Action Alert: Gifted Study Committee Recommendations

Thank you! Your advocacy this year has been powerful. From messaging the legislature about the unique needs of gifted students, to appearing at your congressional and senate offices in Washington D.C., you have been exceptional advocates for our gifted students. Because of your advocacy, the Javits Grant is funded at $1 million higher that it has been in previous years and $1 million in state gifted funding was renewed.

On Monday the Study Committee on Special Education Weights and Funding for Gifted Pupils met for their third and final meeting to discuss and vote on the recommendations prepared by Chair Shawnna Bolick. The recommendations going into the meeting were as follows:

  1. Recommends that the Arizona Department of Education produce a report by July 1, 2020 that contains statewide data and data by county on the total number of pupils in gifted education programs, the total amount of monies spent by school districts and charter schools on gifted education programs and the top services provided in gifted education programs.
  2. Recommends that the Arizona Department of Education produce a report by July 1, 2020 and on that date every four years thereafter that contains statewide data and data by county on the amount of monies generated by all Group A weights and all Group B weights.
  3. Recommends the Legislature look at potential updates to the weight values for Group A and Group B weights.
  4. Recommends that the Legislature explore the implications of placing funding for gifted pupils in the Group B weights.
  5. Recommends an additional $1 million in funding for gifted pupils while the Arizona Department of Education compiles the reports.

An amendment was made by Sen. Heather Carter to change the funding recommendation to an ongoing appropriation of $1 million or a one-time appropriation of $5 million for gifted programs. The amendment passed on a 5-4 vote and the complete recommendation of the committee was approved unanimously.

We are grateful to the work of the study committee and to Senator Heather Carter for her continued commitment to improving the education of gifted students within our state. Our work will continue as we search for a permanent solution that provides dedicated, ongoing, full-funding to serve the gifted students in our state.

Please say thank you to these dedicated members of the study committee!

SBolick@azleg.gov; SAllen@azleg.gov; LAlston@azleg.gov; HCarter@azleg.gov; ADalessandro@azleg.gov; SKerr@azleg.gov; LBiasiucci@azleg.gov; WBlackman@azleg.gov; AHernandez@azleg.gov; ATeller@azleg.gov

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