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.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR THOSE WHO WANT MORE
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.”