Archive for the ‘NAGC’ Category

Today we were fortunate to have M. René Islas, Executive Director of the National Association of Gifted Children, here to testify before the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. His remarks are attached: Gifted Education Day remarks from NAGC.

Joining him was Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, Gayle Pauley, and 2017 State Teacher of the Year, Camille Jones. You can view their testimony through the TVW Archive here.

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After 8 year’s delay, Congress is finally ready to seriously consider a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — better known as No Child Left Behind. This is a comprehensive rewrite of the bill and contains important provisions for gifted and talented children. This is the first time that programs and services for gifted students will receive federal protection. The National Association for Gifted Children called the day the conference committee reached agreement on the bill A Good Day for Gifted Education Advocates.

We urge you to contact our two Senators and your District Representative and urge them to vote “yes” on the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016. We do not at this time have a bill number. It will first be taken up in the House and then move to the Senate. The House is widely expected to vote on the bill as early as Thursday, with the Senate following shortly thereafter. Senator Patty Murray was chief Senate Democratic negotiator on the bill.

In your message, identify yourself as a constituent. We suggest wording similar — but not identical — to what follows:

“I urge you to vote “yes” on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.

“This bill contains important provisions for the educational opportunities available to gifted and talented students. Washington is the only state in the USA that has made Highly Capable Programs (gifted education) a mandatory part of basic education. But we also need the provisions for professional development for teachers and principals and the expansion of the Javits Grant found in this bill in order to better serve these students of high potential.

“We have waited long enough for this reauthorization. I strongly urge you to vote “yes” on the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 when it comes up for a vote in order to give Washington students the education they deserve to reach their potential.”

You can contact our two Senators and your district representative using the following link.


Thank you for your attention to this important advocacy opportunity.

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“…for highly capable students, access to accelerated learning
and enhanced instruction is access to a basic education.”
ESHB 2261, Sec. 708

Helping students learn and grow is a goal of every school. Implicit in that goal is an understanding of how to work with special populations of children. Gifted and talented education (known as Highly Capable Programs in Washington State) encompasses the expertise needed to properly identify and serve not only the students who demonstrate high achievement, but also those who have the ability to achieve at high levels. The term also  covers the specific services and programs offered as well as the teacher training necessary to provide the academic guidance gifted students need in order to thrive. Gifted and talented education, then, is the system by which districts recognize and serve this special population of children. (National Association for Gifted Children).

In our state, basic education for Highly Capable students is a program that allows these students to continue to show measurable growth. A portion of the students any district serves are Highly Capable. Some of them are identified and programs provided; some are not identified and have no services available. Our intention with this statement is to provide information to assist you as you develop a proposal for a reliable and dependable funding mechanism to support basic education programs, including Highly Capable Programs.

The basic costs of educating a student are a classroom, a teacher, curriculum materials, and maintenance, supplies, and operating costs (MSOC). These basic education costs apply to all students. Since Highly Capable  Programs are an integral part of basic education, these funds should be used to provide HCP program services for these students.

There are additional costs for educating a highly capable child including identification and curriculum materials. The Legislature provided funding for these additional costs based on 2.314% of FTE. The current biennial budget provides $8,745,000 for FY 2012 and $8,788,000 for FY 2013.

Districts may, and many do, expend additional funds to reach more students. Based on the most recent annual report, for the year 2008-2009, the Highly Capable Program grant of $8,938,800 funded services for 24,428 students. Districts used local funds of $34,532,205 to serve an additional 21,762 students. In total, districts spent $43,471,005 in state and local dollars combined to provide highly capable program services to 46,190 students. Thus for each $1 the state spent, districts spent up to $5 of their own funds. State and local dollars combined to provide highly capable program services to 46,190 students. With an estimated one million students in Washingtonʼs K-12 schools, this equals 4.62% of FTEs rather than the 2.314% in the formula.

With the passage of HB 2261, the Legislature authorized the Funding Formula Technical Working Group to study the costs of basic education and supplemental allocations.

Based on information provided to it, the FFTWG determined that the 2.314% funding basis was too low and recommended that a research-driven study be commissioned to determine the appropriate percentage. The recommended study has not been authorized.

The FFTWG also recognized that the new formula might create allocations for small districts that are too little to provide any meaningful Highly Capable Program; thus a floor may need to be developed.

Subsequent legislation established the Highly Capable Program Technical Working Group which was composed of experts from higher education, classroom teachers, parents, and representatives from state commissions for cultural, linguistic and racial minority groups, persons with disabilities and state Tribes. The HCPTWG submitted the report and recommendations to the Legislature In studying the question of funding and identification, the Highly Capable Program Technical Working Group:

  • Determined that the current enrollment limit of 2.314% is a constraint based more on funding than comprehensive identification of eligible students.
  • Found that HCPSs comprise at least 5 % of total enrollment.
  • Recommended that the “enrollment assumption be revised from 2.314% to 5% to mitigate the number of identified but unserved highly capable students” (HCPTWG Recommendations, page 24) and that the hours in the formula be increased to 5.

Current state funds alone do not provide an appropriate educational opportunity for all highly capable students in Washington state. The Quality Education Council reviewed the FFTWG and HCPTWG reports and has recommended to the Legislature that it base funding for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 on a minimum of 5% of FTE using the class size and hour recommendations of the QEC from the August 13, 2012 review of Prior Recommendations.

We support this recommendation and also request that:

  • The Legislature provide funding equivalent to the total of state and local funds currently spent.
  • A study be authorized to determine the appropriate percentage of FTE to be included in the funding formula.

If Washington is to continue to be a global leader in creativity and innovation, it is essential that we give our best and brightest young people the finest education we can.

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The legislature is going into special session beginning Monday since they have been unable to agree on a second supplemental budget during the regular session. While we all hope they will limit themselves to the budget, any bills may be considered so who can guess what will happen.

All the various budget proposals with even a breath of life in them treat Highly Capable Program funding similarly. The small differences in the total amount to be allocated result from different case load counts and pension adjustments and do not reflect an intent to decrease funding to the districts.

Last minute actions kept levy equalization funding at the current level while prior versions of the budget made a big cut. It is hard to know what the compromise that eventually emerges will do so, if you have strong feelings about LEA, contact your legislators now.

More information may be posted but as of right now, the most recent budget proposal is in amendment 1344 on the ESB 5967 page at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5967&year=2011


Several bills which would have enacted some of the recommendations of the Highly Capable Program Technical Working Group, including a new definition of a highly capable student and guidelines for identification, got caught in an intramural squabble and failed to get out of committee in both houses. The Coalition had serious concerns about these bills, so this is not entirely a bad thing – better no bill than an unsatisfactory one – and we will be back to work on the issue in the next regular session. Meanwhile, we will continue our work with OSPI to get as many of the recommendations as possible included in the necessary rewrite of the Washington Administrative Code (WACs) and to get the rewrite done as soon as possible. Your strong showing on Gifted Education Day makes our work easier.

With all the various educational issues that came before the legislature, you may wonder why the Coalition did not call your attention to any of them. This is because the Coalition is a single issue political advocacy organization: appropriate educational opportunities for highly capable students. We advocate with legislators and administrators for these students and usually do not become involved in other issues, thus leaving our supporters free to take individual stands as they see fit.


We have been successful in obtaining a permit to use the Columbia Room for Gifted Education Day 2013 on February 8. The date is early enough in session to avoid conflicts with cut off dates which make it difficult to get appointments with legislators and, so far as we know, does not conflict with school holidays. Please mark your 2013 calendars now!


The following comes from the National Association For Gifted Children, our national organization which lobbies with the Congress.

No Federal Funding For Gifted Ed In 2012 – Congress Directs Department To Continue Research

In mid December, 2011 the Congress approved a package of appropriations bills to fund federal agencies and programs through September 2012.  The “omnibus” bill does not include funding for the Javits program, which was de-funded in 2011, but the report that accompanies the omnibus appropriations bill includes some supportive language for gifted education.

The “report language” urges the Institute for Education Sciences (IES), the U.S. Department of Education’s research arm, to continue research into the learning needs of gifted and talented students, to retain a national research center on the gifted, and to include gifted and talented children in the key data collection efforts and reports developed by IES.  NAGC and CEC will discuss with Department officials several ways in which IES can meet Congress’s intent to continue this critical research.

Gifted students have been fortunate to have long-time friends in the Congress who lead the effort to secure support for funding for the Javits program each year. Gifted education supporters have done a great job in developing bipartisan support in both the House and Senate for the needs of gifted students.  It’s imperative that we keep up the education and advocacy efforts with every Members of Congress so that there is increased understanding and support that can be translated into federal initiatives.

The annual federal budget process is now underway in Congress. To find what you can do regarding funding for Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act, please go to


We need you to take action by March 16th.

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