Advocacy Update 1.17.17 — New Year and New Challenges — A brief update

Gifted Operating Standards  – In a welcome change of pace, there was no discussion of gifted operating standards at the January state board of education meeting. The standards, having passed unanimously by the board in December, will now be on pace to be fully adopted sometime this Spring. OAGC will post more news as the final adoption process and date is announced.

State Board of Education — The state board board of education welcomed 8 new board members in January, and will welcome at least one more in upcoming months as C. Todd Jones has indicated that he has not been reappointed to the board. He will continue to attend board meetings until he is replaced. Along with newly elected board members, three new appointed members will replace A.J. Wagner (who resigned in November), Melanie Bolender and Frank Pettigrew. More information about the board composition can be found in the OAGC Advocacy Corner.

Biennial Budget — The biennial budget process will be heating up again soon as the governor is expected to release a blue print of his budget priorities in the next few weeks. The governor’s office has warned of impending budget cuts or “reductions of past increases.” Rumors of cuts to education funding being in the 10% are circulating. How the House and Senate deal with the budget and what is essentially a lame-duck governor remains to be seen. OAGC will update legislative committees and briefings as they occur over the next six months. If you have any suggestions for the OAGC legislative platform, please send them to [email protected]

Federal Changes — With a new president about to take office, and a new secretary of education (not yet confirmed), there will likely be major shifts in federal education policies.