We need your support!

Your Coalition leadership has been setting the stage for the next legislative session by meeting with key legislators and organizing their support of gifted education.

We realize that we must make a bigger impact than our largely volunteer organization has done in the past, by stepping up our professional lobbying, messaging, and media outreach strategies. The Coalition needs your immediate financial support nowCLICK HERE TO DONATE

We need total contributions of at least $17,500 to achieve these goals, and we rely on you, our supporters, to meet it.

  • Any donation is welcome. If you have donated $40 in the past, please consider doubling or tripling it. CLICK HERE TO DONATE
  •  Ask your parent support or advisory group to become a supporting member of the Coalition by making an organizational contribution.

The Coalition accepts donations online by credit card and PayPal.  Please CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Checks can be made payable to WCFGE and sent to:

Washington Coalition For Gifted Education
18149  147 Ave. SE
Renton WA  98058

The Coalition will be very active during this legislative session working to obtain full funding for Highly Capable Programs; we look forward to requesting your advocacy action once our behind the scenes work is done.

Financial Update


The major expense of the Coalition is the monthly retainer we pay our lobbyist. We’d like to pay her more but our yearly income won’t stretch that far.

Three questions you may ask:

(1) Why does the Coalition need a lobbyist?

Our charter says our purpose is “to foster and encourage awareness of the educational needs of highly capable/gifted students through communication and education of legislative bodies within Washington State.” In other words, we lobby the legislature.

To do this, members of the Coalition monitor the legislature’s web site and subscribe to RSS feeds to keep current on pending bills, hearings, etc. We maintain personal relationships with our own legislators. We follow political reporters for newspapers, and newsletters and web postings from other education and policy groups to keep track of what they are saying. The daily updates provided by WSSDA add much information.

But we need more than this. We need a lobbyist with experience and deep connections in Olympia to keep an eye on legislation beyond what can be gleaned from the internet; to cultivate personal relationships with supportive legislators in order to learn what they are thinking; to work with lobbyists from other education groups; to be “on the scene” for us in Olympia. Perhaps most important, she provides guidance to the Coalition in our work with legislators.

We use all this information to prepare and present testimony to legislative hearings and committee work sessions and to know when to call on advocates state wide to contact their legislators.

(2) Do we or our lobbyist treat legislators to meals or other “goodies”?

We do not spend your contributions to treat legislators to meals or other goodies. The Public Disclosure Commission and the Legislative Ethics Board will not be investigating us as they are other groups and legislators for questionable gratuities.

(3) Why do we bring this up?

Our fiscal year begins September 1 of each year. We open 2013-2014 with a balance of $1657. Our anticipated expenses for next year are $850 per month for our lobbyist; approximately $150 for rental of the Columbia Room and other expenses for Gifted Education Day; fees for filing required reports; printing and postage costs; and a membership in NEWS (the McCleary Decision people). A Treasurer’s Report is at the end of this email message. As it shows, we need income in excess of $10,500 per year in order to meet obligations and have a small carry-over balance.

While we do receive a large portion of our revenues from gifted organizations, we also rely on individual contributions from supporters around the state. Our goal continues to be to get the legislature to implement a new ample funding formula for Highly Capable Programs. Quite frankly, we struck out during the 2013 session(s). But we will be back, more energized than last year and with stronger arguments, for the 2014 session. To continue our work we need your financial support. We recommend that you make an annual contribution of at least $40.00 ~ and are happy to accept more.

Three options:

1. You can make a contribution to the Coalition with a check – use the membership form linked here.

2. We now accept donations online by credit card and PayPal. Please CLICK HERE TO DONATE on PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account to use a credit card with them.

3. In conjunction with WAETAG and NWGCA, we continue to offer the Joint Membership. The form can be found on our membership page, on the Northwest Coalition for Gifted Education’s website at http://www.nwgca.org/donate.html, or you can go to the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented ang Gifted’s website at http://www.waetag.net/. Select Joining WAETAG.

We are often asked about employer matching funds. We are a political advocacy group, not a 501(c)(3) organization, so not all employers match contributions. Check to see if your employer will do so.

Contributions to the Coalition are not tax deductible to the contributor. The Coalition is chartered as a non-profit organization in the State of Washington and is the equivalent of a federal 501(c)(4) organization, though we have never sought federal tax status. If we show a “profit” at the end of our fiscal year, we pay tax on it as we last did in October 2011. We file a yearly tax return and do not anticipate owing taxes for 2012-2013.

We also need your cooperation when we call on you to contact your legislators on behalf of highly capable program funding and to participate in Gifted Education Day in Olympia. Our 2014 Day is February 28th. Mark your calendar now and plan to join us.

Thank you all for your generous support in previous years. We have come a long way but still have a long way to go to full implementation of Highly Capable Programs as an integral part of basic education. Our work, and yours, is not yet completed.

Here’s looking forward to a successful 2014 legislative session!

Treasurer’s Report Fiscal Year 9/1/2012 to 8/31/2013
Barbara Poyneer, Treasurer
Opening Balance
Our share of Joint Memberships
Funds Available
Lobbyist Retainer*
Columbia Room – 1/2 of 2014 fee
Filing Fees
Printing & Postage
NEWS Membership
Ending Balance
* We prepaid Donna’s retainer for Sept., Oct., and Nov. 2012 in the 2011-12 fiscal year for federal tax purposes. Normal yearly total is $10,200.00.

Services for Highly Capable students are a required part of basic education.

As the new school year begins, OSPI has begun implementation of the revised WAC for Highly Capable Programs and regards the 2013-2014 school year as transitional, one in which districts are to design their HC Programs for the following year. You can find the WAC at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=392-170

As part of this transition, the Educational Support Districts are scheduling training for administrators and teachers on the identification and needs of gifted students and sessions on differentiation and critical and creative thinking skills.

If you are a teacher in the area of an ESD with training scheduled, you may wish to check on this. If you are a parent, you may wish to check with your district to see if they are sending teachers for the training.

Each ESD makes its own schedule and these are the ones we know of right now. Contact your ESD for more information on when, where, costs, etc.

ESD 101 in Spokane

Sept. 25, October 22 and January 16


ESD 105 in Yakima

9/18; 10/16; 10/30; 11/12


ESD 112, Vancouver

October 24 Overview for Administrators
November 7 Nature and Needs of Highly Capable learners
November 21 Developing your Hi-Cap Program
January 23 Screening and Identification Workshop
April 24 Differentiation for HC learners

Capital Region ESD 113, Tumwater

No dates listed but go to http://www.esd113.org/Page/1012 for contact information to get details.

Olympic ESD 114, Bremerton

October 9 9:00 amNature and Needs of Highly Capable Students
October 9 1:00 pm Creating a Quality Program for Highly Capable Students
November 16 Differentiating Instruction for HC students Part A
January 11 Differentiating Instruction for HC Students Part B

ESD 123 in Pasco

10/17 Nature & Needs of Highly Capable Students
11/7, 12/5, 1/16 Differentiation for Highly Capable Learners
2/19, 3/6 Critical & Creative Thinking Skills

North Central ESD 171, Wenatchee

October 11, Nature and Needs of HC students
January 20, Differentiation
February 14 Integrating Critical and Creative Thinking in the HCP curriculum

ESD 189 in Anacortes

November 2 Nature and Needs of HC students


Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wagifted

I’m an advocate.  So are you.  You may not believe it, but I do.

Advocacy seems to scare people.  Sometimes I think it’s not the actions of being an advocate, it’s the word.  Parents tell me all the time that they’re glad there are people like me who are advocates, because they couldn’t do it.  These parents who tell me they aren’t advocates don’t miss a single parent-teacher conference.  They volunteer in their kid’s classes.  They communicate regularly with their student’s teachers and principals.  They’re working hard to make sure that their highly capable student goes to school and has the opportunity to learn something new every day.  Maybe they’ve tried all the options they had available and have elected to home school, pursue early enrollment, or try an on-line alternative.  Maybe they’re reading contributions to this blog tour, looking for some new option to help their own child. Whatever the exact situation, they are champions for their kids.

Often they’re so busy looking out for their own student that they can’t even begin to think of the world outside that one classroom, that one school, that one district.  It’s perfectly understandable.  Parenting a gifted kid means that sometimes you’re just treading water, hoping that someone or something is going to come along and offer a lifeline.  We’ve all had those days.  It’s why blog tours like this exist. But if all we can do is tread water, we’re never going to be in control of our own destiny.  We need to take some of the energy we have devoted to being champions in the classroom and become advocates for the classroom.

You’re the expert on your student and your parenting experience gives you an advantage over most of our policy makers.  You’ve seen what works for your child.  You know what doesn’t.  Maybe you’re still trying to figure out what works.  That’s valuable, too.  Share your experiences.  Write an e-mail.  Make a phone call.  Talk to a school board member or attend a school board meeting.  Go watch a legislative hearing — maybe even testify yourself.  Too much?  What about a parent version of the Gifted Education Outreach Corps?  Highly capable kids are everywhere, so our outreach and our advocacy needs to reach everywhere. Who can you talk with to find an ally?

In Washington State, highly capable programming is now a protected part of basic education.  Our legislators have recognized that for these students, access to highly capable programming is access to basic education.  What they haven’t yet done is stepped up to fund it.  Why not?  In part, because they haven’t heard from enough of us — from enough of you.  Our legislature is comprised of citizen legislators.  They aren’t full-time politicians and they aren’t experts on every subject that comes before them during the legislative session.  They still believe the myths of gifted education.   Tell them your stories of what happens when your student isn’t challenged.  Compare that to when your student is challenged.  Our students won’t be “fine” without appropriate opportunities, but many of our legislators are actively avoiding talking about serving the needs of these kids today, because they’re convinced that the needs of our gifted students can wait.

I’m an advocate because I believe that we’ve already waited far too long to provide these students with an education that meets their needs.  I believe we’ve overlooked too many students that don’t fit the stereotype of what a gifted kid looks like, or acts like.  I believe that we need to give all of our educators better tools to help them identify those students who might benefit from highly capable services, and better tools to serve those students once they’re identified.  I believe we need to put more resources into our youngest students to see which of them will find highly capable services a good fit, especially for those students who have parents who for whatever reason aren’t able to be their champion.

The voice of one advocate isn’t enough.  Our kids need all of us to be involved.  It’s when we all speak as one that we make the biggest difference.  Let your legislators know that you care and that you’re involved.  Be the same champion outside the classroom that you are inside the classroom.  Don’t let the word scare you.

I’m an advocate, and so are you.


Part of the Parenting the Gifted Blog Tour 2013

The Coalition is pleased to announce that David Berg, Puyallup, and Janis Traven, Seattle, will be co-presidents for the next year. Both sit on the State Gifted Advisory Board and served on the Highly Capable Program Technical Working Group. Both have been active in gifted advocacy for many years and bring great knowledge and experience to the job.

If you need to contact either of them, you can do so at our wagifted@gmail.com address.


The following is a treasurer’s report for the fiscal year to date, including projected expenses before the end of our fiscal year on August 31st.

Opening Balance 9/1/12
    Individual vía Pay Pal
   Joint Memberships
   Total Income
Funds on Hand
   JM transmittals
   Other – NEWS
   Total Expenditures
Balance 6/12/13
Expenditures by 8/31/13
   JM transmittals
   Treasurer’s expenses
Projected Balance 8/31/13

The fund raising appeal in May brought in $1653.68. Without those generous contributions, we would have a negative balance on 8/31/2013.


We now accept donations online by credit card and PayPal. We recommend that you make a contribution of at least $40.00, and are happy to accept more.

Donate Button with Credit Cards

In 2009, Washington State passed legislation that made highly capable programming part of the state’s definition of basic education.  The change was part of a package of reforms that were to be phased in between 2009 and 2018.  In 2011, the highly capable programming reforms took effect.  Many districts were unsure of how they were to proceed, however, because the regulations governing highly capable programming had not yet been updated.

Members of the State Gifted Advisory committee worked with OSPI to revise those regulations, and in early April of 2013, the revisions to the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs) took effect.  All districts will now be required to have a highly capable program, and that program is expected to offer a continuum of services for students from K-12.  OSPI has made available a webinar and a slideshow to explain some of the most important implications of these changes.  You can access both through the Highly Capable page on OSPI’s website at  http://k12.wa.HighlyCapable.

Your Action is Needed Immediately! Last chance to influence Highly Capable funding – contact the legislators below.

“Legislature Determines That Access to Highly Capable Basic Education Must Continue to Depend on Your Zip Code”

This might well be the headline, UNLESS YOU CHANGE IT. Today, 40% of districts offer no programs or services for their most advanced learners. Not surprisingly, inequalities in access and programming disproportionately affect small and rural districts, minorities, and poor students. The Legislature has done nothing to remedy the situation for the future.

There is no other part of basic education that is being told that to ensure proper funding, parents must go to their local school boards and ask for it. Access to highly capable programming needs to be uniform statewide and should not depend on your zip code.

The state Constitution requires that the state fully fund basic education for all students and HCP services are basic education for gifted students.

Relying on local school districts to decide whether or how to fund a portion of basic education is neither fair nor equitable.  The McCleary Decision says it is unconstitutional. Today’s state funding level – 2.314% of enrollment, unchanged since 2007- is demonstrably inadequate.

The Legislature must correct this situation in this session for all of Washington’s Highly Capable children, and follow the Quality Education Council’s recommendation for increased funding at 5% of enrollment.

What you need to do today:

Please use this message, or compose one of your own, and send it to each of the legislators listed below. Not all are participating in the budget negotiations but all have influence with those who are.

You may wish to use the Legislative Hotline but that requires a much shorter and more concise message.  1.800.562.6000 

Senator Andy Hill andy.hill@leg.wa.gov

Senator Michael Baumgartner michael.baumgartner@leg.wa.gov

Senator Jim Hargrove  jim.hargrove@leg.wa.gov

Senator Sharon Nelson  sharon.nelson@leg.wa.gov

Senator Joe Fain joe.fain@leg.wa.gov

Senator Andy Billig  andy.billig@leg.wa.gov

Senator Annette Cleveland  annette.cleveland@leg.wa.gov

Senator Paull Shin  paull.shin@leg.wa.gov

Senator Bruce Dammeier  bruce.dammeier@leg.wa.gov

Senator David Frockt  david.frockt@leg.wa.gov

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles  jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov

Senator Ann Rivers  ann.rivers@leg.wa.gov

Senator Pam Roach  pam.roach@leg.wa.gov

Senator Christine Rolfes  christine.rolfes@leg.wa.gov

Representative Ross Hunter  ross.hunter@leg.wa.gov

Representative Pat Sullivan  pat.sullivan@leg.wa.gov

Representative Marcie Maxwell marcie.maxwell@leg.wa.gov

Representative Reuven Carlyle reuven.carlyle@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kevin Parker  kevin.parker@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kathy Haigh  kathy.haigh@leg.wa.gov

Representative Jamie Pedersen  jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov

Please forward this email to all other advocates you know who may not be getting our emails directly.

Thank you for your patient advocacy on behalf of our Highly Capable students. If this effort is successful, this may be the last Action Alert you see from us for a long time.

The people behind the McCleary Decision, NEWS (Network for Excellence in Washington Schools) have sent an important letter to the Legislature, a copy of of which is linked here as a pdf file. The Coalition is a member of NEWS.


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