The Washington Coalition for Gifted Education represents all Highly Capable children in Washington. We are calling for an increase in funding to 5%, as recommended by the Quality Education Council, so that all districts can identify and support every Highly Capable child’s strengths.
Some background information:
All the proposals for the final supplemental budget for FYs 2012 and 2013 (the current biennium) call for $ 17,904,000 for HCP.
The Office of Financial Management has calculated that maintenance level funding for HCP for FYs 2014 and 2015 is $19,083,000. This amount is what it will take to provide the same services in 2014 and 2015 as the $17.9 million did in 2012 and 2013.
The chart below compares budget proposals that will be considered in conference. All funding amounts are based on 2.314% of a district’s total student enrollment. Funding is Section 511 of the proposal.
These amounts are all barely maintenance level funding. This level of funding leaves 40% of districts, many small and rural, with no services or programs whatsoever.
Legislators have told us that they assume that the districts will use some of the $1 billion increase all budgets propose for basic education to cover the increased costs of the Highly Capable Program based on the revised WAC. The legislature cannot direct them to do so, so they have to “assume” it will happen. That is wishful thinking.
Contact your representatives and senator NOW and tell them you want the HCP supplemental funding increased to the 5% level.
The House budget will be on the floor for a vote within a few days so contact your Representatives as soon as possible. After that vote, the different bills will go to a conference committee so contact your Senator next.
Here’s how: If you do not already know who they are, find your legislators here http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/
Next, call the Toll-Free Legislative Hotline, 8AM to 8PM at 1-800-562-6000 and leave this message for your State Legislators: “I want you to increase Highly Capable Education funding to 5%, the level recommended by the Quality Education Council.”
Follow up with short emails with the same message to your State Representatives and Senator. Email addresses use this format: Firstname.Lastname@leg.wa.gov or find them at https://dlr.leg.wa.gov/MemberEmail/Default.aspx
Thank you for your advocacy!