Your chance to help make a difference
Per our by-laws, we are informing you, members/subscribers of Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted, of pending Arizona legislation that can positively impact gifted education in our state.
AZ House of Representatives: HB 2356 on Gifted Education: Group B Weight is now dead for this session. Click here for more information on HB 2356.
AZ Senate: Request a restoration of funding to Gifted Education – see ARS 15-779.03 below.
Arizona law on gifted education:
- Arizona Revised Statute (ARS) 15-779 - Definitions
- ARS 15-779.01 – Powers and Duties of the School District Governing Board as pertaining to gifted education
- ARS 15-779.02 – Gifted Pupils; Scope & Sequence; Finance Report
- ARS 15-779.03 – Additional Assistance for Gifted Programs (FUNDING)
- ARS 15-779.04 – Powers and Duties of Superintendent of Public Instruction
What can you do?
On Twitter, tweet directly to your state senator that gifted education funding needs to be restored.
Send an email to your Senator weekly for the next month by following these easy steps below. Send one today!
Get your teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends to do the same. Though gifted children are a small percentage of the total student population, it is a moral issue that these children receive an education that is commensurate with their abilities. It is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. We need to become the squeaky wheel. Our momentum is just starting and we need to carry it through until the end of this legislative session and into the next year as it is needed.
STEP 2: On the Senate roster click on “send email” for your legislator.
STEP 3: Complete the fields provided with your contact information.
STEP 4: Complete the subject line with “Constituent of LD#(INSERT YOUR NUMBER). Restoration of Funding for Gifted Education” ... Legislators receive hundreds of emails, yet they are more likely to prioritize those from their own constituents.
STEP 5: Cut and paste the letter below, adding your personal information and story as indicated …
Dear Senator (INSERT NAME OF YOUR SENATOR),
My name is (INSERT YOUR NAME), and I am a constituent of LD#(INSERT #). I wish to encourage you to vote for a restoration of funding to gifted education. I am a parent of a gifted child and a member of (INSERT ORGANIZATION, i.e.: the Gilbert Gifted Education Parent Council, Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted, Arizona Association for Gifted & Talented, ETC.) Gifted Education is a state mandate (ARS 15-779), yet it has not been funded in Arizona since FY2009, even though gifted pupils have different and unique learning challenges.
There is a common myth that gifted children will do fine independently and that they don’t need support. However, ALL students have strengths and struggles in which they need support, and gifted children are no less. It is often difficult for parents of gifted children to find academic programs and teachers who understand the strengths and struggles of gifted kids.
How will supporting gifted students help Arizona? Investing in Arizona’s gifted children is an investment in our Intellectual Capital and our state’s economy. It will foster a home-grown workforce to fuel growing local businesses. Funding gifted education will help fund teacher training regarding the identification of gifted pupils in underserved populations and training regarding gifted child development and gifted teaching strategies.
My story – (i.e. my fourth grade gifted child needs a teacher who understands her complex learning needs since she can read at a high school level but is still emotionally a fourth grader / my high school sophomore needs a teacher who understands gifted learning strategies so that he can be mentored in doing accelerated projects beyond the classroom in order to maintain engagement in his learning / etc.)
Gifted children who do not have teachers who understand them often do not experience a year’s worth of growth as typical children do in the regular classroom. Having teachers who are trained in understanding gifted children is critical to gifted children’s success and the development of the skill set needed to contribute back to society.
The philosophy of gifted education is to identify and support a student’s strengths as well as in their areas of struggle. When gifted education is supported this philosophy can permeate the schools and make a difference in the education of ALL students. Please support the restoration of funding to gifted education.
(INSERT YOUR NAME)
PS. I'm including this quick link so you can see a map of how Arizona compares with other states in gifted education support -http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/StatePolicy.aspx