OUR FOCUS FOR GIFTED EDUCATION DAY AND BEYOND
The Supplemental Budget has passed both the Senate and the House but in different versions which will need to be reconciled. Since both versions provide nearly the same amount for highly capable programming (HCP) as in the original budget for the current school year, it appears that the first hurdle of this legislative session has been successfully – well – hurdled.
The Biennial Budget and SB 5475 lie ahead of us. The fate of SB 5475, introduced on behalf of the Governor, will be basic to the budget.
The Legislature has some important decisions as outlined below.
• Proceed with the scheduled implementation of Education Reform (ESHB 2261 and SHB 2776) and they will write one budget.
• Follow the Governor’s proposal to delay implementation of parts of Education Reform and this requires a different budget.
– Delay implementation to 2013 and the biennial budget needs to contain approximately $18 million in categorical funding for HCP at at least maintenance level. This funding is not a sure thing.
– The Governor’s proposals assume delayed implementation (SB 5475) and $0 in funding in her budget.
The Coalition Position
We request that the words “Beginning with the 2013-14 school year” be removed from Sec. 2 (3)(g), Section 3(10)(c), Sec. 5, and Section 6(1) of SB 5475 as these would delay inclusion of HCP in basic education until 2013.
Other sections of this bill move forward with the 2011 inclusion of the Learning Assistance Program (LAP), and the Transitional Bilingual Program (TBL) into basic education and implement the prototypical school funding formula, MSOC (materials, supplies, and operating costs) allocations and the new transportation formula. The Quality Education Council (QEC) has linked HCP with LAP and TBL as programs that close the opportunity gap; this bill removes that linkage.
Educational reform was designed as a whole. Delaying some parts of it will upset the design and make planning difficult. It will be disruptive to districts and students. Local districts have limited funds to continue programs in a delayed implementation. It will be more expensive to reintroduce them than it would be to implement them now.
We understand that implementation cost is high and that funding in full is not likely. Better an underfunded reform than no reform. For HCP, better an underfunded mandate than no mandate. Funding can be adjusted upward as the fiscal situation improves.
Your contacts with Legislators, until further notice, should request that implementation of the new definition of basic education not be delayed beyond the scheduled date of September 2011.
Since the bill is currently in the Senate, contact with your Senators should take place first but both Senators and Representatives will need to be contacted.
The Budget for 2012-2013
If inclusion of HCP is implemented in full in 2011 we hope that some amount of Section 708 funds will be appropriated along with MSOC but have not taken a position on how much this should be. We need to see what is in the budget proposed by the Legislature. (Information on these categories of funds is in the attachment.)
If implementation is delayed (SB 5475), it is our position that we will advocate to obtain as much funding for the current categorical program (which will still exist) as we can. Again, we will signal we are willing to accept a cut but it must be proportional. The budget proposed by the Governor provides no funds for HCP (as a categorical program based on her request to delay implementation of HCP inclusion). This is not proportional.
If you are relatively new to gifted advocacy or you just like to dig into the details, please see the (long) attached pdf file which has all the appropriate references and citations.
For those in the Seattle School District, we have attached Dr. Robert Vaughan’s statement to the Senate Ways & Means Committee on January 31 regarding SB 5475.