Advocacy Update 3.27.23 – OAGC Budget Testimony; HB12 Opponent Testimony

OAGC shared testimony for HB33 (Budget) in front of the House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education. 
A link to the testimony can be found here.

Questions asked from the chair of the Committee, Representative Tracy Richardson were:
In Ohio, the gifted must be identified, but not served.  Is being gifted a special need?
Many districts are spending less than they receive, do you have any insights on why this is happening and or any recommendations to address it?
Ranking Member Representative Isaacsohn asked:
How can adequately providing gifted students services and interventions benefit other students not receiving those services?
What happens when we don’t provide services to gifted students?
(As mentioned in our testimony, we encourage a rural pilot program) Would you support making rural and urban district pilot program?

House Primary and Secondary Education
HB 12 (Rename and revise duties of Department of Education and Workforce)
There was a slew of opponent testimony from current school board members, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, and League of Women Voters amongst many others. 
Opponent testimony hinged upon the partisan nature of a Governor appointed school board. As stated in the League of Women Voters’ opposition testimony, “It [HB 12] removes the public voice in selecting who guides education policy and closes the public out of the policy making process itself.”
Unfortunately, SB 1, the companion bill to HB 12, has passed the Senate and it is extremely likely that HB 12 will pass as well. 

House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education
HB 33 (Budget)
March 21 – Conversations around early education – pre-K.  There was discussion around the importance of birth – 3 year olds and the development of their brains.  Groundwork Ohio pointed out that “Ohio kids are starting behind and staying behind” as they asked for more funding for kindergarten readiness. 

March 22 – Literacy rates were discussed in many testimonies.  The Science of Reading was also discussed by OEA president Scott DiMauro – especially the training programs and changes in curriculum.  Currently, local school districts select their curriculums, but beginning in 2024/2025, the Department of Education would mandate a list of curriculum and instructional materials.  OEA encourages the board to increase funding for teacher training and to reimburse those who have already been trained on the science of reading. 

March 23 – All House Finance Subcommittee on P & S hearings heard requests to update the Fair School Funding Formula to 2022 inputs.  Currently, the Fair School Funding Formula is using data from FY 2018.