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Ohio’s Gifted Services in Grave Jeopardy

April 29, 2011

Advocacy Alert – 4.28.11 – Action needed now!!!! The House Finance committee released the substitute budget bill HB153. I am stunned to share with you there were no positive changes for gifted. No increase in funding, no maintenance of effort provision, no softening of the budget blow from Governor Kasich’s executive budget. The only change made was to allow principals to serve as gifted coordinators if they are qualified under the operating standards. Of course this change only makes it less likely that gifted children will be appropriately served in districts. We need phone calls and testimony for April 29, April 30, and May 1.

How You Can Help

  1. Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to call the following selected members of the House Finance Committee and House Leadership every day until Tuesday. Tell everyone you know to call them. When you call, you will either get an aide who will take your message or voice mail. Please be polite but passionate about your request that gifted funding be fixed. The message is simple:
    1. Gifted education is taking a disproportionately large cut relative to the education budget (89%).
    2. District services will be drastically cut if there is no additional funding or at least a district maintenance of effort requirement for gifted. A survey of districts indicates that gifted services could decrease by 50 – 70% next year with no changes to in the budget.
    3. Allowing principals to now serve as gifted coordinators will mean an even further deterioration of support for gifted students.
    4. Why are gifted students being singled out as not deserving of adequate education and funding?
    5. Here are the people for you to call:
Speaker William Batchelder 614-466-8140
Rep. Ron Amstutz (Chairman) 614-466-1474
Rep. John Carey (Vice Chair) 614-466-1366
Assistant Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears 614-466-1731
Assistant Majority Whip Cheryl Grossman 614-466-9690
Majority Floor Leader Matt Huffman 614-466-9624
Speaker Pro Tempore Lou Blessing 614-466-9091
Majority Whip John Adams 614-466-1507
Rep. Richard Adams 614-466-8114
Rep. Marlene Anielski 614-644-6041
Rep. Troy Balderson 614-644-6014
Rep. Peter A. Beck 614-644-6027
Rep. Dave Burke 614-466-8147
Rep. Mike Duffy 614-644-6030
Rep. Randy Gardner 614-466-8104
Rep. Dave Hall 614-466-2994
Rep. Richard Hollington 614-644-5088
Rep. Jeffrey McClain 614-644-6265
Rep. Ross McGregor 614-466-2038
Rep. Mecklenborg 614-466-8258
Rep. Bob Peterson 614-644-7928
Rep. Lynn Slaby 614-644-5085
  1. In addition to making phone calls, please come to the Statehouse to testify Friday, April 29 beginning at 9:00 AM; Saturday, April 30 at beginning at 10:00 AM, or Monday, May 2 at 10:00 AM. The hearing is in Room 313, which is on the West side of the Statehouse on the 3rd floor. The easiest way to get to the committee meeting room is to park under the Statehouse and make your way to the green and glass elevator as you enter the Statehouse through the garage.  You will need to climb a flight of stairs and veer to the left as you get up the stairs to get to the elevator. Take the elevator and go to Room 313. There are only two hearing rooms on the 3rd floor, so you will find it.  If you have to park somewhere else, just ask folks how to get to the House Finance hearing room, and you will eventually get the right directions.  If you get lost, ask someone. Also, if you cannot make it by starting time, don’t worry. It would be good if you could email me to let me know if you plan to come so that I can give your name to the House Finance staff. Each person who wants to testify or submit written testimony will be asked to fill out a witness slip. A scan of the slip can be downloaded at . Fill out your name and contact information. Under the section marked “Please give a brief statement of the grounds on which favor or oppose such enactment” write that you are opposed to the elimination of gifted funding as a separate and accountable line item in the budget.  The chair of the committee would like everyone to bring 50 copies of testimony.  But if you can’t bring that many or any, come anyway. Technical aspects to testifying:

Here is the standard way to address the committee:

“Chairman Amstutz, Ranking Minority Member Sykes,  members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on HB153. My name is _______……”

Questions? Please email me at

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 11, 2011 6:44 am

    Nice information. I appreciate this & grateful to you that you shared this article to enhance our knowledge. Thanks for your help.

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