Gifted Rule Update
The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce has announced the gifted rule is open for comment until December 22nd. To clarify: these comments should be based on the rule that is posted at this website: https://education.ohio.gov/About/Ohio-Administrative-Code-OAC-Rule-Comments#OAC%203301-51-15%20Operating%20standards%20for%20identifying%20and%20serving%20students%20who%20are%20gifted.
While the document indicates it is a “draft,” this document is the current rule. There was a draft that had been given to the ODE and stakeholder feedback had been provided, however, the gifted rule process has now started over. That draft is no longer being considered.
Gifted Use of Funds
The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce has also released their FY24 and FY25 gifted use of funds documents located here: https://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Special-Education/Special-Education-Data-and-Funding/Gifted-Education-Expenditures
We have also posted this document on our website located under the Fiscal Year 2024/2025 Budget Documents heading: https://oagc.com/advocacy/state-budget/
In comparison to the 2022 Gifted Use of Funds document, changes to Allowable Expenditures are as follows (pg. 6):
- Clarification that qualified staff for gifted intervention specialists can include individuals who hold gifted licensure, endorsement or supplement licenses and are assigned as a gifted intervention specialist.
- Clarification that allowable expenditures for curriculum and instructional materials must be provided by staff assigned as gifted intervention specialists.
- Clarification that family engagement and community outreach activities are allowable expenditures, as long as those activities are provided by qualified staff assigned as gifted intervention specialists or gifted coordinators.
- Similarly, there is clarification that talent development strategies must also be provided by qualified staff assigned as gifted intervention specialists or gifted coordinators.
Expenditures not allowed
- Salary and benefits for general education teachers and trained arts instructors providing gifted services.
- Expenses related to internships, mentorships, credit flexibility plans, and higher education coursework, including College Credit Plus, for students identified as gifted.
- Curriculum and instructional materials that are not related to services provided by qualified staff assigned as gifted intervention specialists.
There are no changes in the USAS list of allowable expenditures for Gifted Identification, Gifted Support Services, Gifted Education Coordinator Services, and Gifted Training Services.
Governor’s Merit Scholarship
As reported in previous Advocacy Alerts, HB33 (the budget bill) also included the Governor’s Merit Scholarship – an effort to keep the highest achieving high school seniors in the state for their college educations. This scholarship awards graduating seniors in the top 5% of their class a $5,000 scholarship (each year for four years of full-time instruction) for any public, private, or nonprofit college or university in Ohio. School districts will need to submit information regarding their eligible students to an online portal located at: https://meritscholarship.ohio.gov/ Therefore, students attending public schools and chartered nonpublic high schools will not need to apply, however homeschool students may also apply for this application.
There is more information regarding this program here: https://highered.ohio.gov/educators/financial-aid/sgs/gms/gms
State Board of Education
The State Board of Education will meet on December 5th at 10am. This meeting will be live streamed on the ohiochannel.org and members will focus on their search for a Superintendent of Public Instruction.