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Is this a Pre, Post, or Pre-Post Budget Meeting? (Ohio specific post)

January 15, 2010

Note: This blog entry is a duplicate of the Advocacy Update on the OAGC website.

Advocacy Update:  January 15, 2010 —  Is this a Pre, Post, or Pre-Post Budget Meeting? – With the late adoption of the FY2010/FY2011 budget, the budget hole fix required this fall, and the upcoming big budget hole for FY2012/FY2013, it appears education advocates have entered a never-ending cycle of budget planning.  So what could be seen as post budget implementation meetings now appears to be morphing into budget corrections and pre-budget planning meetings.  At the end of the day, it is a distinction without a difference.  For gifted advocates, especially gifted personnel who are feeling particularly vulnerable during this transitional period between funding systems, the next year of pre and post budget meetings is truly a critical time.   Over the next few months, there are three or four different venues that are of particular importance for budget issues.   Here is an overview of each and the decisions that each body is responsible to make that will impact gifted education:

Ohio School Funding Advisory Council – The Ohio School Funding Advisory Council (OSFAC) was created as part of House Bill 1 (HB1) and will meet at least twice a month through June to develop recommendations for the State Board of Education and the Ohio General Assembly on various aspects of the Ohio Evidenced Based Model of school funding.  One of the areas that the council is required to review and report on by December 1, 2010 is the new gifted education funding formula.  And, in fact, one of the sub-committees that Superintendent Deborah Delisle recommends the council establish is Special Needs.  This subcommittee would review gifted education funding among other areas.  However with no gifted expertise on the council, it will be interesting to see how the issue will be addressed. While HB1 allows for the council to bring in outside members to serve on sub-committees, the council will have to vote on whether or not they wish to bring in outside members with that expertise.  This should happen at the next meeting on Tuesday, January 19th.   If the council allows outside members, there is a good chance that someone from OAGC may be asked to be part of the Special Needs subcommittee.  If not, then we will continue to advocate through testimony and direct contact with council members.  OAGC has a new page on the website devoted to the work done by the Ohio School Funding Advisory Council.  A new update will be posted after each meeting.

Gifted Education Advisory Council – The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is convening a gifted advisory council to review department recommendations including:

  • The development of administrative rules regarding the expenditure and reporting of gifted funds; and
  • The development of a performance indicator reflecting the level of services provided to and the performance of gifted students by December 31, 2011.

While OAGC was invited to nominate two representatives to the council, it is unknown how many other individuals from the twenty other organizations will have any gifted background.  No meetings have been announced, at this point.  All information on the council will be available at a special area of the OAGC website.  Interestingly, two of the organizations that represent the majority of districts in the state, the Ohio Coalition for the Equity and Adequacy of School Funding and the Ohio Alliance for Adequate School Funding were not invited to submit nominees to the advisory council.

School Funding Rule Development Stakeholder Group – Working parallel to the gifted advisory council, ODE will also be convening a stakeholder group on the HB1 spending and reporting requirements.  The first draft of this rule is posted on the OAGC website. These rules will determine what elements of the school funding formula will be required by all districts and how the spending will be reported.  This group is an important one to watch.  OAGC has already indicated that they want to provide input as a stakeholder group, as the general spending and reporting rules are developed.

State Board of Education Budget Subcommittee – The State Board of Education is already beginning their work on the FY2012/FY2013 budget.  As part of this process, the budget subcommittee is inviting education stakeholders to present each month.  In January, representatives from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA) and the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) presented to the subcommittee.  In February, the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) and the Ohio Association of School Business Officials (OASBO) will present.  And finally, in March, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) has been asked to present.  While still unofficial, it is likely that other stakeholder groups will also be asked to present their budget priorities.  If true, OAGC representatives may be presenting budget priorities to the budget subcommittee in April.

The bottom line is that these are all important groups to monitor to ensure that the House Bill 1 gifted funding formula is implemented with integrity.  Call it post budget work or pre budget work, if you prefer.  It appears that the biennial budget work is no longer cyclical work for gifted advocates in Ohio.

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