Monday, March 6, 2017

AAGT ACTION ALERT! - March 3, 2017

We are pleased with the positive response from both Senators and Representatives who have listened, asked questions, and become champions of the importance of gifted education for our students and the future of our state.

Through the leadership of Representative Heather Carter, HB2199 passed through the House Education Committee with a unanimous vote in favor, and passed through the House Appropriations Committee and the House Committee of the Whole with near unanimity overwhelmingly in favor of restoring gifted education funds.

In the Senate, Senator Kate Brophy-McGee introduced mirror bill, SB1105.  With the additional leadership of Senator Sylvia Allen, the Senate Education Committee unanimously voted in favor of restoring funds for gifted education.  SB1105 did not go on to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  It is now up to the progress HB2199 can make in the Senate and on to the budgeting process.

Having made it through the necessary House committees, HB2199 is now in the Senate.  The next move is for it to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  

Send emails to Senator Lesko (Chair) and ask that HB2199 be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
And send emails to the members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to support HB2199 to restore funds for gifted education.

As always- add a personal note why this is important.  Below are some talking points to help you get started.

Support of gifted students aligns with the Governor’s goals to support talent development and prepare for access to post secondary education.  Gifted students are at risk for underachievement and even dropping out without an appropriate level of support.

The $3.5 million will restore the funding at the 2009 level. There has been a tremendous amount of inconsistencies around the state since funding was suspended in regard to the identification of and program support for gifted students.  This will make a real difference for schools that haven’t had the resources to respond to the needs of gifted students in the years since 2009.

Giftedness is a 24-7, lifelong condition.  It is not something that comes and goes depending on the economic and political climate of the school district, state or nation.

Immediately, these funds can make a difference in the identification of high ability students and in the professional development teachers receive to ensure these students have an education commensurate with their learning differences.

Restored funding helps to ensure parents that money spent on training teachers and providing quality programs and services will be available for their students, no matter where they live in the state.  There will be more accountability for districts and schools to comply with the mandate.

Restored funding helps the Arizona economy by investing in the future Arizona workforce.  Funding gifted classrooms creates the homegrown talent needed in this State for robust economy in the future.

Senate Appropriations Committee

Debbie Lesko (Chair) (LD 21)

John Kavanagh (Vice Chair) (LD 23)

Sylvia Allen (LD 6)

Olivia Cajero Bedford (LD 3)

Steve Farley (LD 9)

Katie Hobbs (LD 24)

Steve Montenegro (LD 13)

Warren Petersen (LD 12)

Martin Quezada (LD 29)

Steve Smith (LD 11)

If you are a constituent in any of these legislative districts, be sure to mention that in your email.

As always, thank you so much!  Every email counts! Ask your friends and neighbors to join the effort!

Donna Campbell, AAGT Advocacy Chair

Note from Gilbert Supporters of the Gifted ...
LD 12 is Gilbert!  We can make a difference!  Contact your Arizona Senator TODAY!

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