Parents and Friends of Highly Capable Children – We now need your help to save your child’s highly capable education for the next two school years, 2011-13.
Two proposals from the Governor would eliminate all Highly Capable Program (HCP) funding for this period. Meanwhile, the Governor has proposed increasing funds for other education programs during 2011-13. We’re asking the Legislature for equal treatment: Education programs must be funded equitably and proportionally. These are basic education dollars for highly capable students and programs. The mistaken perception that gifted kids are all upper-class, white, hardship-free, and disability-free has created an image hurdle for us in the Legislature. If your family’s story can balance any piece of that image, please include it!
We urge you to contact your legislators by Friday, February 11 – Gifted Education Day in Olympia. Two sample letters are below.
Remember to address emails, sign your name, and add your child’s story.
- Your own legislators. Find them here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx
- Senator Ed Murray, Chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Rosemary McAuliffe, chair of the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Committee. email@example.com
- Jill Satran, the Governor’s deputy chief of staff. We need to push back on the Governorfirstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you! Your efforts to save HCP funding for the current school year have been working – now let’s do the same for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years!
Brief sample letter (Perfect for calling the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000.)
The Legislature must now honor its own mandate to make the highly capable program (HCP) a part of Basic Education beginning in September 2011. Currently, SB 5475 and the Governor’s proposed 2011-13 budget target HCP students for funding elimination, while protecting and increasing funding for other education programs. The Legislature must fund all students’ education programs equitably and proportionally.
Longer sample letter:
The Legislature must now honor its own mandate to make the highly capable program (HCP) a part of Basic Education beginning in September 2011. Currently, SB 5475 and the Governor’s proposed 2011-13 budget target highly capable students for funding elimination, while protecting and increasing funding for other education programs. The Legislature must fund all education programs equitably and proportionally. Specifically:
1. SB 5475 must be amended to make HCP part of Basic Education as scheduled: beginning in September 2011. As currently written, SB 5475 would postpone the inclusion of HCP in basic education for two school years – until 2013. However, SB 5475 would advance other reforms from last session on schedule, making other unprotected education programs part of basic education beginning in 2011.
2. The Governor’s 2011-13 budget must be amended to fund HCP students. Currently, the Governor’s proposed budget eliminates all funding for HCP students. However, the Governor’s proposed budget would increase funding for students of other unprotected education programs.
Highly capable students come from all cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, and from special education classrooms. Targeting highly capable students for funding elimination is inappropriate. It is neither equitable nor proportional. It hurts school districts that are already fiscally weak. It denies these children their right to a free and appropriate public education, and its impact is most severe on highly capable children who are middle-class, lower-middle-class, and low-income. Targeting highly capable students for funding elimination is the opposite of how our competitor states are handling their own budget crises. It does not put our state on a path to economic recovery – it knocks Washington further off course.
Washington must press forward with its mandated educational reforms, and must do so equitably and proportionately. This is crucial for creating a future for all our children and building economic vitality in our state.