Advocacy Update – 4.14.23 – State Board of Education; New Gifted Assessment List

The Ohio House and Senate were on Spring Break this week.  The State Board of Education met on April 10th and 11th where they discussed the impending departure of Interim State Superintendent Stephanie Siddens, lobbying and new resolutions, and the science of reading.  

Last week, Interim State Superintendent Stephanie Siddens announced she would be leaving ODE to serve as the deputy superintendent of schools at Upper Arlington City Schools.  Siddens announced July 1st as her tentative start date at Upper Arlington.  Siddens has given the SBoE a list of internal candidates for her interim replacement.  Because the passage of SB1/HB12 will alter the job duties of the permanent state superintendent, the SBOE also voted to postpone hiring an executive firm to fill that position.  

Lobbying Efforts
The director of policy and legislative affairs at ODE, Jennie Stump, provided legislative updates to the SBoE regarding SB1/HB12.  Board members asked Stump if ODE would testify or meet with lawmakers regarding these bills and advocate on behalf of the SBoE.  Both Stump and Aaron Rausch (Budget and School Funding Chief at ODE) stated that ODE does not testify without resolutions from the SBoE.  

“Resolution to Preserve Transparency and Public Participation in Ohio K-12 Education,”
In response to SB1/HB12, the board adopted the Resolution to Preserve Transparency and Public Participation in Ohio K-12 Education.  This resolution cites the 1953 amendment that created the SBOE as a link between state-level policy and public representation.  Board members who support this resolution stressed the importance of local control and believe SB1/HB12 to be regressive policies.  

The SBoE also listened to Dr. Melissa Weber-Mayrer discussed the science of reading and stressed that the science of reading is not one single program of instruction and will benefit all students, no matter their abilities.

New Approved List of Gifted Assessments
ODE released the latest list of approved assessments. There are a few new approved assessments for gifted screening and identification. You may find the list at