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 governor½ 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 [email protected] 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: