The November 8 midterm election, especially at the state level, has implications for Wisconsin public education. WATG is following legislative developments as it ponders future advocacy action for gifted education.
The state legislative landscape for the next biennium (beginning in January 2023) will be somewhat similar to the last session due to the reelection of Governor Evers and the continued Republican majority in both the State Assembly and Senate. Republicans failed to win a supermajority in the legislature, so any vetoes of legislation by the governor cannot be overturned. Our challenge will be to create and support legislation and other actions that won't be vetoed! "Bipartisan" may be a high bar, but there were a few education bills that passed in 2021 and 2022. WATG will be analyzing the successful legislation to see what it has in common that made it attractive to both sides of the aisle.
We hope that the desire to battle about public education funding and the lack of compromise will be less pronounced this term. With a large state budget surplus and new chairs of both the Senate and Assembly Education Committees (names not yet formally announced), we will be watching for opportunities to re-work last year's AB903 and to collaborate on bills that support acceleration policies. As is true for almost every state (as discussed at November's NAGC conference in Indianapolis), equity, inclusiveness, and a talent development focus will be at the forefront of our efforts.
At the federal level, NAGC and members of their Public Policy and Advocacy Committee are focused on increased funding for the Javits grant program (currently at $14.5 million for the entire country) and on supporting the re-introduction and passage of the Advanced Coursework Equity Act. This Act, sponsored in the previous session by Sen. Cory Booker and Rep. Joaquin Castro, would provide $800 million in grants to support the increased enrollment of underrepresented students in advanced courses and programs. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has been supportive of federal funding for gifted education in the past, as have some of Wisconsin's congresspersons. WATG will be monitoring the progress of federal legislation and will keep members informed!
As always, we appreciate your thoughts and suggestions - what would YOU like to see in Wisconsin with respect to gifted education, advanced learning, and talent development? Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, and meanwhile, make sure that you know who represents you in the state legislature. To find out, you can enter your home address at this page. https://legis.wisconsin.gov/
Pam Clinkenbeard and Jennifer Neuman
WATG Board and Government Action Committee Members
News from the Government Action Committee