advocacy The Voice for Arizona's Gifted & Talented

Legislation & AZ Law

Receive up-to-the-minute news about important legislation affecting gifted education. AAGT appreciates every contribution and any kind of support given that helps us advocate for the diverse population of gifted children in the state of Arizona.

Overview

Advocacy is the act of arguing in favor of something — an idea, cause, or policy.  All of us advocate regularly by simply expressing a point of view to our friends, families, and employers.  It could be making our views known on behalf of our children with their teachers, coaches, and group leaders out of school, or as teachers on behalf of students in our classes or on behalf of new or changing programs.  Legislative advocacy is a specialized form of advocacy; one directed at policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.

All successful advocacy depends, in part, on relationships built over time that engender trust.  Sometimes built-in credibility speeds the process, but generally, it takes time to develop a trusting relationship between advocates and decision makers.  This is certainly true for legislative advocacy:  a legislator’s familiarity with you and your expertise on an issue creates the comfort level necessary to develop strong working relationships.  This same confidence is generally necessary whether you are working with your local school board, your state department of education, your state legislators, or your Congressional delegation.  NAGC has developed a toolkit to help supporters become stronger advocates.

As part of NAGC’s advocacy goal, we work with Members of Congress to increase support for gifted and talented learners.  To be effective with Congress, NAGC depends on gifted education supporters across the country who will contact their elected representatives on behalf of gifted students.  The legislative update section provides information about the issues that we’re working on and ways in which you may support our efforts.

If you are wondering about lobbying restrictions on 501(c)(3) organizations, click here for more information.

Toolkit

The NAGC Advocacy Toolkit supports individuals and groups working to improve gifted education programs and services.

This toolkit is designed for state and local advocates in gifted education. You can find tools on general advocacy, basic facts about gifted education in the U.S., working with the media, advocating with your elected representatives, starting your own local group, and other strategies to advance the needs of gifted and talented learners. Feel free to download and reproduce the materials provided. Our advocacy toolkit includes information in the following areas:

Know Your Information

Read up on our fast facts about gifted and talented and why we need to advocate for students and programs!

Know Your Audience

Look here for information about who works on what issues and how to contact them.

Effective Advocacy

Read expert advice on how to effectively communicate with elected officials and the media.

Support Group

Advocating as part of a group gives you strength. Here are some suggestions on forming and finding support groups.

Local Advocacy

Some of the most important decisions happen in your own community or school district, click here to learn more.

Federal Advocacy

Learn more about the legislative process so you can effectively communicate with Congress.

Legislative Update

Read about current issues in Congress.

NAGC Resources

NAGC has two advocacy resources on state-related policy and practices. Visit the NAGC bookstore for available content.

Arizona Law

Arizona is one of the few states in the nation that has a law regarding the education of gifted students. ARS 15-779 offers the state definition of a gifted child, as well as appropriate services and school responsibilities for the educational and social well-being of gifted students.

15-779. DEFINITIONS

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. “Gifted education” means appropriate academic course offerings and services that are required to provide an educational program that is an integral part of the regular school day and that is commensurate with the academic abilities and potential of a gifted pupil.
  2. “Gifted pupil” means a child who is of lawful school age, who due to superior intellect or advanced learning ability, or both, is not afforded an opportunity for otherwise attainable progress and development in regular classroom instruction and who needs appropriate gifted education services, to achieve at levels commensurate with the child’s intellect and ability.

NAGC

The National Association for Gifted Children has a page dedicated to gifted education and is arranged by each state. Click here to see what other states are doing.

The National Association for Gifted Children has a page dedicated to gifted education and is arranged by each state.

Click here to see what other states are doing.

TALENT ACT: S.512 & H.R. 2338

NAGC is pleased to say that the TALENT Act (“To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers Act”) has been introduced in both houses of the U.S. Congress. In March, Senators Grassley (Iowa), Casey (PA) and Mikulski (MD) introduced S.512 and in June Rep. Polis (CO-2) and In Latham (Iowa-3) introduced H.R. 2338. The TALENT Act would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), to support high-ability and high achieving students. The bill focuses on 4 key areas:

  1. Change The Assessment And Increase Public Transparency to ensure that schools can pinpoint the level at which students have mastered state standards and by reporting the students who perform at the advanced levels, disaggregated by subpopulations, on state report cards
  2. Emphasize Classroom Practice And Educator Preparation through professional development for all teachers and other school personnel so that more educators are able to identify and meet the needs of gifted students, and by requiring states and districts to include gifted students in their plans for use of federal Title II funds
  3. Focus On Underserved Populations And Confronting The National Excellence Gap, by including gifted students and high-ability students not formally identified for gifted education services in state and district plans for Title I funds, by allowing federal rural school funds to be used for teacher training in gifted education pedagogy, and by reporting on the achievement gaps at the advanced level between student subpopulations
  4. Continue Research And Dissemination Of Best Practices in gifted education to support effective teaching and learning for gifted students.

Advocacy Updates

Each year we advocate to keep Gifted Funding in the Arizona Budget.  Please see below for current advocacy efforts.

As a constituent, keep your legislator aware of what is important in your child’s education by remaining in contact with them. You can find your legislator here.

It takes many voices to make change and we are counting on you!

If you have questions or require further information, please contact:

Donna Campbell, AAGT Advocacy Chair

dcampbell@azgifted.com

Arizona’s Donna Campbell Receives the 2019 NAGC David W. Belin Advocacy Award

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) awarded Donna Campbell, a consultant with the Arizona Association for Gifted and Talented, with the 2019 NAGC David W. Belin Advocacy Award at the 2019 NAGC 66th Annual Conference in Albuquerque, NM. Donna was […]

Successful Second Study Committee Meeting!

The second study committee with Rep. Shawnna Bolick (Chair), Rep. Leo Biasiucci, Rep. Walter Blackman, Rep. Alma Hernandez, Rep. Arlando Teller, Sen. Sylvia Allen (Vice Chair), Sen. Lela Alston, Sen. Heather Carter, Sen. Andrea Dalessandro, and Sen. Sine Kerr went […]

Study Committee Meeting on Funding for Gifted Pupils – October 21

The second meeting of the Study Committee on Special Education Weights and Funding for Gifted Pupils: MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 20191:00 PMARIZONA STATE CAPITOLHOUSE HEARING ROOM #1 This study committee is very important to all of us as it could have […]

Community Action Network ACTION ALERT: Interim Committee Meeting on Gifted Education

September 26, 2019 In addition to the 2019 Arizona Legislature allocating $1 million in grant funds for gifted education, members also approved the formation of a Legislative Interim Committee to study, Special Education Weights and Funding for Gifted Pupils. This […]

Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva Visits Lauffer Middle School in Tucson to Observe Gifted Program Developed From the Federal Javits Grant

TUCSON, AZ, AUGUST 2019 — Arizona Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ 3rd District) toured the gifted education program at Lauffer Middle School in the Sunnyside Unified School District (SUSD) and visited with students on Thursday, August 29, 2019. He was […]