Highly Capable Program funding is in jeopardy.
- Highly Capable is a categorical program, and is not a part of basic education so is not protected from budget cuts.
- We survived the proposed cut in the First Supplemental Budget for 2009-2010.
- However, we don’t know what will be in the Second Supplemental Budget for our programs.
We need to communicate with the Governor now, before her Second Supplemental Budget proposal is completed.
We need to communicate with Legislators who are currently in office if there is a special session. If no special session, then contact legislators who will be in office in January.
We need to make contact now while options are open.
As a “special interest” group we will be asking Legislators to fund our particular “cause.” We are one group in a long line seeking to influence the budget.
We encourage you to talk to your Legislators as soon as possible about the Second Supplemental Budget and the 2011-2013 Biennial Budget. We encourage you to organize fellow parents and advocates to do so.
We know many of you are involved in gifted issues in local districts but we need you on state level. If the Legislature cuts funding or eliminates support for Highly Capable Programs, there may not be a program at your local school for you to support.
The state constitution calls “ample” education funding the state’s “paramount” duty and court cases have helped define this. Basic education is protected from budget cuts once education reform is implemented in September 2011, and highly capable programs will be sheltered from budget cuts. However, the goal is not yet reality.
These articles highlight the issues:
The following is from the Legislature web site.
Getting Your Opinions to Your Legislators
Do you want to send a message to your Senator or Representative? Call the HOTLINE at 1-800-562-6000 (TTY for Hearing Impaired 1-800-635-9993). Callers to the Hotline can leave a brief message for their district legislators or for the Governor or Lt. Governor on issues of concern or on questions they may have about bills or laws. These messages are forwarded electronically to the appropriate individuals. When leaving a message with the Hotline, please be prepared to give your name and street address. For non-English speaking callers we offer interpreter services for many languages.
During the Legislative session, the Hotline is open from 8AM to 8PM Monday through Friday and from 9AM to 1PM on Saturday.
When the Legislature is not in session the Hotline is open from 8AM to Noon and from 1PM to 4:30PM Monday through Friday.
If you prefer e-mail, you may use the website’s e-mail forms to send messages to your legislators at any time. From the Member E-mail List page, you may click a legislator’s name to go to the e-mail form for that legislator.
Newly elected Legislators will not be on the web site until sworn in January 11, 2011, and you will have to contact them through their campaign web sites or local offices before that date.
To contact the Governor, go to http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/default.asp and complete the form you find there.