On Wednesday, the Senate Education Committee unanimously accepted an amendment that restores the gifted performance indicator (which was removed in the sub bill introduced last week). The amendment also calls for the State Board of Education to revise the gifted rule to address the gifted professional development requirements for AP and IB teachers and to extend the timeframe for gifted professional development from two to four years. The amendment was the result of on-going conversations between OAGC, the SB216 Stakeholder group, and the Alliance for High Quality Education. During the hearing, Senator Huffman thanked all parties for their work on resolving the issue. The State Board of Education is expected to take up the rule change at its February meeting though it will take a few months to go through the full adoption process. Gifted advocates who previously reached out to Senator Huffman should take a moment to contact him at [email protected] in order to thank him for offering the gifted amendment. Bill co-sponsor, Senator Terhar, was also instrumental in the adoption of this amendment. Gifted advocates should thank him for his support as well. He can be reached at [email protected].
Another positive change in SB216 included the removal of the prohibition of students from taking CCP (College Credit Plus) on a college campus if the same course is offered at the high school. Areas of concern remain including the provision that would permit a school district superintendent to employ a licensed teacher to teach a subject or grade level for which the person is not licensed and maintaining the student sub-group size at 30 which will hurt underserved student populations.
So where is SB216 headed½ It is difficult to know. There is no Senate Education committee hearing next week. Factoring in a two week spring break along with a break for the May, it appears that time is beginning to run out before the General Assembly goes on hiatus at the end of May. Unless there is a huge push to quickly move this bill through the Senate and then the House, it is quite possible that this bill will not be moving until the lame duck session this fall.