Advocacy

WAETAG has partnered with the Washington Coalition for Gifted Children since our inception in 1984.
We donate annually and work with them to promote gifted advocacy in Washington state.

The Coalition is YOUR voice in Olympia and is the only nonprofit gifted advocacy group in Washington which can hire a lobbyist.  By joining or donating to our advocacy efforts, you provide the necessary financial support needed to continue this work.

Your Legislative Liaison

Hi! My name is Reby Parsley. I am the Legislative Liaison for WAETAG. Welcome to the WAETAG Advocacy page. Look around and you will find many ways that you can become an advocate for gifted education.

I began my journey in gifted education in 2005, but my advocacy path did not begin until five years later when I had a student in my 5th grade class that was in desperate need of gifted services. This student showed me the inequities that still exist in gifted education for our students and families, specifically our families of color and students living in poverty. I went on to earn my doctorate in Educational Leadership from University of Washington; my dissertation focusing on equitable programming opportunities in gifted education. Since then, I have hosted and partnered with my local legislators, collaborated with my local school board, and presented at numerous national gifted conferences and policy symposiums. Now my journey has led me to WAETAG where I have the opportunity to empower and teach YOU to be an advocate. It is YOUR time to advocate for gifted education services for your children, students, and communities.  Let’s partner together to make gifted education more accessible and equitable for all.

How to be an Advocate

Share your story!

Your story is a part of the larger gifted education story. Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we can use as an advocate. Your story is the “why” of our movement – it helps translate values into action. By sharing your story, and connecting it to our advocacy movement, it creates a shared understanding with decision-makers, illustrates our collective story, and inspires the urgency of our aspirations.

Think deeper about the meaning of your story – What challenge did you face? What choice did you make? What was the outcome?

Are you interested in sharing your story as a part of our collective advocacy movement?

Host a Legislator

Legislators are often eager to connect with their constituents and students within their district’s public schools. Even though the vast majority of legislators have not spent much sustained time in classrooms they are in Olympia creating and voting on education policy. Most legislators often gather their perceptions about public education from a variety of sources – research reports, personal and family experiences with schools, and the media. What if we changed the way legislators understood education?

WAETAG’s Host-a-Legislator program provides the opportunity for WAETAG teachers to connect with legislators. Through this program legislators are encouraged to become involved in the teacher’s classroom though co-teaching a lesson or presenting to students. This work is extremely significant as decisions are being made in Olympia which will impact gifted education and our students for years to come. By inviting a legislator into your classroom, it allows them the ability to more deeply understand the complexities of gifted education services.

How might legislation for gifted education look different if even 25% of legislators had spent time with an accomplished gifted education educator? How might their direct classroom and school experience inform and enrich education policy discussions and decisions?

If you are interested in hosting a legislator or another policymaker in your classroom, please Contact Reby at reby@waetag.com today and she’ll happily talk this through with you.

Helpful Tools

Contact Your Legislator

Click the link above for a complete email directory of Washington state legislatures by district.

Find Your District

Click the link above to find your district by address.

You may also use the Legislative Hotline at 1 (800) 562-6000

Operators will take your message and transmit it to your legislator(s) so plan out in advance what you want to say,
write it down, and read it to the operator to be sure it says exactly what you want it to say.

Legislative Update

House Bill (HB) 1404 addresses Equity in Washington Highly Capable Programs through Universal Screening

All of us want to say a heartfelt  *THANK YOU*  for your response to our requests to contact the House Education and House Appropriations committees in support of HB 1404.
 
We asked advocates around the state to join us in a call-to-action and sign-in in support of HB 1404 before the House Education committee and you responded magnificently. More than 530 individuals signed in electronically in support of the bill, an outstanding turnout. The bill passed out of committee 12-1.
 
The time between passing out of Education and the cut off date of Feb. 22 was limited, but many of you responded to our request for direct emails to House Appropriations Chair Ormsby. Even our robust efforts were not enough and the bill died on Monday evening.
 
February is Gifted Education Month in Washington and every one of you have made it a special month. We wish we could have capped it with passage of HB 1404 but we built a sound foundation for future activism in another session.
 
The Washington Coalition For Gifted Education
Northwest Gifted Child Association
Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted