Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Will the new state budget include funding for Gifted Education??

Please forgive us for posting once again about gifted funding, but we are literally in the last days before the budget drops. Your legislators need to hear from you that these programs are worth funding. This year's current funding for gifted classrooms is .... drum roll please ... $0. Prop 123 will not restore this funding. The only way to get these programs reinstated is to get them into the budget. If you value these programs, please let your elected officials know. The letter below is the most recent AAGT email. Please feel free change or use, but make sure your subject line uses the words "gifted" somewhere. Thank you!

Dear [Senator or Representative],

Please make reinstating gifted funding a budget priority this year. Gifted classrooms in Arizona have not been funded since FY2009. This legislative session, parents, educators, and legislators have requested a one-time $500,000 grant to fund the gifted programs already in statute. Can we count on your support?

Some have said that gifted students will be fine on their own, but we know this is not always the case. In fact, gifted students disproportionately drop out of high school. For those who stay in school, they are more likely to underachieve, particularly when gifted students are not identified or supported in the classroom.

Arizona needs robust gifted programs to keep our gifted students and families in the state and avoid the "bright flight" of our gifted families to states where their needs can be met. This funding would train teachers to identify gifted students and support those students in the classroom.

Representative Heather Carter and Senator Jeff Dial have made gifted funding a budget priority.

The following Republican Legislators have also voiced their support for the reinstatement of gifted funding in this year's budget:

Sen. Sylvia Allen
Sen. Don Shooter
Sen. Steve Pierce
Sen. Carlyle Begay
Sen. Steve Smith
Sen. Bob Worsley (LD25)
Rep. Russell "Rusty" Bowers (LD25)
Rep. Jill Norgaard
Rep. Kate Brophy McGee
Rep. Doug Coleman (LD16)

Are you willing to make gifted funding a priority? Would you support this measure if included in this year's budget?

Legislators' email: first initial of first name + last name + @azleg.gov

Also, feel free to send the above legislators a THANK YOU email. Let them know they DO represent families in Arizona. This will help them keep up the fight!

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