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Posts Tagged ‘Highly Capable Programming’

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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Gifted Education Advocates,

We must convince legislators to increase funding for Highly Capable Education, and need your immediate action. Thank you in advance for your advocacy.

Please do the following TODAY or TOMORROW. Please have students leave messages as well!

1. If you do not already know, find your legislators here http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

2. Call the Toll-Free Legislative Hotline, 8AM to 8PM at 1-800-562-6000 and leave this message for your State Representatives:

“I want you to tell Representative Hunter that it is time for Washington State to ensure equity for all students. I want you to increase Highly Capable Education funding to 5%, the level recommended by the Quality Education Council.”

3. Call the Toll-Free Legislative Hotline, 8AM to 8PM at 1-800-562-6000 and leave this message for your State Senator:

“I want you to tell Senators Tom and Hill that it is time for Washington State to ensure equity for all students. I want you to increase Highly Capable Education funding to 5%, the level recommended by the Quality Education Council.”

4. Follow up with short emails 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

5. Send additional emails to Ross.Hunter@leg.wa.gov, Rodney.Tom@leg.wa.gov, and Andy.Hill@leg.wa.gov

You may wish to provide them with more information in your email. Feel free to add your personal experience, or use the information below.

With 5% funding the state’s Highly Capable Programs plan will:

  • Ensure equity for all students by supporting early identification, a continuum of services K-12, along with appropriate professional development.
  • Provide equitable screening that eliminates bias
  • Establish a deliberate, systematic effort to look at traditionally underserved populations.
  • Widen opportunity for young children (K-3) who show potential in comparison to their classmates, and to develop that potential to see where it may lead.
  • Provide programming appropriate to the student’s strength.

We are counting on you to take action immediately. There are tens of thousands of Highly Capable children in Washington state who need your help!

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Effective September 1, 2011, highly capable programming became a part of Washington State’s definition of basic education.  The changes to the Revised Code of Washington (RCWs) were passed by the legislature, and signed into law by Governor Gregoire.  To make those changes to the RCWs meaningful, there also needed to be changes to the Washington Administrative Codes (WACs).

Members of the Washington Coalition for Gifted Education, Northwest Gifted Child Association, the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted and many other groups concerned with the education of highly capable students in Washington State were involved in the process of revising the WACs.  Working with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Washington State Gifted Advisory Committee, suggested changes to the WACs were drafted and submitted for a public hearing.  The proposed changes can be viewed on OSPI’s website.

The hearing is to take place on November 28th, and written comment is due by November 19th.  More information is available on the Highly Capable page of OSPI’s website.

The WCGE was very pleased with the changes that resulted from this process, though there was one area of concern.  Together with the Presidents of WAETAG and NWGCA, we have submitted the following letter regarding our concerns:

The leadership of WAETAG, NWGCA and the Coalition are concerned about the wording in WAC, section 392-270-012. With Highly Capable Program services an integral part of basic education, basic education funds should be spent on Highly Capable Program services. We are concerned that the proposed wording of the section (may access basic education funds*) can be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

In viewing the wording of this section, it is necessary to remember that in: Sec. 2 (2) of 2776 reads as follows:

The distribution formula under this section shall be for allocation purposes only. Except as may be required under chapter 28A.155, 28A.165, 28A.180, or 28A.185 RCW, or federal laws and regulations, nothing in this section requires school districts to use basic education instructional funds to implement a particular instructional approach or service.

The proposed revision to the WAC is misleading when it says that “districts may access basic education funds and highly capable categorical funds.” Since RCW 28A.185 is the section on Highly Capable Programs, it is exempted from this section of the law. Therefore, districts can and should be expected to use basic education funds for Highly Capable Programs.

We suggest that the second sentence of the new section be changed to read:

“School districts may access highly capable categorical funds in addition to basic education funds to provide appropriate highly capable student programs and services”.

This will clarify for districts that they are to use basic ed funds for HCP services.

We find all the other proposed revisions to be in line with the RCW 28A.185.

Irene Greve, President
Washington Coalition For Gifted Education

Charlotte Akin, President
Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted

Marcia Holland, President
Northwest Gifted Child Association

* WAC 392-170-012 Funds. For highly capable students, access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is
access to a basic education. School districts may access basic education funds and highly capable categorical funds
to provide appropriate highly capable student programs and services.

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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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Dr. Nancy Hertzog, Director of the Robinson Center for Young Scholars at the University of Washington, will be teaching a new course this fall for educators of highly capable students.  The course will be offered on Saturdays to make it more accessible.  For more details, including dates and times of the class, see the attached flyer.

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THE ROUNDUP

The Governor has signed the 3rd supplemental budget for this biennium and HCP funding to the districts is maintained. In the initial budget for this biennium, funding for the arts program at Centrum was cut and funding for Destination ImagiNation and Future Problem Solving was eliminated, cuts which were not restored in the 3rd supplemental. These opportunities for students have been an integral part of the Highly Capable appropriation since it began in 1985.

There was no legislation regarding Highly Capable Programs other than the budget.

GOING FORWARD

Including Highly Capable in basic education is a major reform. It follows that there are implementation issues to be followed and resolved. We are currently working on:

• Restoration of funding for Centrum, Future Problem Solving and Destination ImagiNation.

• An increase in HCP funding to the districts.

• The WACs are being revised to bring them in line with HCP’s new position in basic ed. Gifted advocacy groups will be reviewing the changes and providing comment when they are made public later this year. All indications are that progress is being made to bring the Washington Administrative Codes (WAC) into line with the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).

• The McCleary funding decision recognized HCP as a part of basic education so we will be following the court’s continuing jurisdiction of legislative actions to be sure adequate funding is provided. We will be watching the new Joint Select Committee which will report to the court.

• For successful advocacy, we need the backing of the large Coalition membership state wide. This is why we need you to plan to be in Olympia for Gifted Education Day on February 8, 2013. With the November election we will have a new Governor and new legislators to educate about the needs of gifted students and the value of highly capable programs for both our individual students and for the economy of the state. Please make plans to join us there.

BY THE WAY…

Speaking of elections, both candidates for Governor have released their education platforms for the campaign. Attached are summaries from the League of Education Voters and the Partnership 4 Learning. They are provided as information only and do not constitute an endorsement of any candidate.

You can do your part by looking carefully at the education statements of the Legislative candidates in your district and asking them specifically about their position on Highly Capable Programs in candidate forums, town meetings, etc.

AND FINALLY

BE SURE TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS AND SAY THANK YOU FOR THEIR EFFORTS TOWARD FULL FUNDING OF K-12 EDUCATION. THEY DON’T HEAR A THANK YOU OFTEN ENOUGH.

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THE BUDGET

The good news from the House and Senate is that the budgets passed in each house provide for implementation of education reform in September 2011 (Highly Capable Programming becomes a mandated part of basic education) and adequate funding for HCP. These provisions are part of the effort to implement education reform in September 2011, as originally scheduled, and show that reform can be implemented even in difficult financial times.

The House version of the 2011-2013 biennial budget contains funding for Highly Capable Programs and $50,000 for Centrum. See Appendix I below for budget details as approved by the House.

The Senate version of the 2011-2013 biennial budget contains funding for Highly Capable Programs and $85,000 for Centrum. See Appendix II at the end of this message for budget details  as approved by the Senate.

The House proposal comes to a total of $18,146,000 for the biennium, the Senate  to $17,705,000. Our goals for this session included Highly Capable Programs becoming a part of basic education in September 2011 with adequate enhanced funding. These goals are met in either of these budget proposals.

Since the state first began funding in 1984, Centrum and Future Problem Solving and Destination ImagiNation were essential elements in Highly Capable Program funding. We are disappointed that Centrum funding  was cut by $102,000 per year in the House proposal and $67,000 per year in the Senate. The reduced funding may keep the Centrum program alive.

We are disappointed that funding for Future Problem Solving and Destination ImagiNation was eliminated in both budgets. We made extensive efforts to have this funding restored but were unsuccessful. These programs provide opportunities for gifted and accelerated students that local districts are unable to offer. The need for these opportunities will continue to exist even after HCP becomes a part of basic education and we deeply regret that they are eliminated.

OTHER BILLS

Sections 207-208-209 of E2SHB 1443 will implement the recommendations of the Highly Capable Program Technical Work Group with a new definition of a highly capable student and more detailed guidance for discovery and identification of qualified students. The bill has passed both chambers in different forms so the process of concurrence and/or reconciliation has commenced.

Both budget proposals contain funding for OSPI to formulate new WACs to implement E2SHB 1443.

We will keep you informed.

Thank you for all the advocacy you have done during this Legislative session. The all-out effort for the supplemental budget (HB 1086) set the tone for the rest of the session and gave us a very strong base from which to operate.

Appendix I – House budget proposal  HB 1087

NEW SECTION. Sec. 511. FOR PROGRAMS FOR HIGHLY CAPABLE STUDENTS  
General Fund–State Appropriation (FY 2012) . . . $8,965,000
General Fund–State Appropriation (FY 2013) . . . $9,081,000
TOTAL APPROPRIATION…………….      $18,046,000

The appropriations in this section are subject to the following conditions and limitations:
(1) Each general fund fiscal year appropriation includes such funds as are necessary to complete the school year ending in the fiscal year and for prior fiscal year adjustments.
(2)(a) For the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, the superintendent shall allocate funding to school district programs for highly capable students as provided in RCW 28A.150.260(10)(c). In calculating the allocations, the superintendent shall assume the following: (i) Additional instruction of 2.1590 hours per week per funded highly capable program student; (ii) fifteen highly capable program students per teacher; (iii) 36 instructional weeks per year; (iv) 900 instructional hours per teacher; and (v) the district’s average staff mix and compensation rates as provided in sections 503 and 504 of this act.
(b) From July 1, 2011, to August 31, 2011, the superintendent shall allocate funding to school districts programs for highly capable students as provided in section 511, chapter 564, Laws of 2009, as amended through section 1409 of this act.

Sec. 513

(16) $50,000 of the fiscal year 2012 appropriation and $50,000 of the fiscal year 2013 appropriation are provided for the centrum program at Fort Worden state park.

Appendix II – Senate budget  ESHB 1087

NEW SECTION. Sec. 511. FOR PROGRAMS FOR HIGHLY CAPABLE STUDENTS
11 General Fund–State Appropriation (FY 2012) . . . . . . . . $8,886,000
12 General Fund–State Appropriation (FY 2013) . . . . . . . . $8,819,000
13 TOTAL APPROPRIATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$17,705,000
14 The appropriations in this section are subject to the following
15 conditions and limitations:
16 (1) Each general fund fiscal year appropriation includes such funds
17 as are necessary to complete the school year ending in the fiscal year
18 and for prior fiscal year adjustments.
19 (2)(a) For the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, the superintendent
20 shall allocate funding to school district programs for highly capable
21 students as provided in RCW 28A.150.260(10)(c). In calculating the
22 allocations, the superintendent shall assume the following: (i)
23 Additional instruction of 2.1590 hours per week per funded highly
24 capable program student; (ii) fifteen highly capable program students
25 per teacher; (iii) 36 instructional weeks per year; (iv) 900
26 instructional hours per teacher; and (v) the district’s average staff
27 mix and compensation rates as provided in sections 503 and 504 of this
28 act.
29 (b) From July 1, 2011, to August 31, 2011, the superintendent shall
30 allocate funding to school districts programs for highly capable
31 students as provided in section 511, chapter 564, Laws of 2009, as
32 amended through section 1409 of this act.
33 (3) $85,000 of the general fund–state appropriation for fiscal
34 year 2012 and $85,000 of the general fund–state appropriation for
35 fiscal year 2013 are provided solely for the centrum program at Fort
36 Worden state

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