The Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented (AAGT) is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization of parents, educators, and community members working together to advocate for education that meets the academic prerequisites of gifted children and to better meet the unique needs of our gifted and talented students in Arizona.
AAGT is a state affiliate of the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC).
AAGT is a resource for the information and guidance necessary for parents, teachers, administrators, counselors, community stakeholders and legislators to develop and support gifted education in our state. All of us share in the challenge to meet the needs of Arizona’s gifted children with limited funds for their education and development.
AAGT provides an annual conference for parents, educators and community members as well as an annual Parent Institute. In addition, AAGT offers scholarships for teachers of the gifted and scholarships for educational opportunities for gifted students. AAGT provides continuous support to local affiliate chapters.
Information on these opportunities can be found on the website.
Advocacy and Legislative Update
For the first time in nearly a decade, gifted education is funded in the budget! As you know, districts and charters are required by law to meet the needs of their gifted students. During the great recession, the funding for this mandate was eliminated.
The budget now includes a one-time appropriation of $1 million for gifted programs, teacher training, and identification. While this is certainly not full-funding (fully funding the mandate would cost around $4 million), it is an important and necessary first step. AAGT will be spending the coming year advocating for the best use of these funds and demonstrating to the legislature the value in funding gifted education. This also means that we will be back next year asking for more funding, sharing our stories, and educating the legislature on why gifted students deserve to have their needs met.
We owe you, our membership, a big thank you! Without you writing your legislators, calling their offices, and appearing in committee to talk about these bills, this would not have happened. This legislative session, I heard powerful testimony from our membership. I heard from parents who had been to a half-dozen schools trying to get their needs met. I heard a heartbreaking story of a gifted child who was so isolated and misunderstood at school that he was suffering emotional problems. I heard from teachers who, already stretched thin, used their prep and lunch periods to do gifted enrichment for their students. I heard from administrators who recognized the need for these programs, but simply didn’t have the funds to make it happen. So thank you! YOU did this and YOU made this happen!
One last action alert: If you have a moment please thank our bill sponsors, Sen. Brophy McGee, Rep. Heather Carter, and co-sponsor Sen. Bowie, for their leadership on this issue.
THANK YOU for all that you have done for gifted students this legislative session.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! THE 10th ANNUAL AAGT 2018 PARENT INSTITUTE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER!
2018 Theme: “The ABC’s for Parents: Advocacy Blooms Confidence!”
Given that an advocate is a person who speaks on behalf of another, as parents, grandparents and educators of gifted children, how often do we find ourselves as the advocate for our gifted child? How can we develop effective advocacy tools while still cultivating relationships of respect? Come to this year’s AAGT Parent Institute to glean tips and information that will not only help you better understand your gifted child, but strengthen your confidence in your advocacy abilities.
We are pleased to announce Deb Douglas of Wisconsin as our keynote speaker. As a gifted author and consultant, her work includes over a decade of experience not only teaching and advocating for gifted students, but also empowering others to be effective advocates.
IN CELEBRATION OF OUR 10th YEAR: GT Teen Carpe Diem Workshop on Self-Advocacy!
Led by Deb Douglas,GT Carpe Diem Workshops empower gifted teens to speak up for themselves through a clearer understanding of their unique needs as outliers and their rights to an appropriately challenging educational experience. Following this day of exploration and reflection they will be better able to take charge of their own educations and lives.
“Self-advocacy is not just students getting what they want: it is students getting what they need in order to develop their potential,” ~ Deb Douglas