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Ohio Gifted Advocacy Alert

April 11, 2011
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Things are dire in Ohio for gifted children. Here is a post from OAGC Parent Division Chair, Densie Gold:

I’m here to let you know that it is still important THIS WEEK to take some action to try to preserve gifted services in Ohio, if you haven’t done so yet. To give you an example, scroll to the end where I’ve copied with permission one of the emails an FHPOGS members sent to her local representative. We need more of your voices to be heard now in the voice mailboxes and email inboxes of the full finance committee members listed below. This is the last chance to give input before the Ohio House makes changes to the budget bill.

I participated in giving testimony last week before the subcommittee about the personal impact of gifted services in helping to address and avoid underachievement in gifted kids. Although some testimony will be needed this Wednesday, your phone calls or emails are what will be most helpful.

Think about your own story, and your own kids. Possible points include the following. These are abbreviated so please let me know if you need a fuller explanation – I wanted to try to keep this short.

1.       Gifted services will not continue in many districts without specific funding earmarked from the state especially as there is no mandate for gifted services.

2.       Districts are not held accountable for the performance of gifted students.

3.       Regardless of whether they are in a wealthy or poor district, gifted students are the least population to receive an appropriate education.

4.       There are no tools for gifted parents in this budget to hold districts accountable.

5.       We cannot retain the best and the brightest in this state if we do not invest in the education of gifted students.

Please go to the following link to find the phone numbers and email addresses of finance committee members you should contact.

Also, please send letters to the editor of your newspapers. It is important that legislators continue to hear from you. If you are a coordinator or Gifted Intervention Specialist with responsibility for district gifted services, please contact Ann Sheldon at anngift@aol.com if you have not filled out the gifted status survey. Also, Ann asks that if you have been holding back from contacting parents, now is the time to get them in action. They need to testify, contact legislators, and fight for their children’s education.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you very much for your time, and thanks for all you do to parent and teach children.

Denise Gold

OAGC Parent Division Chair

513-324-6498

From: Theresa Winhusen
Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2011 12:21 PM
To:SD07@senate.state.oh.us
Subject: Please block proposed funding cuts to gifted education

Dear Senator Jones,

I am writing to you to about the funding cuts to gifted education in the current proposed Ohio education budget.

I was born and raised in Cincinnati and am committed to the success of our city as well as to the entire state of Ohio. That success will depend, in large part, on the strength of the education provided to our children. While the needs of the students performing at the lower end of the continuum often receive a good deal of focus, those at the upper end are often overlooked despite the fact that research suggests that they have special needs.

I can testify to the special needs of gifted children based on my experiences with my son, a fourth grader, who is gifted. Fourth grade is the first year in which he has received gifted (extended learning opportunity -ELO) education and it has made a huge difference in his attitude toward, and success in, school. While he continues to have difficulties with his standard classes, which he reports are exceedingly tedious, he absolutely loves his math class, which is taught by the ELO teacher, and I consider the class to be a saving grace for him.

I know that we have a budget shortfall in Ohio that must be addressed but I think it is important to address it in ways that will not short change our future. Please work to maintain specific funding for gifted services in Ohio.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Sincerely,

Theresa Winhusen

Mom of a gifted child

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