State Budget Update – OAGC provided testimony to the Ohio Senate Finance Primary and Secondary Subcommittee this week on Substitute House Bill 166 (the budget bill). The testimony can be accessed at www.oagc.com/statebudget.asp. OAGC continues to request increased funding based on the gifted cost study, increased ESC gifted funding, and increased gifted funding accountability. OAGC also supports two new studies on gifted included in the substitute bill regarding gifted funding transparency (with some revisions) and rural gifted incentives. However, OAGC is concerned about two new provisions in the substitute bill:
- Report Card Changes – The House made some changes to report card calculations that are very concerning. In particular, OAGC is troubled by the change to the composite grade to reflect the better of the performance index or the value-added grade – leaving the other report card components out of the calculation. This move would devalue all the other report card components, which are still critically important to students, parents, and the public at large. If the goal is to de-emphasize the composite grade, then perhaps it is better to just eliminate it altogether. But this House change, which has not been vetted, seems to infuse the performance index and the value-added measure with oversized importance relative to the other report card measures.
- Non-Public School College Credit Plus Opt-Out – Another change the House included in the substitute bill is to allow accredited non-public schools to opt out of the College Credit Plus program. OAGC believes that all students regardless of their school setting should be allowed to access College Credit Plus. Allowing some non-public schools to opt-out will negatively impact students in these schools whose public-school options do not meet the majority of their needs. Regardless of setting, parents should be able to ultimately decide what is best for their children.
The Ohio Senate will prepare a substitute bill over the next week or two and take final testimony on education before the full Ohio Senate Finance Committee on May 29th.
ODE Gifted Assessment List – OAGC is extremely troubled by the new Ohio Department of Education list of approved assessments to be used for gifted identification. The list can be viewed at http://www.oagc.com/files/2019-2020-Approved-Assessment-List(1).pdf
OAGC has concerns about the lack of assessments for visual and performing arts and the thin number of assessments that can be used to adequately identify students who are multi-exceptional. We have prepared a full list of our concerns which can be accessed at:
. We are asking gifted coordinators and others to consider testifying before the State Board of Education on June 11th. It would likely be early afternoon. We need voices beyond the few of the OAGC board who have contacted board members. If you have concerns about this list and can testify, please contact Ann Sheldon at [email protected]. You might want to use the list of OAGC’s concerns to help you write your testimony.