Monday, January 17, 2011

How loss of state funds will impact Seattle APP

Specifics on how the loss of Highly Capable funding in Washington state will impact Seattle (from the APP AC):
The $400,000 annual categorical funding (the Highly Capable Grant) that our District receives from the State is used for:

a) identification and testing of all students who apply for advanced learning programs (ALO, Spectrum, APP)

b) salary for some staff in the Advanced Learning office who develop and oversee programs

c) a small amount of curriculum and professional development

These funds do not go directly to classrooms, students, or teacher/principal salaries in any of the advanced learning programs. Because our district sees implementation of these programs as basic education for gifted students, students/teachers/principals are funded through the District's general, "baseline" budget, not the state grant, with advanced learning students funded at same rate as most general education students.

[The cut] will be retroactive to September 2010 .... With advanced learning testing done in the fall/winter, and now nearly halfway through the academic year, most of the $400,000 is likely to be spent [and] the District will have a $400,000 hole in their budget which they will need to make up in some other way.

It appears that the APP transportation budget, which comes from a separate funding pot, is not impacted for the rest of this fiscal year.
The budget is not yet finalized. You can write your state legislators to let them know how important APP is to you and that you oppose eliminating state funding for highly capable education.

Update: Rumor has it that funding for highly capable students may have been restored in the state budget?

Update: Lori has more details.

Update: And the funds are cut again.

Update: And back again. Wheeee!


Greg Linden said...

So, I'd like to know, what do other parents out there think will happen to APP if these cuts go through (which seems likely)? What will be the impact of no longer having funding for testing for entry into APP and Spectrum? Which staff will be lost from Bob Vaughan's office and what will the practical impact of that be? What do you expect those in or entering APP to see in the next couple years and what new problems will this cause for them? What will change in the APP program as a whole?

zella917 said...

I don't think the current program will change a lot, but I expect the mechanism for identifying kids for the program will. If there's no money for staff to do testing, I think the district will just use the results of the MAP testing that they're already giving all the kids three times a year. I wouldn't be surprised if this changed the make up of the program to some extent, since the MAP test isn't really set up for this purpose, but at least I don't think the program will suddenly end. At least that's my hope.
(I don't really like the idea of using the MAP test for this purpose, but since they're already using it as a gatekeeper to further testing, it seems likely. And still preferable to dismantling the program in my mind.)

hschinske said...

Update: And the funds are cut again.

Wait, don't you mean they're back again?

Helen Schinske