Archive for January, 2011

We have asked a lot of advocates in recent days, and you have responded enthusiastically.

There is a slight lull in proceedings in Olympia – but things will pick up again next week. We are taking advantage of the “down time” to send you a status update and a reminder about Gifted Education Day, February 11th.

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Good News!

The Supplemental Budget bill ESHB 1086 passed the House this morning and is on its way to the Senate for their consideration.

Along the way, a striker amendment which would have reduced HCP funding and cut it off as of March 1 was defeated, on a straight party line vote.

So 1086 contains the following for HCP in section 508:

State Appropriation (FY) 2011  $9,171,000, including $84,000 for FPS/DI and $159,000 for Centrum at Fort Worden. That’s for this current school year.

ESHB 1086 is being fast tracked and the Senate Ways & Means committee has already scheduled a work session for Tuesday, January 25 at 3:30.

Same Song, Next Verse

You need to do what you did for the House W&M. Send those “hundreds and hundreds of emails” to Senators on the Senate Ways & Means committee urging support for Section 508. Support for HCP is not nearly so strong in the Senate as it was in the House so contact is vital.

When contacting these Senators, you may wish to note that advocates appreciate the provision of Highly Capable Funding in ESHB 1086. It is only through maintaining the current program and proceeding to move it forward into basic education that the state can continue to open doors for students from all demographic and economic groups. Ask for their support.  You can contact the members of the Senate W&M committee through this web site. Click on the name of the member (and you should contact all members) and you will get the home page from which you can send your message.


If you want to see the text of 1086, go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1086&year=2011 and click on Substitute Bill (WAYS 11). Information on this page is being constantly updated so if you see something different search for ESHB 1086.

Together we are stronger!

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Parents saved the highly capable program. Hundreds and hundreds of emails to legislators from parents statewide made the difference. – Reuven Carlyle, 36th District Representative.

The House vote on the Supplemental Budget (SHB 1086) has been rescheduled for early next week, perhaps on Monday, January 24th, perhaps not.  That means there is still time this weekend to contact your District’s Representatives to ask their support for Highly Capable Program Funding.

Your calls and messages are still necessary as committee action was only the first and essential step in a long process.

As the words of our legislators have demonstrated, your involvement in the process is essential.  It is very important that we follow up this campaign with a strong showing in Olympia for Gifted Education Day on February 11th.

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Pause, take a deep breath!

The supplemental budget bill left committee with funding restored for Highly Capable. 

By voice vote, on an amendment proposed by Rep. Hunter, nearly full funding as established in the Second Supplemental from December was restored – for details, see fact sheet below. Centrum and FPS/DI took approximately 6% cuts in their already small funding, but the funds to districts are fully restored at the rate of $401.08 per student. As of this writing, the full text of 1086 is not yet available on the web sites so our information is from the amendment as posted and from watching the webcast of the session.

Now, the bill, as amended in committee, goes to the House floor on Friday, January 21, late morning (after the caucus meetings, where floor managers make sure they have the votes they need before proceeding to a vote). You can watch on TVW if you have time.

Next step.

Limber up those fingers and get busy contacting your district Representatives today. The risk to Highly Capable funds would come from a floor amendment to either reduce the amount and/or to impose a cutoff date to funding during this school year. (A cutoff date amendment failed in committee on a party line vote.) Ask Representatives to reject either option and to support section 508 for Highly Capable as reported by the committee.

If you had already contacted your Legislators because they are members of the Ways & Means committee, say Thank You for the funding and please vote to uphold it on the floor.

Emails can be sent through the Legislature web site. Go to http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rosters/MembersByDistrict.aspx and find your district. A click on your Representatives will take you to the individual home pages from which you can send your email.

Your overwhelming response has heartened all Washington advocates of the gifted. We thank you on behalf of the highly capable students of Washington.   Chairman Hunter remarked that he had received a great deal of email about the gifted funds.  Rep. Reuven Carlyle wrote on his blog that “Parents saved the highly capable program. Hundreds and hundreds of emails to legislators from parents statewide made the difference.”

Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

From here the supplemental will go to the Senate where we may have to again make many contacts to ensure funding. We will keep you informed.

For the most current information, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/wagifted or here on our blog at https://wcge.wordpress.com.

Don’t forget Gifted Education Day in Olympia on February 11. We need you there.

Fact sheet for those of you who like to dig into the details.

Approved December supplemental budget called for $9,188,000 for 2010-2011.

Governor’s and Hunter’s proposed budgets called for $2,053,000. Included slightly reduced funding for Centrum and FPS/DI ($159,000 and $84,000) and nothing for districts. (About $1.78 million was to cover payments to districts for 2009-2010 made after the start of the state’s fiscal year but during the school year. Please don’t ask why; it’s too complicated.)

Difference $ 7,135,000.

Amendment to the proposed supplementary passed the committee and calls for $7,118,000 in HCP funding.

Add to the $2.035 million and this totals $9,171 million. Add on the cut amounts (total $17,000) from Centrum and FPS/DI and we arrive back at the $9,188,000.

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This is an urgent message deserving of your immediate attention.

Today the House Ways & Means committee heard proposed substitute house bill 1086 and has fast tracked it for executive session on Thursday, January 19, at 3:30 pm. This bill provides no funding to districts for Highly Capable Programs for the current school year, retroactive to September 2010.

We understand that there will need to be cuts to non-protected programs but a total elimination retroactive to September 2010 is neither proportional nor equitable.

When the House Ways & Means committee meets on Thursday, members can propose amendments to this inequitable provision. We urge you to write immediately to all members of the committee to ask that any cuts made to Highly Capable Programs be proportional to cuts to all other programs and that they not be retroactive. Retroactive cuts will be seriously disruptive to districts and the students they serve.

http://www.leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/WAYS/Pages/MembersStaff.aspx is a complete list of all members of the House Ways & Means committee. Each name constitutes a link to a legislator’s home page from which you can send an email.

If you write now, there is still time to amend this bill to provide some level of funding for Highly Capable Programs. It is easier to amend a bill in committee than when it gets to the floor so please WRITE IMMEDIATELY.


1. The bill and the summary document are available at http://leap.leg.wa.gov/leap/default.asp

Click on Legislative Proposals with the yellow ‘new’ button. Then click again on Legislative Proposal with the yellow ‘new’ button on the next page.

2. Here is the summary in brief. This budget proposal suspends funds to districts  for Highly Capable Programs for the entire school year 2010-2011. The $ 2 million in the bill covers some payments made in 2010 for 2009 plus funding for Centrum and Future Problem Solving/Destination ImagiNation for 2010-2011. To repeat, there is no district funding for Highly Capable Programs for the current school year.

From the bill summary, page 49:

“The state allocation for highly capable students is suspended, effective at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year. The 2010 supplemental budget allocated a rate of $401.08 per funded student, up to a maximum of 2.314 percent of each district’s full-time equivalent basic education enrollment. The remaining funding in this budget reflects program costs from the prior school year, two months of which fall in FY 2011.”

3. Based on prior biennial and supplemental budgets for the current year, funds have already been sent to districts and these funds will be recaptured by the state through cuts in basic education appropriations for the remainder of the school year.

From a power point presentation by Supt. Randy Dorn on January 6, 2011:

“If adopted by Legislature, OSPI will adjust district apportionment payments to reflect cuts.

“OSPI will transfer Highly Capable program to General Apportionment in order to then make adjustments to district apportionment.”

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As promised, here is the Gifted Education Day Handbook for 2011.

There are substantial changes from last year. In particular we call your attention to the revised priorities and goals for this legislative session on page 8. We have previously asked you to contact legislators to request full funding for Highly Capable Programs. Your response was overwhelming. But, in view of the continuing shortfall in revenues, this is no longer a realistic request. Thus, the revised priorities for 2011.

A list of key legislative committees can be found on page 10. In addition to contacting your own legislators, you may wish to contact the committee chairmen to express your views.

Legislative budgets for printing, paper and postage have been eliminated. All correspondence will be by email so be sure to include your email address in any communication to which you request a reply.

We look forward to seeing you in Olympia on Gifted Education Day, February 11, 2011. Now, more than ever before, your presence is essential for the future of Highly Capable Programs!

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Received from Amy Price, Executive Director of SENG:

Dear Seattle Friends,
In a few days, SENG is travelling to Seattle to train 25 new facilitators who will become certified to lead SENG Model Parent Groups.  We have an opportunity on Thursday evening, January 13th, for a limited number of parents of gifted children to experience an informative one-evening sample session.  This is going to be a great way to learn, bond with others parents of gifted children, and become familiar with resources that are available to all.  Please forward the attached flyer to your parent contacts.  Registration is absolutely free but is required, and we do currently have space in this parent program.
What’s more, we will thank the first 40 parents that register for and attend the program on Thursday evening.  Each will receive access to a complimentary copy of the SENGinar Living in the Gifted Family, presented by Arlene DeVries. 
Thank you for helping spread the word!  We look forward to continuing to support your efforts for gifted children throughout Washington State.

We’ve attached a flyer with more details, including registration information.

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