Gifted Education Day – Friday January 29th!

Gifted Education Day is an annual event scheduled by the Coalition for Gifted Education.  CPA is organizing a group of families to take a daytrip to Olympia. Together, we learn about current education legislation, tour the Capitol, and meet personally with legislators to voice support for programs for gifted and highly capable students. We’ll take time out for a brown-bag lunch and (weather permitting) hike down the Heritage Park Hillside Trail to Capitol Lake before hitting the road to come home. CPA connects its members with their district legislators and provides background information and specific talking points with the help of the Coalition.

DATE: Friday, January 29, 2016 (a no-school day)

TIME: Depart Mountlake Terrace 7:00am

WHERE: State Capitol Building in Olympia, WA

WHO: Parents, Students, Teachers and Administrators of Edmonds School District Highly Capable Programs

Estimated Return by 4:00pm

To register or arrange for carpooling please fill out this form and submit at the school office: Family GED 2016

Welcome back to another year of advocacy

This message was sent by The Washington Coalition For Gifted Education. Comments or questions can be sent to:
wagifted@earthlink.net or wagifted@gmail.com.

Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wagifted or on our blog at http://wcge.wordpress.com

Welcome back to another year of advocacy.

With the start of the new school year, the Coalition begins a new fiscal year. Attached to this message as a pdf file is the income expenses 14-15.numbers. We operate on the slimmest of margins, but thanks to the contributions of all of you and the generosity of WAETAG, we made it successfully through our year and were able to pay a $1700 bonus to our splendid lobbyist Donna R. Christensen for all her work during the recent, extended legislative session.

While we ended that session in the same place we started it, we did make some progress during session. There were several attempts in the Senate to increase HCP funding, although that was not reflected in the appropriation for HCP in the final budget.

The fact that the legislature did not increase HCP funding to match the actual costs of the program to the districts was brought to the attention of the state supreme court in the July 27 filing by NEWS, which is one of the plaintiffs in the McCleary case (the Coalition is a member of NEWS). This is the second time NEWS has called HCP underfunding to the attention of the court and we remain hopeful that this time the court will not simply accept the legislature’s statement that HCP is fully funded because they used the SHB 2776 formula and will remind them that saying something is true doesn’t make it so.

For our take on the extent of the underfunding, see the attached A 2response to Aug 13 court ruling pdf file.

If you wish to dig more deeply into the details of the court filings and rulings, go to   http://www.courts.wa.gov/appellate_trial_courts/SupremeCourt/?fa=supremecourt.McCleary_Education . Look especially at State of Washington Reply, May 29,2014, pages 5-6 and PlaintiffRespondents’ 2015 post-budget Filing of July 27, 2015, item 6, pages 45-6.

Although the Court clearly hoped for a special session, no action has been initiated to call one. The Senate K-12 Education committee is holding a series of workshop/hearings this fall, across the state, to gather public opinion of how best to meet the McCleary requirements. http://app.leg.wa.gov/mobile/meetingschedules/upcoming?agency=Senate&committee=EDU If one is scheduled in your area, give consideration to attending and speaking. The Coalition is organizing speakers for each of these meetings, but a good showing of advocate support will go a long way toward attaining our goals.

Whatever course events might take (special session/no special session), we need your financial support as we move forward.

We accept donations online by credit card and PayPal. Please CLICK HERE TO DONATE on PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account to use a credit card with them.

We suggest a contribution of at least $40 but any amount is welcome.

Or, you can send a check direct to us if you don’t want to use PayPal. Make it payable to WCFGE, fill out the contribution form attached as a pdf file (membership 15-16 form) and mail it to:

Washington Coalition For Gifted Education
18149  147 Ave. SE
Renton WA  98058

If you are a member of a parent support or advisory group and its charter and tax status allow it to financially support advocacy efforts, please consider asking your group to become a supporting member of the Coalition by making an organizational contribution. There is no minimum amount as every dollar helps.

The Coalition is a registered political advocacy organization, not a 501c3 corporation.

The contribution form is usable for either individuals or groups.

Our deepest thanks for all your support last year, financially and through contacting legislators directly when asked. Please support us this year to get us through the final obstacle to full funding of HCP as a part of basic education.

If you wish to become a member of our affiliate organizations, NWGCA and WAETAG, please go to their web sites.
http://www.nwgca.org/donate.html   click on Donate
http://www.waetag.net/  click on Join/Contact WAETAG

If you are a teacher or administrator, you may be interested in WAETAG’s fall conference, October 16-17. More information at the WAETAG link just above.

Stand with our teachers: Tomorrow, 5/15

Challenge Families,
Please consider coming out tomorrow afternoon from 3:30-5:30pm to stand with our teachers and district staff as they picket in protest of the state legislature’s delay in making the changes necessary to fully fund basic education in Washington State.  Bring your signs and your voices to demonstrate support for our schools.
Terrace Park will stand at 220th and Hwy 99 in Lynnwood (near the former TOP Foods building)
Brier Terrace Middle School will stand at 196th and 44th Ave W in Lynnwood (near Fred Meyer’s)
We’ll see you there!
CPA Board

P.S. Please take a moment to send an email to a legislator. You can find a list of your legislators, connect to their webpages and email directly in just a few minutes. Not sure what to write? Here’s a start:

Dear Senator/Representative ___________,
 
I am writing to express my support for fully funding basic education in Washington State. It is imperative that the legislature provide adequate funds for school buildings, teachers, administrators, materials and equipment.  Students across our state need your support and funding in order to have healthy learning environments and build skills for a successful life.
 
I ask that you take responsibility for making the changes necessary to create reasonable class sizes, provide adequate supplies and materials for our teachers and students, and pay our educators competitive salaries. Our children and teachers have been shortchanged for too long by the legislature’s reluctance to make the hard decisions that will be necessary to make education funding a priority in our state.
 
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our children and communities.
 
Sincerely,
__________________

(Information from Edmonds Education Association follows:)

Dear Neighbors:

You’ve undoubtedly heard about the one-day strikes in districts around our state to protest the legislature’s failure to fully fund the costs of basic education, as well as its continued defiance of the State Supreme Court. I’m sure you’re wondering if and when this type of action will come to the Edmonds School District. I want to let you know that at this time the approximately 1,500 certificated educators in the Edmonds School District will not be striking.

However, our decision to not close schools for a day does not mean we aren’t as frustrated and angry with our state lawmakers as our colleagues around the state. We are angry that Washington continues to rank near the bottom of our nation in every important measure of school funding: 40th in the nation in per pupil funding; 47th in the nation in class size; and 42nd in the nation in teacher compensation. Despite the 2012 State Supreme Court ruling that the legislature is violating its “paramount” duty to amply fund the education of all K-12 students, and despite the Court’s ruling last September that the legislature was in “contempt” for failing to make adequate progress toward fully funding schools, and despite the voters passing Initiative 1351 in November to ensure that all our children have reasonable class sizes, the Washington legislature continues to shirk its paramount duty. Currently, the House and Senate are deliberating on school funding. All current proposals fall short of creating reasonable class sizes, providing adequate supplies and materials for our teachers and students, and paying educators professional wages and benefits. Year after year, our children and teachers bear the burden of the legislature’s refusal to make education funding a priority in our state.

The educators in Edmonds are not striking at this time for two reasons. First, our local legislators in the 21st, 1st, and 32nd legislative districts are supportive of teachers, students, and increased school funding; we cannot directly impact the “no” votes with a one-day strike. Second, and more importantly, we are keenly aware of the impact of closing schools on our community. We are grateful that you continually support us at the ballot box when we run bonds and levies, as just over 20 percent of our district budget comes from our local voters. We could not safely open the doors of our schools without you! We are grateful that you recognize our importance in your children’s lives through providing us with supplies, support, and smiles in your neighborhood schools.

Instead of closing schools for a day, on Friday, May 15, from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. we will be picketing at 6 locations in our school district. We want this to be a community event, with educators, administrators, parents, and students standing together to demand that the legislature follow the order of the Supreme Court and fully fund basic education in Washington State. We are asking you to support us by standing with us as we participate in a public demonstration against the legislature. Please make a sign and add your voice by joining us at one of the following locations:

  • 100th Avenue West and Highway 104 in Edmonds
  • 196th and Highway 99 in Lynnwood
  • 196th and 44th Avenue West in Lynnwood
  • 196th and Alderwood Mall Parkway in Lynnwood
  • 220th and Highway 99 in Lynnwood
  • 168th and Highway 99 in Lynnwood

Our children will not have a second chance at their K-12 education, so join the educators of Edmonds in taking a stand for the resources our children need to be successful in school! The time to act is now!

Sincerely,

Andi Nofziger-Meadows
President
Edmonds Education Association

Gifted Education Day is next Wednesday, March 11!

Challenge Families,

Gifted Education Day is next Wednesday, March 11!

Every year Terrace Park families go to Olympia with to lobby state lawmakers on Gifted Education Day (GED).  Having a large showing at the State Capitol Building demonstrates to legislators the benefits of programs like ours, which target instruction for high-capability students.

Thank you to those families who are planning to participate.  We can always use a few more faces from each district to meet with local legislators.  Please consider joining us in Olympia next Wednesday. As an early release day, it’s ideal for a family road trip!

GED is a great time for all ages.  We meet at school at 7:15 and carpool down to Olympia (4th graders on the field trip must ride the bus down with their classes).  At 9:00, we’ll gather to hear from educators and leaders like State Superintendent Randy Dorn, and then break off on separate tours.  At noon, we gather for a brown bag lunch, followed by a group photo on the Capitol steps.  We have appointments scheduled to meet in person with legislators from our local districts.

 If you are unable to attend, you can still support our cause this year.

Contact legislators on the Senate Ways & Means Committee, especially Chair Andy Hill. The only hope for increased funding this year is in the budgeting process, when legislators will consider State Superintendent’s 2015-17 Biennial Budget Request , which proposes an incremental increase that will triple current funding for hi-cap programs by 2017. 

A few simple lines will do – let them know how much this program means to your family, and request their continuing support.

 Thanks for everything you do to support our teachers and our school.  We have such an awesome community of caring people to thank for this continually growing, thriving program.

 Kind regards,

Valerie Rosman & Amy McCarthy
Co-Presidents, CPA

challengeparents@gmail.com

WA Coalition for Gifted Education

Posting a January 19th email from the Washington Coalition for Gifted Education. Coalition Membership Form attached: membership 14-15 form

This message has been sent to you by The Washington Coalition For Gifted Education. Comments or questions can be sent to wagifted@earthlink.net or wagifted@gmail.com.  If you wish to have your name deleted from our mailing list, send a notice to wagifted@earthlink.net.

The Legislature is back in session. This is a budget year and the session bids fair to be one of the most difficult and contentious in decades; after only a few days there are already red lines in the sand. The Coalition will keep you informed of action on Highly Capable legislation and the budget, as things develop.

Want to keep track of what is happening in the Legislature on your own? The web site has been redesigned to be more user friendly. (After years of struggling with the old site, I welcome the new version.)

So take a look at  http://leg.wa.gov/Pages/default.aspx and you will find:

  • the current day’s calendar of committee meetings, floor session and caucus meetings;
  • several links to member information and how to contact them, important information in order to make appointments for Gifted Education Day;
  • information on what committees are doing, who is on the committee and who is on staff;
  • each day there is an updated list of bills that have been introduced: click on Find Bills and look in House and Senate Introductions;
  • how to comment on a bill;
  • how to set up your own tracking for a bill in which you are interested;
  • links to proposed budgets and fiscal reports;
  • information on going to Olympia;
  • links to the RCW and the WAC.

As a matter of fact, this home page will get you to almost everywhere on the Legislature web site with links to other sites.

We’ll be looking for you in Olympia on Gifted Education Day, March 11th. We’ll be in the Columbia Room of the Legislative Building beginning at 9 am. You can use the room to meet with friends or fellow advocates, eat lunch and leave your coats and bags when you go for appointments or tours (we assume no responsibility for anything, especially electronic devices, left in the Columbia Room however). Superintendent Dorn will address the group at 9:15 am. More information will follow in later messages

We are in need of your financial support as we still do not have sufficient funds to see us through our current fiscal year. Go to https://wcge.wordpress.com/ to contribute or use the attached contribution form. Thank you to all who have contributed so far this year!

Town Hall Meetings: Tell Your/Our Gifted Ed Story

(The following is a message from the Washington Coalition for Gifted Education.)

Many legislators are holding Town Hall meetings in their districts on February 22 – this weekend! Town Halls are a great opportunity to share your concerns about Highly Capable funding and services in your district. Your perspective and your voice are important to your elected officials. Please attend your Town Hall, and share your stories!

Here is a short message for you to deliver this weekend! A list of Town Halls and locations is below.

Highly capable programming is now part of the state’s program of basic education. We are hopeful that going forward all children — including highly capable — will have equitable access to an appropriate education that won’t depend on their zip code.

The state’s current funding for highly capable is not a funding level supported by research, nor is it consistent with changes to the definition of basic education passed by the legislature, which requires a continuum of services, K-12.  In fact, state allocations don’t even cover a fifth of the actual cost. Currently, the state is about $48 million shy of covering additional costs involved.

Without sufficient funding, we are concerned that equitable access goals will not be realized:

·       Children in small and rural districts having access to appropriate highly capable programs.

·       Students of color, students facing high poverty and students dealing with language or disability barriers being identified as highly capable.

·       A continuum of highly capable programs and support, K-12.

2_22 town halls

Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wagifted
or on our blog at http://wcge.wordpress.com
Gifted Education Day is February 28, 2014. Join us in Olympia.
 

Due Today: Gifted Ed Day T-Shirt Orders

Hello Challenge and Hi-Cap Families!

Attached here are details for Gifted Education Day, February 28, 2014 in Olympia. Please fill out the pages to let us know you’re coming and to order your T-Shirts! Orders are due Monday, February 10.

Did you know?

Attending families can take part in a tour of the Capitol? It’s a very exciting day and we want to be sure we include you in all the festivities! Be sure to fill out page 2 of the attached PDF and return to your child’s teacher or to the CPA box in the school office.

Your CPA Board

What is GIFTED EDUCATION DAY?

Have you ever wondered what Gifted Education Day is or why we attend?

This year, on Friday, February 28, 2014 your presence can make a difference in Olympia!

  • WE gather to advocate  for our kids and…
  • SHOW our legislators in meetings with Gifted/Hi-Cap Families that we care…
  • …and believe every child deserves to learn every day and that WE COUNT!

Save the date: February 28!

More information will be provided at the Challenge Parents Association (CPA) General Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 6:30pm at Terrace Park School.

GED Flyer

Gifted Ed Day: News & Resources from Coalition for Gifted Ed

Gifted Education Day is February 28, 2014. Join us in Olympia.
★ The Coalition has been active in Olympia for 30 years and for the most part we have been concerned with maintaining state funding for Highly Capable Programs.In the past ten years there have been several efforts to defund HCP entirely and, thanks to the efforts of all of you, the state funding was retained. One of our largest efforts was to get HCP included as a part of basic education and, again, advocates played a large role in our success.
★ As a part of basic education, HCP cannot be defunded. Funding as a voluntary program grew slowly over many years but as a part of basic education funding growth has come to a standstill.HCP is the only part of basic education which has not received an increase in funding and, because of the expansion of the program to grades K-12, per student funding has actually decreased: the same amount of funding is expected to provide services to many more students. As a result:
  • Washington’s highly capable students are not getting equitable access to an appropriate basic education that includes accelerated learning and enhanced instruction.
  • We are worried about losing ground on funding, leading to cuts in services.
  • In the current budget, the state has only allocated a maintenance level $9.8 million using the funding formula from 2007, before inclusion.
  • Districts are spending more than $56 million in local dollars to cover the additional costs associated with highly capable programs.
★ We need you in Olympia on February 28th to talk to your Legislators about the needs of gifted students and the need for ample funding for programs which meet these needs. If you have not already made plans to join us in Olympia, please do so now. And if you haven’t contacted your Legislators to make an appointment, please do so as soon as possible. Available slots are filling up fast. Look at the attachment to our last message for help in contacting Legislators.
★ We pledge to work with the Legislature to meet the court’s April 30 deadline for funding and implementation plans.
Attached is information on making Gifted Education Day a field trip or curriculum day for your students. This information supplements what students may have been learning in class in preparation for their trip to Olympia.
This message has been sent to you by The Washington Coalition For Gifted Education. Comments or questions can be sent to wagifted@earthlink.net or wagifted@gmail.com. If you wish to have your name deleted from our mailing list, send a notice to wagifted@earthlink.net.
Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wagifted
or on our blog at http://wcge.wordpress.com