Two parts to this message.
1. The Washington State House budget proposal is due out on Monday for a 3:30 pm public hearing before the House Ways & Means committee. This means the authors feel they have the 50 votes needed to pass it in the House and send it on to the Senate.
We have absolutely no idea of what funding is provided for highly capable programs in this proposal but should be able to see it when the proposal is made public, likely early Monday morning. We will keep you informed.
2. The usual minuet over Javits funding has begun in the federal Congress. We urge you to take the actions requested in this message from NAGC, the National Association for Gifted Children. As of right now, no Washington Representative or Senator has signed the letter. I checked the links and they do work (though www.nagc.org appears to be having problems at this writing).
SUPPORT FUNDING FOR THE JAVITS PROGRAM FOR FISCAL YEAR 2012 – YOUR ASSISTANCE NEEDED
Gifted education advocates are fortunate to coordinate their efforts with long-time supporters on Capitol Hill to ensure that the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act receives funding in each fiscal year. This year, even as Congress is embroiled in a spending cuts debate for fiscal year 2011, the work has begun for funding federal agencies and programs in fiscal year 2012, which begins on October 1, 2011.
To move our fiscal year 2012 effort along and to ensure success– we need your help before April 5 in the House and by April 12 in the Senate.
Once again, there are “Dear Colleague” letters circulating in the House and Senate requesting Representatives (or Senators) to join them on a letter to the Appropriations Committee subcommittees that fund education programs. Our ability to gather co-signers is an important indication of support for the program. As you know, the Javits Act is the only federal program specifically focused on the needs of America’s 3 million academically gifted students.
Please contact your Representative and Senators in support of the program. The House deadline is next week, please make those contacts first.
The letters request the subcommittee continue funding for the Javits program. In the extremely difficult funding climate, our Congressional supporters felt it best to not ask for any funding increase this year. The program currently receives $7.5 million, which funds the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented as well as a series of competitive research-based demonstration grants that explore classroom strategies to support disadvantaged gifted students.
Here’s what you should do:
(1) Check to see if your Senators and Representative have already co-signed either letter. Click here for the list of cosigners.
(2) In the House of Representatives – April 5 deadline
Reps. Elton Gallegly (CA-24) and Joe Courtney (CT-2) are circulating the House “Dear Colleague” letter.
Please call or email your Representative’s office before April 5 and urge him/her to cosign the Gallegly-Courtney appropriations letter in support of funding for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act in FY 2012.
(3) In the Senate – April 12 deadline
Senators Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Bob Casey (PA) are circulating the Senate “Dear Colleague” letter.
Please call or email your Senators’ offices before April 12 and urge your Senators to cosign the Grassley-Casey appropriations letter in support of funding for the Javits gifted students program in FY 2012.
Finally, as you write your messages and make calls, keep in mind It is always helpful to Members of Congress if you can explain the benefits of a program to your Congressional district or state.
For example, if your school district has participated in a Javits-funded grant or if your school district uses information from the National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented to make improvements to the services offered to gifted students, be sure to include that in your email request.
If your district does not offer gifted education services, be sure to remind your Members of Congress that the Javits program is the sole federal program dedicated to researching ways to identify and serve gifted students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Thank you for your support — it’s YOUR work with Members of Congress that is making the difference!