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Legislative Alert

Important Message Regarding Legislative Activity

Update | 7/19/17 | 9:00 a.m.

The Texas Legislature has begun the 2017 Special Session. A school finance bill (SB 40) has been filed however, the bill does NOT seek to repeal Texas Education Code 42.156, which is the G/T Allotment. We will continue to monitor and report the progress of this special session.
 
Update | 6/5/17 | 12:00 p.m.

The major school finance bill, SB 2145, authored by Sen. Larry Taylor, Chair of Senate Committee Education, received a public hearing on April 18, 2017. Intended to create a simplified school finance system, SB 2145 repealed many formulas and weights, including the gifted/talented program weight. Ultimately, the bill did not move far in the legislative process and did not get out of the committee.
 
While SB 1245 a received positive reception from various education groups, the gifted community fought against the elimination of the statutory reference to the G/T allotment. Thanks to the advocacy efforts of TAGT members, the Senate amended this school finance legislation and restored the G/T allotment in a subsequent version of the bill. 

As of right now, next steps will not be known until the 2019 Legislative Session.  
 
Update | 4/21/17 | 6:00 p.m.

GOOD NEWS
Thanks to your amazing advocacy efforts, the Senate Education Committee will amend SB 2145, the school finance legislation, to restore the statutory reference to the G/T allotment. This bill has a long way to go before reaching the Governor's desk, but going forward, SB 2145 will maintain the statute that references the G/T allotment.
 
We encourage you to email Senator Van Taylor (van.taylor@senate.texas.gov) and Chairman Larry Taylor (larry.taylor@senate.texas.gov) and thank them for their willingness to listen to your input regarding the G/T allotment.  
 
THANK YOU
Your membership and active participation in TAGT allowed us to commit necessary resources to accomplish this goal. When united with a collective voice, individuals can and do make a difference.

Update | 4/21/17 | 4:00 p.m.

The members of the Senate Education Committee have not amended or moved SB 2145 out of committee as of now. 
Update | 4/18/17 | 3:00 p.m.

The members of the Senate Education Committee have left the vote pending on SB 2145. At this time we are unsure when they will vote. In the meantime, it will still be very effective to continue calling and emailing the Senators on the Education Committee and encourage them to amend the bill and continue to fund the G/T Allotment.
Update | 4/18/17 | 3:00 p.m.

The Senate Education Committee is currently meeting. It is not known when the Committee will address SB 2145. TAGT will post an update as soon as more information is received.
Original Message | 4/13/17 | 8:00 a.m.

On Tuesday, April 18 at 9:00 a.m., Chairman Larry Taylor and the members of the Senate Education Committee will be holding a hearing to discuss Senate Bill 2145 (relating to the public school finance system). This proposed bill seeks to REPEAL the Gifted and Talented Student Allotment.

If you want to take action, you may:
  • Email or call the Senators on the Senate Education Committee and tell them the importance of the G/T weight and allotment, explain that it was created to support gifted students for a reason, and voice your concerns about how detrimental it would be to revoke the allotment. The repeal of the G/T allotment is only in the Senate Education Committee right now. That's where the focus needs to be.
    • Anyone that emails the Senate Education Committee can also copy the Lt. Governor, dan.patrick@ltgov.texas.gov.
    • You may use this sample letter to send to the Senators on the Senate Education Committee
  • Go to the Capital and submit a Witness Affirmation Form to indicate you are opposed to the bill. 
TAGT believes gifted students from every cultural background see the world in unique ways and are developing minds that just might discover innovative answers to the most challenging questions of their generation. Being identified as gifted and talented is not a badge of honor, nor a reward for good behavior. It is an educational diagnosis requiring gifted program services for G/T students to reach their full potential. Supporting the academically under-challenged students in Texas is vital.

Senate Education Committee
Chair: Sen. Larry Taylor (larry.taylor@senate.texas.gov)
Vice Chair: Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr.
Members: Sen. Paul Bettencourt; Sen. Donna Campbell; Sen. Bob Hall; Sen. Don Huffines; Sen. Bryan Hughes; Sen. Kel Seliger; Sen. Van Taylor; Sen. Carlos Uresti; and Sen. Royce West

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