagc.com/files/2019-2020-Approved-Assessment-List(1).pdf

OAGC has concerns about the lack of assessments for visual and performing arts and the thin number of assessments that can be used to adequately identify students who are multi-exceptional. If you have similar concerns, we recommend you contact your state board representative. Contact information can be found at http://education.ohio.gov/State-Board/State-Board-Members

Posted: 5/3/2019
Last Update: 5/3/2019

Advocacy Update – 4.12.19 – OAGC Testimony; Fair School Funding Plan Future

The House Finance Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee met four days this week accepting hours of testimony from education groups. OAGC provided testimony on April 11. This testimony can be found at http://www.oagc.com/files/SheldonTestimony_Final_4.11.19.pdf. The main OAGC recommendations were suggested fixes to the gifted formula calculation in the Fair School Funding plan along with recommendations regarding gifted funding accountability and service transparency, ESC funding, and the establishment of a gifted rural taskforce. OAGC asked for the latter proposals to be considered regardless of the school funding formula adopted. Committee members had questions about why districts were not spending all state gifted funding on gifted students, how much gifted funding was provided to ESCs, and whether districts adequately understood how to code gifted expenditures. 

While most education groups spoke positively about the Fair School Funding plan, they noted that there was a subset of poor districts that would not benefit from the plan. Many also wondered about the timeline for the phase-in. Some also questioned how special education and other categorical areas would be funding. The education management associations indicated that ESCs needed more funding than the plan would currently allocate. 

With public testimony complete, the House will now deliberate behind the scenes. The goal is to adjust the Fair School Funding plan and include it in a sub bill that would be introduced after the General Assembly Spring break, which ends April 29. Speaker of the House, Larry Householder, did open the door to a delay in adopting the Fair School Funding. He stated on April 10ththat it was such an important issue, it might take the rest of the General Assembly to get it right. The House is expected to pass a budget sub bill the first week of May. 

In the meantime, the Ohio Senate will begin budget deliberations before the House has completed its work. This is a typical occurrence when a new governor comes into office and the budget process is condensed. The Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Subcommittee will hear testimony from the state superintendent and other agencies the week of April 22nd

Posted: 4/12/2019
Last Update: 4/12/2019

Advocacy Update 3.28.19 – Budget Bill Introduced; School Funding Plan Revealed 

The biennial budget was formally introduced this week in HB166. The 1800-page bill had no surprises regarding education. In particular, no changes were made to the gifted formula or the earmark for gifted units at ESCs (Educational Service Centers). As expected, more funding was included for pre-school education and wrap-around services. The governor’s office indicated that few changes were made to education funding in anticipation of the Ohio House bi-partisan plan to revamp education funding. The overall framework of the plan was revealed on Monday, March 3.25.19, and hearings throughout the week provided more details. With regard to gifted funding, the plan provides little more information than previously reported. The “Fair School Funding Plan” recommendations for gifted funding include:  

  1. Implementing the May 2018 Ohio Department of Education gifted cost study, using its per-student amounts to underwrite identification, referrals, coordinators and services. 
  2. Establishing a work group to recommend improvements in reporting the expenditures established in the 2018 ODE study for gifted students and gifted programming. 
  3. Offering support to rural districts to create and expand gifted programs. 

OAGC has concerns about various elements of the gifted cost study, which we’ve outlined at http://www.oagc.com/files/OAGC%20Response%20to%20the%20Gifted%20Cost%20Study7.25.18(1).pdf

Our main concerns are the transfer of bulk of the gifted funding burden to local districts, GIS to student ratios that will provide too little support, and the immediateneed for gifted funding accountability. OAGC will be advocating for changes to the recommended gifted funding plan and policies in the upcoming weeks. Simulations of the new funding formula should be made available on March 28, 2019.  

All documents related to the state budget including all Fair School Funding documents will be posted at http://www.oagc.com/statebudget.asp  under the FY2020/FY2021 Budget Documents topic heading. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted: 3/28/2019
Last Update: 3/28/2019

Advocacy Update 1.18.19 – State Board Leadership Vote; School Funding Presentation; New House Committees

State Board of Education – This week state board of education members elected appointed-member, Laura Kohler, as president of the board and elected member, Charlotte McGuire, as vice president of the board. While Ms. Kohler easily won her position with 13 of the 19 board votes, Ms. McGuire squeaked by on a 9-8 vote over long-time board member, Sarah Fowler. The election ran smoothly with little controversy. Ms. Kohler previous served on the New Albany and Worthington boards of education. 

Much of this month’s state board meeting was geared toward bringing new members up to speed with various presentations on everything from the report card to filling out timesheets to graduation requirements. One of the presentations was from Rep. Bob Cupp (R) and Rep. John Patterson who were joined by several district treasurers and superintendents. The presentation outlined the bi-partisan work of a school funding committee that met over the past year or so. (OAGC participated in the Special Education, Gifted, and ELL sub-committee). The following information was shared regarding gifted funding:  

As previously reported, OAGC has some reservations about the 2018 gifted cost study. To review the presentation, the gifted cost study and OAGC’s response, please go to http://oagc.com/advocacyUpdates.aspand scroll to the “2018 Gifted Cost Study” topic heading. 

Ohio House Committees – The Ohio House release a draft of the 133rdGeneral Assembly committee structure. Committees relating to K-12 education include the House Finance - Primary and Secondary Education subcommittee (to be co-chaired with one democrat and one republican) and the Primary and Secondary Education Committee. 

 

 

 

 

Posted: 1/18/2019
Last Update: 1/18/2019