From The Washington Coalition For Gifted Education – May 2nd

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

Senator Michael Baumgartner

Senator Jim Hargrove

Senator Sharon Nelson

Senator Joe Fain

Senator Andy Billig

Senator Annette Cleveland

Senator Paull Shin

Senator Bruce Dammeier

Senator David Frockt

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles

Senator Ann Rivers

Senator Pam Roach

Senator Christine Rolfes

Representative Ross Hunter

Representative Pat Sullivan

Representative Marcie Maxwell

Representative Reuven Carlyle

Representative Kevin Parker

Representative Kathy Haigh

Representative Jamie Pedersen

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 attached as a pdf file. The Coalition is a member of NEWS.