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.
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.
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.