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OAGC - Ohio Association for Gifted Children
Advocacy Alerts

Advocacy Update 3.19.18 - Quick Update on HB512 Hearing on 3.21.18

The House Government Accountabilty and Oversight will be accepting a substitute bill for HB512 at a hearing on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. No testimony will be taken at that time. Watch for details on the changes at this page later this week. After this week, the General Assembly will be on spring break for two weeks. 

Posted: 3/19/2018
Last Update: 3/19/2018

Advocacy Update – 3.14.18 – Gifted Rule Change Status; SB216 Moves Forward; HB512 Encounters Opposition; State Board Seeks Input on Strategic Plan

Gifted Rule Changes – The State Board of Education Achievement and Graduation Committee met and unanimously passed the changes to the gifted rule to extend the 60 hour professional development requirement over four years rather than two and to decrease to 30 hours the professional development requirement for AP/IB teachers with qualified training. The full board should vote on the resolution next week.

HB512 – Citizens opposed to HB512 came out two weeks in a row to make their voices heard. Last week, the bill sponsor and other committee members seemed caught off-guard by the level of opposition from homeschoolers, education associations, and others.  In addition, the state board of education voted to oppose the bill in a 11-4 yesterday.

What the bill sponsor and other committee members still do not seem to understand is that the main objection to the bill is that it removes public access to effect change in education policy. The bill sponsor continues to push back against opponent witnesses asking why they want to continue to do the same thing we are doing when the college remediation rate is so high. One committee member, Rep. Bill Seitz, told a witness that the JCARR (Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review) and CSI (Common Sense Initiatives) processes will ensure that the public still be heard. While technically true, it is not wholly accurate. First, many, decisions reviewed and voted on by the State Board of Education do not go through the rule making process. For instance, elements of the state report card including the gifted performance indicator were not part of a promulgated rule. Second, the CSI process only applies to businesses and non-public schools, not necessarily, public-school districts. Second, The JCARR hearings come at the very end of administration rule process. The rule is all but done at that point.  The role of the JCARR committee is to invalidate a rule only if it violates one or more of the six items that are fairly technical such as whether the rules conflict with an existing rule or with legislative intent.

A rule can conform technically and still be highly unpalatable to the various interested parties. Without any public input to elected policymakers before the Chapter 119 hearing and JCARR hearing, it will highly unlikely that the public can effect change. Finally, beyond, administrative code, there is technical documentation etc. that interested parties and the public will seek to provide input. How will this happen with a political appointed education director who is only responsible to the governor? Gifted advocates need to make their opposition known on this issue. Please consider providing testimony (written or in-person) in upcoming hearings. If HB512 passes, we will all be at the political will and whim of any future governor with no ability to provide input effectively and efficiently.  Please contact for more information on how you can provide testimony.  To see samples of other testimony, please go to and click on the documents for the March 7th and 14th hearings. There is a long list of opponent testimony under the HB512 heading.

SB216 – The Senate Education Committee took a few more amendments on SB216 last week and unanimously passed the bill out of committee. The amendments accepted would split the cost of College Credit Plus textbooks between parents and children; replace teacher evaluation language with that included in SB240; revised provisional license and intervention specialist language; includes language for provisional licenses in early college high schools, and, finally, consolidates additional reports. An amendment to change the student sub-group N-size to ten from thirty was defeated though the sponsor indicated that the House may want to take up that issue. The change to intervention specialist license could move the gifted intervention specialist license from K-12 to specific grade bands which OAGC opposes. In addition, OAGC still has some concerns with the bill including the cost of College Credit Plus textbooks; the student subgroup N-size, and provisional licenses for teachers to teach outside of their content or grade level. These issues will likely see some lively debate in the House Education Committee.

State Board of Education Seeks Input on Strategic Plan – Regional meetings across the state will be held to discuss that State Board of Education draft strategic plan. To access the plan and more details about the meetings, please go to

Register now to attend a local meeting by clicking on the specific meeting location below:










Posted: 3/14/2018
Last Update: 3/14/2018

Advocacy Update - 3.3.2018 - HB512 Hearing On Wednesday, March 7.

Late Friday afternoon, a hearing was scheduled for the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. The hearing will take place on March 7, 2018 in Room 114 in the Ohio Statehouse. HB512 will be the last of several bills to be heard on Wednesday. If you can attend or if you can submit testimony, please contact Gifted advocates should try to have at least 5 witnesses for each hearing (either in-person or through written testimony). This bill will, if passed, will greatly impede the average Ohioan from having a voice in education policy. Please consider making your voice heard now!

Posted: 3/3/2018
Last Update: 3/3/2018

Advocacy Update – 3.2.2018 - SB216 Deliberations Continue; HB512 Receives Proponent Testimony

SB216 – The Senate Education Committee received additional testimony and accepted a few more amendments to SB216 this week. The bill is will receive another hearing on March 7th. The committee agenda indicates that it is up for a possible vote. As the General Assembly heads toward spring break, it is unlikely that the bill will be referred to a committee in the Ohio House before April. While most of the gifted-specific issues are resolved in the currently amended version of the bill, two outstanding issues remain: allowing superintendents to reassign teachers to teach out their grade and content licensure areas and the increase of the student sub-group N size increase.  

HB512 - The education/workforce development agency consolidation bill received proponent testimony this week in the House Government and Oversight Committee. The bill which would combine the department of higher education, workforce development, and the department of education, also would greatly decrease the authority of the state board of education and limit the voice of individuals on education policy.  All testimony can be viewed at the 2.27.18 link under documents at the following link: . When asked how the new mega-agency would be more effective, few witnesses could provide a substantive response. For gifted advocates, the most interesting testimony came from Tom Gunlock, former (appointed) member and president of the State Board of Education. Mr. Gunlock shared his frustrations of having “too many cooks” in the kitchen making education policy. He also spoke of the dis-function of the board. Asked for an example of dis-function, Mr. Gunlock referred to the gifted rule that took over two years to approve. (What Mr. Gunlock failed to mention that as president of the board overseeing that process, it was his decision to delay the rule so that another appointed member could be cleared by the Ohio Ethics Commission of potential conflicts of interest.)

The OAGC governing board voted last week to oppose HB512. It is likely that most, if not all, education associations will do likewise. Even so, it is by no means certain that the bill will be defeated. It is important that gifted advocates be able to maintain a voice in developing education policy. Please consider writing or emailing your representative to voice your opposition to this bill. The main points are: 

As always, please be polite. Committee members genuinely need and want to hear from people. Here is the contact information for the members of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee:

Rep. Louis Blessing III (R) – Chair and bill co-sponsor


Rep. Bill Reineke (R) – Vice-chair and bill sponsor


Rep. Tim Ginter (R)


Rep. Dave Greenspan (R)


Rep. Scott Lipps (R)


Rep. Riordan McClain (R)


Rep. Dorothy Pelanda (R)


Rep. Bill Seitz (R)


Rep. Ryan Smith (R) co-sponsor


Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D) – ranking minority member


Rep. Brigid Kelly (D)


Rep. Bernadine Kent (D)


Rep. Martin Sweeney (D)


If you would be willing to testify in future hearings (either in person or through written testimony), please contact . The committee usually meets on Tuesday afternoons at 1:00 pm, but this week it will meet on Wednesday, March 7th at 9:30 am in Room 114 at the Statehouse. If you can submit testimony or attend, please consider doing so. 

Posted: 3/2/2018
Last Update: 3/3/2018

Advocacy Update – 2.15.18 – ODE Seeks Gifted Rule Change Input; New Bill Would Merge Several Agencies Including Education

Gifted Rule Change – ODE is seeking input on three changes to the gifted operating standards (a.k.a. the gifted rule). The changes have the support from OAGC, BASA (Superintendents), and the AHQE (High Quality Schools). The changes are required to provide some more time to districts trying to meet the gifted professional development standards. SB216 was amended last week to require the state board of education to make these changes. The proposed revisions to this rule include:

You may provide comments about this rule by email to no later than Feb. 28, 2018. 

HB512 Agency Consolidation – A huge new bill was introduced this week that would significantly alter education policy and governance. HB512, sponsored by Rep. William Reineke, would consolidate the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE), the Governor's Office of Workforce Transformation and much of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and State Board of Education. The agencies would be combined under a new, cabinet-level agency, the Ohio Department of Learning and Achievement. The State Board of Education as the State, which is required under the constitution would find its responsibilities significantly reduced as would the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The reasoning behind the bill is that the new merged department would be more efficient, though it is unclear how those efficiencies will be achieved. The bill co-sponsors indicated the change was needed to be more responsive to workforce needs in Ohio. Again, it is uncles how the combined agency would be more responsive.

While OAGC has no position on the bill at this time, we have significant concerns about how responsive this new agency will be to advocates seeking changes that would benefit gifted students. The Speaker of the House has indicated that this bill is a priority and hopes it will pass the House before the end of May.



Posted: 2/16/2018
Last Update: 2/16/2018