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SSB 5354 has passed out of the Senate Way & Means committee and has been sent on to the Rules Committee. Once received by the Rules committee, it is eligible for consideration. Since the bill received a unanimous vote in Ways & Means it is possible that it may be considered for the consent calendar as early as this week and sent to the floor for debate and a vote.

Please contact your Senator NOW and request his/her support for SSB 5354.

What do you want to say to your Senator? You could ask them to contact members of the Rules committee and request expeditious scheduling of SSB 5354. Or you could just express your support for SSB 5354 and ask for a yes vote on the floor. Or both. Or something else. Your choice.

There are a number of ways you can do this.

1. Use the comment on this bill option on the bill page and send only to your Senator. You don’t need to know who that is to use this as the system will tell you his/her name. Use the comment box to ask for support for SSB 5354.

2. Use the Legislative Hot Line. You need to know who your Senator is to do this. If you don’t, see 4 below. Prepare your message in advance and read it to the operator.

1-800-562-6000

From the Legislative web site:

Toll-Free Hotline
Do you want to send a message to your Senator? Call our HOTLINE at 1-800-562-6000 (TTY for Hearing Impaired 800.833.6388). Callers to the Hotline can leave a brief message for their district legislators on issues of concern or on questions they may have about bills or laws. These messages are forwarded electronically to the appropriate individuals. When leaving a message with the Hotline, please be prepared to give your name and street address. For non-English speaking callers we offer interpreter services for many languages.

During the Legislative session, the Hotline is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

3. If you already have your Senator in your email contact book, send an email with SSB 5354 in the subject line and ask for support.

4. Know who your Senator is but don’t have the email address? Use the Legislative web site to find your Senator and then click on Email to send one through this site.

Don’t know who your Senator is? Go to the District Finder and enter your information. A white message bubble will appear on the map. Click on your Senator’s name and it will take you to the Senate listing (see above paragraph) where you can send an email.

5. Although Legislators prefer email, you can also write a letter and mail it. Mail addresses can be found using the site in item 4 above.

6. If you have a close relationship with your Senator, you can always call his/her office directly. Phone numbers available at the Senate site in 4 above.

Whatever method you use, please contact your Senator as soon as possible. The deadline for getting this bill passed in the Senate and on to the House is March 13th.
It is imperative that contact with individual Senators be made as soon as possible.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

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SSB 5354 passed unanimously out of the Senate Ways & Means committee, with some amendments, and now goes to Rules for the next actions. The substitute bill is not yet posted but you can find it at the link above in a few days (so many bills were voted out of committees yesterday that it will take a while for the techs to catch up with their posting).

The procedures in Rules are somewhat arcane. Please read the following so you will know how it all works – or is supposed to work.

http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/RULE/Pages/RulesShorthandGuide.aspx

March 1 was the deadline for bills to advance from their chamber of origin. SHB 1641 was not heard in the House Appropriations committee and is effectively dead for this session. But if (when!!) SSB 5354 passes the Senate it goes to the House – where promising groundwork has already been laid in the public hearing and executive action in the Education committee on February 18. See http://leg.wa.gov/legislature/Pages/Bill2Law.aspx for the process.

Thank You to everyone who contacted legislators in support of this bill. We could not have done it without your active support.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

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We’ve attached our testimony to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Also testifying in favor of SB 5354 was Austina De Bonte, President of Northwest Gifted Child Association. Other supporters submitted written testimony directly to the Committee members.

WCGE SB5354 Ways and Means Testimony

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We’ve attached our testimony to the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. Also testifying in favor of SB 5354 were Senator Ann Rivers, the Prime Sponsor of SB 5354; Jennifer Flo, Vice-President, Washington Association for the Education of the Talented and Gifted; Charlotte Akin, M.Ed., WCGE Executive Board, Past President WAETAG; Austina De Bonte, President, Northwest Gifted Child Association; Dr. Michelle Reid, Superintendent, Northshore School District.

WCGE SB5354 Testimony

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gifted education day proclamation 2019

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gifted ed day flyer 2019 - sb 5354 & hb 1641Download a PDF of this document here.

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The Senate Republicans passed their budget bill (ESSB 5048) last Friday, and the House Democrats are on track to pass their budget bill (HB 1067) this Friday. The bills have significant differences, and we expect some long and difficult negotiations between the two parties. There will be more opportunities for you to voice your opinion before a final budget is approved, but today is the best time to get involved.

The proposed 2017-2018 funding levels for highly capable programs in either budget won’t even allow districts to continue the services they offer today. Neither House nor Senate budget proposal addresses the persistent and pervasive under funding of gifted education, and both will do harm to our state’s gifted learners. 

Both House and Senate proposals aim to limit services to 2.314% of our state’s enrollment, or about 25,530 students. In 2015-2016, districts identified and served 63,551 gifted students. All of these students deserve their appropriate, fully funded basic education. They have been waiting since 2009.

In the past few days, we’ve also shared our analysis of the Senate bill, our analysis of the House bill, and what the adoption of either proposal could mean for gifted students.

At a minimum, the state needs to allocate an amount that covers the actual costs of providing services to our identified gifted learners. Please contact your legislators today and request that the legislature fund the recommendations of the 2010 Highly Capable Program Technical Work Group:

  • Fund 5% of enrollment
  • Fund 6.5 hours per week in grades K-6
  • Fund 3.1 hours per week in grades 7-12
You can find and email your legislator using the District finder at http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder, or you can use the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. Operators will take your message and transmit it to your legislator(s) so plan out in advance what you want to say, write it down, and then read it to the operator to be sure it says exactly what you want it to say.
 
Thank you for taking action to gain full, ample, and equitable funding for highly capable services. 63,551+ gifted students in Washington are counting on you!

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