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Archive for May, 2013

In 2009, Washington State passed legislation that made highly capable programming part of the state’s definition of basic education.  The change was part of a package of reforms that were to be phased in between 2009 and 2018.  In 2011, the highly capable programming reforms took effect.  Many districts were unsure of how they were to proceed, however, because the regulations governing highly capable programming had not yet been updated.

Members of the State Gifted Advisory committee worked with OSPI to revise those regulations, and in early April of 2013, the revisions to the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs) took effect.  All districts will now be required to have a highly capable program, and that program is expected to offer a continuum of services for students from K-12.  OSPI has made available a webinar and a slideshow to explain some of the most important implications of these changes.  You can access both through the Highly Capable page on OSPI’s website at  http://k12.wa.HighlyCapable.

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Your Action is Needed Immediately! Last chance to influence Highly Capable funding – contact the legislators below.

“Legislature Determines That Access to Highly Capable Basic Education Must Continue to Depend on Your Zip Code”

This might well be the headline, UNLESS YOU CHANGE IT. Today, 40% of districts offer no programs or services for their most advanced learners. Not surprisingly, inequalities in access and programming disproportionately affect small and rural districts, minorities, and poor students. The Legislature has done nothing to remedy the situation for the future.

There is no other part of basic education that is being told that to ensure proper funding, parents must go to their local school boards and ask for it. Access to highly capable programming needs to be uniform statewide and should not depend on your zip code.

The state Constitution requires that the state fully fund basic education for all students and HCP services are basic education for gifted students.

Relying on local school districts to decide whether or how to fund a portion of basic education is neither fair nor equitable.  The McCleary Decision says it is unconstitutional. Today’s state funding level – 2.314% of enrollment, unchanged since 2007- is demonstrably inadequate.

The Legislature must correct this situation in this session for all of Washington’s Highly Capable children, and follow the Quality Education Council’s recommendation for increased funding at 5% of enrollment.

What you need to do today:

Please use this message, or compose one of your own, and send it to each of the legislators listed below. Not all are participating in the budget negotiations but all have influence with those who are.

You may wish to use the Legislative Hotline but that requires a much shorter and more concise message.  1.800.562.6000 

Senator Andy Hill andy.hill@leg.wa.gov

Senator Michael Baumgartner michael.baumgartner@leg.wa.gov

Senator Jim Hargrove  jim.hargrove@leg.wa.gov

Senator Sharon Nelson  sharon.nelson@leg.wa.gov

Senator Joe Fain joe.fain@leg.wa.gov

Senator Andy Billig  andy.billig@leg.wa.gov

Senator Annette Cleveland  annette.cleveland@leg.wa.gov

Senator Paull Shin  paull.shin@leg.wa.gov

Senator Bruce Dammeier  bruce.dammeier@leg.wa.gov

Senator David Frockt  david.frockt@leg.wa.gov

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles  jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov

Senator Ann Rivers  ann.rivers@leg.wa.gov

Senator Pam Roach  pam.roach@leg.wa.gov

Senator Christine Rolfes  christine.rolfes@leg.wa.gov

Representative Ross Hunter  ross.hunter@leg.wa.gov

Representative Pat Sullivan  pat.sullivan@leg.wa.gov

Representative Marcie Maxwell marcie.maxwell@leg.wa.gov

Representative Reuven Carlyle reuven.carlyle@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kevin Parker  kevin.parker@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kathy Haigh  kathy.haigh@leg.wa.gov

Representative Jamie Pedersen  jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov

Please forward this email to all other advocates you know who may not be getting our emails directly.

Thank you for your patient advocacy on behalf of our Highly Capable students. If this effort is successful, this may be the last Action Alert you see from us for a long time.

The people behind the McCleary Decision, NEWS (Network for Excellence in Washington Schools) have sent an important letter to the Legislature, a copy of of which is linked here as a pdf file. The Coalition is a member of NEWS.

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