Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Washington promises a continuum of Highly Capable Program services K-12 to identified gifted students as part of basic education. These students can be found in school districts large and small, and across all demographic groups. Our districts seek to find and serve each of these students.

Inclusion in basic education has resulted in the identification and support of increasing numbers of gifted students from all backgrounds, particularly those from previously underserved populations. Yet districts continue to struggle to identify and serve all their eligible students due to a lack of adequate and equitable state funding.

Amid growing challenges—changing demographics, increasing diversity of the student population, and limited fiscal resources—addressing the needs of gifted students is a real issue. Underserved gifted students may include students who are already the focus of reform efforts: dropouts, students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and students who live in poverty. Research shows that between 18 percent and 25 percent of high school dropouts are identified as gifted. The majority of those students are from low-SES families and culturally and linguistically diverse groups.

Providing for the needs of gifted students is an important component of local school efforts. Using multiple measures to identify gifted and talented students and providing various strategies to meet their needs will go a long way toward helping these students excel academically (closing the achievement gap), stay in school (increasing the graduation rate and reducing the dropout rate), and be successful in their lives.

The direction and continuity of local gifted services and supports are heavily influenced by the strength of state policy initiatives and funding. Unfortunately, the state appropriation for the Highly Capable Program currently covers only about 15% of the actual costs to districts to provide this basic education service. We were very disappointed to see that the House budget proposal released today does nothing to remedy this.

In 2010, the Legislature created the Highly Capable Program Technical Working Group. Comprised of national and state experts on gifted education, the HCPTWG recommended the state increase funding to 5% of total student enrollment, and increase the number of hours of highly capable services funded to 6.5 hours per week in a class size of 15 for grades K-6 and 3.1 hours per week in a class size of 15 for grades 7-12. Funding the recommendations of the HCPTWG would be an important step towards ensuring equitable access to the state’s Highly Capable Program. Continuing to stand by an obsolete and inequitable formula and claiming to have met their obligation, as the House budget proposal did today, is not acceptable.

Equity in education is an empty concept without excellence.

Washington State has too often left to chance the fate of those with exceptional academic talent rather than ensuring widespread, systematic, and appropriate opportunities to flourish.

Our state needs a commitment to both equity and excellence for all students, so that potential is never squandered.

The possibility of reaching oneʼs potential should not be met with ambivalence, indifference or depend on the ZIP code in which you reside.

• We cannot assume that our stateʼs most talented students will succeed on their own.
• We need proactive identification and development of talented youth from all demographics.
• We need to encourage intellectual ambition with an anticipation of excellence rather than simply exceeding standard.

The Legislature needs to fully fund the actual costs to districts to provide the Highly Capable Program opportunities required by the Washington Administrative Code implementing ESHB 2261, and the McCleary decision.

Join us in the Columbia Room in the Legislative Building at 9 am on March 11 to advocate with Legislators for the needs of our Highly Capable students. All Washington students are entitled to the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

OPPORTUNITY IS NOT OPTIONAL. MINDS MATTER.

We want to move forward, so it’s ‘win or go home’ time for Highly Capable.

Yes, we know this at least the third time in about a week that we are asking you to step up and take action. But that is the way things go in advocacy — long periods of no action followed by periods of intense activity. When (not if, since you will flood the committee with messages) we get through this committee, there will be other committees and then a debate on the floor so we will be asking a lot of you in a short period of time. If we want to move forward in the legislative process, we need everyone involved now.

SB 5922, the Highly Capable Program funding bill, is scheduled for a public hearing before the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Committee on Thursday, February 19 at 8 am.

The Coalition, Northwest Gifted Child Association (NWGCA) and Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted (WAETAG) as well as others will be testifying before the committee.

We want to flood committee members with messages in favor of this much needed bill in order to influence them to pass it in executive session, which may occur as early as Thursday afternoon.

Bill_Hope

Our last message asked you to contact committee members. If you haven’t done it before, do it now! If you already have, do it again. Do it today!

Contact the Senators listed below (all of them) and tell them “It is time for the entire Legislature to have a serious conversation about Highly Capable Program funding. Please pass SB 5922 out of committee so the conversation can continue.” If you are resident in the district of a member, tell them that too. Contact them through their e-mails, their office numbers of by calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

Legislators tend to ignore identical messages, so please paraphrase our suggestion in order to get your message heard.

Tell your friends to take action. Time is short so prompt action is vital.

Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee

Senator Phone E-Mail
Litzow, Steve (R) (360) 786-7641 Steve.Litzow@leg.wa.gov
Chair
Dammeier, Bruce (R) (360) 786-7648 Bruce.Dammeier@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair
McAuliffe, Rosemary (D) (360) 786-7600 Rosemary.McAuliffe@leg.wa.gov
Ranking Member
Billig, Andy (D) (360) 786-7604 Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov
Fain, Joe (R) (360) 786-7692 Joe.Fain@leg.wa.gov
Hill, Andy (R) (360) 786-7672 Andy.Hill@leg.wa.gov
Mullet, Mark (D) (360) 786-7608 Mark.Mullet@leg.wa.gov
Rivers, Ann (R) (360) 786-7634 Ann.Rivers@leg.wa.gov
Rolfes, Christine (D) (360) 786-7644 Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov

Who is speaking for you?

We expect SB 5922 to receive a hearing before the end of this week. Members of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee will then vote to decide if the bill will advance for further consideration. Have you made sure that they know how you want them to vote?

 

 

Help us in our journey to make this bill a law.

Below we’ve listed the members of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. We need you to contact them and urge them to vote the bill out of committee.  Your message can be brief, but it is vital that the members of the committee hear from you. If one of the Senators represents you, your involvement in the process is even more important.

Time for you to act is running out. Someone’s voice will be heard. Will it be yours?

“It is time for the entire Legislature to have a serious conversation about Highly Capable Program funding. Please pass this bill out of committee so the conversation can continue.”

Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee

Senator Phone E-Mail
Litzow, Steve (R) (360) 786-7641 Steve.Litzow@leg.wa.gov
Chair
Dammeier, Bruce (R) (360) 786-7648 Bruce.Dammeier@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair
McAuliffe, Rosemary (D) (360) 786-7600 Rosemary.McAuliffe@leg.wa.gov
Ranking Member
Billig, Andy (D) (360) 786-7604 Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov
Fain, Joe (R) (360) 786-7692 Joe.Fain@leg.wa.gov
Hill, Andy (R) (360) 786-7672 Andy.Hill@leg.wa.gov
Mullet, Mark (D) (360) 786-7608 Mark.Mullet@leg.wa.gov
Rivers, Ann (R) (360) 786-7634 Ann.Rivers@leg.wa.gov
Rolfes, Christine (D) (360) 786-7644 Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov

Thank you for your advocacy. We expect SB 5922 to receive a hearing on Wednesday or Thursday and we’ll be there with some key speakers to provide testimony to the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.

Our Bill is in Committee

Our work, and your work, is not over yet. The next hurdle we face is passing the bill out of committee. Below we’ve listed the members of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee. We need your help to encourage them to vote the bill out of committee.  Your message can be brief, but it is vital that the members of the committee hear from you. Time is short, so prompt action is vital.

“It is time for the entire Legislature to have a serious conversation about Highly Capable Program funding. Please pass this bill out of committee so the conversation can continue.”

Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee

Senator Phone E-Mail
Litzow, Steve (R) (360) 786-7641 Steve.Litzow@leg.wa.gov
Chair
Dammeier, Bruce (R) (360) 786-7648 Bruce.Dammeier@leg.wa.gov
Vice Chair
McAuliffe, Rosemary (D) (360) 786-7600 Rosemary.McAuliffe@leg.wa.gov
Ranking Member
Billig, Andy (D) (360) 786-7604 Andy.Billig@leg.wa.gov
Fain, Joe (R) (360) 786-7692 Joe.Fain@leg.wa.gov
Hill, Andy (R) (360) 786-7672 Andy.Hill@leg.wa.gov
Mullet, Mark (D) (360) 786-7608 Mark.Mullet@leg.wa.gov
Rivers, Ann (R) (360) 786-7634 Ann.Rivers@leg.wa.gov
Rolfes, Christine (D) (360) 786-7644 Christine.Rolfes@leg.wa.gov

The first schedule of the Senate Early Learning K-12 Education Committee for next week has been released and SB 5922 is not yet on it. We need to keep calling, keep writing, and keep advocating for highly capable education in Washington State.

We have made gains. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles has signed on as our third sponsor. The Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) supports the bill and let us know they will testify in support IF we can get a hearing.

If you haven’t written in yet, it’s not too late. Even if you have written, there’s another way you can show your support. You can comment directly on the bill, and your comments will be visible to all legislators in all districts across the state.

Your message can be brief and direct:

  • I strongly support this bill.
  • Highly Capable is an underfunded part of basic education. It is time the legislature has a serious conversation about this issue and this bill will start it.
  • Please hold a public hearing on this important bill and vote yes to bring it to the floor for debate.

Be brief. Be direct. Be heard.

Highly capable services in Washington State are underfunded using an outdated formula.

SB 5922 has been introduced in the Washington State Senate to amend the basic education act to provide for a new formula.

As soon as possible, send an email or use the Legislative Hotline (1.800.562.6000) to contact Senator Litzow, the chair of the Senate Early Learning K-12 Education Committee, and ask him to schedule a public hearing on this bill. That’s all you need to say: Please hold a public hearing on SB 5922.

Litzow, Steve (R)
416 Legislative Building
(360) 786-7641
steve.litzow@leg.wa.gov

This bill will go a long way towards fully funding the Highly Capable Program as a part of basic education.

This bill is sponsored by Senators RolfesRivers, and Kohl-Welles. Send them an email thanking them for their sponsorship of this much needed bill.

Rivers, Ann (R)
405 Legislative Building
(360) 786-7634
ann.rivers@leg.wa.gov

Rolfes, Christine (D)
233 John A. Cherberg Building
(360) 786-7644
christine.rolfes@leg.wa.gov

Kohl-Welles, Jeanne (D)
219 John A. Cherberg Building
(360) 786-7670
Jeanne.Kohl-Welles@leg.wa.gov

Tell your friends to do the same.

If –WHEN– the bill is scheduled for a hearing, we will notify you and recommend what actions you should take. Until then, keep calling, keep writing, and keep advocating.

THANK YOU!

This morning the Washington Coalition for Gifted Education, the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted, and the Northwest Gifted Child Association sent a joint statement to the Chairman of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, Senator Steve Litzow, and all the members of the committee. You can read the statement here.

We urge the Chairman to schedule a public hearing on SB 5922 as soon as possible.

If you have not already done so, we ask that you join us by sending an email Sen. Litzow and ask him to schedule a public hearing on this bill as soon as possible. That’s all you need to say: Please hold a public hearing on SB 5922. A decision on whether the bill will be heard could be made today.

Litzow, Steve (R)
416 Legislative Building
(360) 786-7641
steve.litzow@leg.wa.gov

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: