House Bill 3, 2019


March 18: Have 5 minutes?? Write your legislators (again) — TODAY!!! 

The House Public Education Committee will meet Tuesday, March 19, in Austin regarding the revised House Bill 3. There will not be an opportunity for additional public testimony and the revised bill may not be made available before the meeting.

“To whom do I write?”

Here are important email addresses:

GCISD-area Texas House of Representatives: giovanni.capriglione@house. texas.gov, Jonathan.Stickland@house. texas.gov

Texas House Public Education Committee: dan.huberty@house. texas.gov, diego.bernal@house.texas.gov, alma.allen@house.texas.gov, steve.allison@house.texas.gov, trent.ashby@house.texas.gov, keith.bell@house.texas.gov, harold.dutton@house.texas.gov, mary.gonzalez@house.texas.gov, ken.king@house.texas.gov, morgan.meyer@house.texas.gov, james.talarico@house.texas.gov , gary.vandeaver@house.texas.gov

“What could I say?”

Here are some key points you could make:​​​​​

  • G/T education needs its own weight–specific, designated funding.
  • We respect local control and recognize that there is already abundant local control in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students, the SBOE-approved rules for serving G/T learners.
  • In many districts, gifted students will be left unidentified, “at-risk,” and vulnerable. TELL YOUR/YOUR STUDENT’S STORY.
  • Being “gifted and talented” is not a badge of honor or reward for good grades. Giftedness is an identified, educational need.
  • If your child is twice-exceptional, describe the services your child requires.
  • If you have lived in another state or school district, describe your observations.
  • Need ideas? Click here for a sample letter to personalize.
  • Tip: Find out who represents you

“In a nutshell — what is going on?”

Historically, when financial times are tough, gifted services are among the first things any district may consider eliminating. However, for many years, GT has been protected by an “allotment,” or line item, in the state education budget.

On March 5, 2019, House Bill 3 was filed by the House Public Education Committee — and it eliminates the GT allotment. See TEC Section 42.156 of House Bill 3, Article 3, Section 3.001 (p. 184 of PDF). The TAGT team has prepared FAQs about House Bill 3 and the importance of specifically funding G/T education in Texas.

We recognize the leadership of Representative Dan Huberty and State Representatives who have worked on House Bill 3, increasing funding for our public schools. In many ways, House Bill 3 appears to be a positive step forward for public education. However, the repeal of the G/T allotment may further deemphasize the importance of G/T education in Texas. SAGE asks Texas legislators to remove the G/T allotment (Section 42.156) from the sections being repealed from HB3. This allows for the G/T allotment to continue to support G/T students in Texas.

Thank you very much for your continued advocacy for gifted students in Texas. You can contact SAGE at info.gcsage@gmail.com if you have questions or would like to get more involved.

Click to view list of Grapevine/Colleyville-area elected officials.

 



Archive:

March 14: Keep up the emails

Contact your legislators today!!!!!

Here is a sample letter to personalize.

Key points to make:

  • explain the ways GT specialized instruction and trained teachers are important to your child!
  • Gifted and talented is a special need — requiring staffing, training, and fundamentally different instruction at the classroom level
  • Removing GT from the legislation creates an unfunded mandate
  • This is a step backward for education in Texas. For student outcomes, equity, and economic growth, gifted education should be a priority.
  • If your child is twice-exceptional, describe the services your child requires.
  • If you have lived in another state or school district, describe your observations.

March 12: Capitol testimony is today

Click for Livestream. It’s not too late to contact your elected officials. Scroll down this page for the easy how-to.


March 11: Capitol testimony is tomorrow

Are you an adult who thrived because of gifted ed? Write your Legislators TODAY to ask to #FundGT for the next generation of Texas’ BIG thinkers & innovators.

The easy way contact your Legislators is below in the March 7 Call To Action. Thank you!

Also: SAGE co-signed an opinion column in the Dallas Morning News today!


March 8: “Gifted Education Receives the Death Sentence in Texas”

Read on Medium: Why would the Texas Legislature knowingly choose to defund the education of the brightest children?


March 7, 2019: Call to Action: Write your legislators

The Texas Legislature submitted a bill to eliminate GT funding.

SAGE is working on finding out how this will overall affect GCISD funding, and specifically affect GT in GCSID.

Have 5 Minutes? We urgently need you to contact your legislators. 

Here is their contact info.

Here is a sample letter to personalize.

Key points to make:

  • Personal reasons why GT is important to your family!
  • Gifted and talented is a special need — requiring staffing, training, and fundamentally different instruction at the classroom level
  • Removing GT from the legislation creates an unfunded mandate
  • This is a step backward for education in Texas. For student outcomes, equity, and economic growth, gifted education should be a priority.
  • If your child is twice-exceptional, describe the services your child requires.
  • If you have lived in another state or school district, describe your observations.

Did you know: Citizens can testify at the State Capitol on Tuesday! See below.

More Details:

On March 5, House Bill 3 was filed by the House Public Education Committee. The G/T allotment (TEC Section 42.156) is repealed in House Bill 3, Article 3, Section 3.001 (p. 184 of PDF)

Check out the TAGT Quick Start Guide for Texas House Bill 3, 2019.

SAGE and TAGT recognize the leadership of Representative Dan Huberty and State Representatives who have worked on House Bill 3, increasing funding for our public schools. In many ways, House Bill 3 appears to be a positive step forward for public education. However, we remain concerned that a repeal of the G/T allotment may further deemphasize the importance of G/T education throughout Texas.  

SAGE and TAGT ask our Texas legislators to remove the G/T allotment (Section 42.156) from the sections being repealed from HB3. This allows for the G/T allotment to continue to support G/T students in Texas.

Testify as a Texas Citizen!

Public testimony on HB3 will occur Tuesday, March 12, in Austin. Schedule for testimony is not available yet. If you would like to take part in this public testimony, contact TAGT by Monday, March 11 at 12 p.m., so we can provide you with more information and guidance. If you are a SAGE member planning to testify, please let SAGE know at info.gcsage@gmail.com.


Even More Background Information

From the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented

From SAGE:

Who are my elected officials?

Read real stories about real gifted kids from the GCISD area — then submit your own story (scroll down this page).

Why is the GT allotment important?

From Texas PTA:

Texas PTA’s Legislative Position supports continued state funding for gifted and talented


Share your #WhyGT story

Are you a gifted student, parent, or teacher? We’re asking you to go public with your gifted story. We are posting real stories about real gifted kids.

And we need your “Why GT” story.

Our State Legislators are poised to eliminate funds in the state education budget for GT.

SAGE is leading an effort to share real stories from gifted students and parents to show the necessity of funding gifted education.

Where will the stories be shared?

If you submit your story and/or photo, you are giving GC-SAGE permission to share on our public media channels (like here, on our web site and our social media) and with the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented, which may share it on their public media channels.

What should I write?

Please just tell us your own story in your own words. Or ask your child to write something. Below are some prompts, if you don’t know where to start. You can write your response, or feel free to use video, photos, or artwork.

  • For Students:
    • What does being gifted mean to you?
    • Do you always feel challenged at school? What are some ways your teachers give you extra challenges?
    • What is advice you would give to a friend who is thinking about joining GT LEAD or ASPIRE?
    • Did you used to attend a private school, and now attend public school? What is the difference?
    • What do you wish people knew about you?
  • For Parents & Teachers:
    • Why have you chosen public school?
    • How do your students thrive because of gifted services in public school?
    • How do gifted students rely on your teachers?
    • What are your gifted students like?
    • What thrills you about raising/teaching gifted children?
    • What challenges do you face when raising/teaching gifted children?
    • Have you moved to a school district specifically for the gifted services/to teach gifted?
    • How have you financially sacrificed for your gifted students?
    • What were some of the first ways you realized your child was different?
    • Tell us about your experiences with asynchronous development, perfectionism, over-excitabilities, gifted intensities, fitting in in a traditional classroom or social setting?
    • Tell about a teacher who “gets” your gifted student. Or about a teacher who doesn’t get it.
    • How has your gifted child changed you as a parent/teacher?
    • Besides giftedness, do your students have other learning challenges?
    • How do mental health issues affect your gifted students?
    • If you have a grown gifted child, reflect on their school years. How are they doing now?
    • If you are a grown gifted person, give us your perspective.
    • Were you a gifted student in Texas in 1984? That’s the year the GT allotment was created to financially support districts in offsetting the costs associated with G/T programs. What’s your perspective?
    • How is your family or your school different because of giftedness?

Ready? Submit your comments now:

Use the form below (or open up a blank email) … and start typing! 

Ready to submit? Make sure you click the blue SUBMIT button in the box above. Or — Email your personal gifted story today to info.gcsage@gmail.com.

Attribution: Please type your name and city at the bottom of your emailed statement. * If you wish to remain anonymous, please type Anonymous.