HOW TO HELP MOVE BILLS A-4710/S-3258 Ten steps to making a difference
Do this: If the phone numbers of your Senators and Representatives aren't saved in your phone yet, text your zip code (put in body of message) to 520-200-2223. You'll get a text back with everyone's contact information, both Federal and State. Just do it!
2. Copy and paste that info with your name and home address into an email to send to: email@example.com Ask your friends, relatives, colleagues to help by sharing this info.
3. Look at this list: Do any of your state reps hold key positions in the NJ legislature?
If yes, add this to your call or email or form “As my elected state representative, and as (name their role or position) I know you are in a position to help move these bills along. Can I count on your support? (see # 5 below) *Will you become a cosponsor?”
Assembly Democratic Leadership Assembly Speaker:Craig J. Coughlin (District 19) Majority Leader:Louis D. Greenwald (District 6) Assembly Speaker Pro TemporeGordon M. Johnson (District 37) Majority Conference Leader:Shavonda E. Sumter (District 35) Deputy Speakers:Daniel R. Benson (District 14) John J. Burzichelli (District 3) Wayne P. DeAngelo (District 14) Mila M. Jasey (District 27) Pamela R. Lampitt (District 6) Paul D. Moriarty (District 4) Gary S. Schaer (District 36) Valerie Vainieri Huttle (District 37) Benjie E. Wimberly (District 35) Deputy Majority Leaders:Joseph V. Egan (District 17) Thomas P. Giblin (District 34) Eric Houghtaling (District 11) Annette Quijano (District 20) Adam J. Taliaferro (District 3) Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore:Nancy J. Pinkin (District 18) Parliamentarian:Joann Downey (District 11) Deputy Parliamentarian:Nicholas Chiaravalloti (District 31) Majority Whip:Raj Mukherji (District 33) Deputy Whip:Robert J. Karabinchak (District 18) Appropriations Chair:John J. Burzichelli (District 3) Budget Chair:Eliana Pintor Marin (District 29) Assembly Republican Leadership Republican Leader:Jon M. Bramnick (District 21) Conference Leader:Anthony M. Bucco (District 25) Republican Whip:Nancy F. Munoz (District 21) Deputy Republican Leaders:Ronald S. Dancer (District 12) Amy H. Handlin (District 13) David W. Wolfe (District 10) Assistant Republican Leaders:BettyLou DeCroce (District 26) Holly T. Schepisi (District 39) Assistant Republican Whip:Erik Peterson (District 23) Budget Officer:John DiMaio (District 23) Appropriations Officer:Jay Webber (District 26) Parliamentarian:Michael Patrick Carroll (District 25) Policy Co-Chairs:DiAnne C. Gove (District 9)
4. Cut & paste from the template below and compose your draft version of what you will say on a phone call or write if you are sending an email or webform, to assure accuracy. Save it because it will only need minor edits (their name and position) that you can cut and paste to all 3 elected officials from your state legislative district.
6. If calling: ask to speak to a legislative aide, get a name, note time/date of call, share this in an email with your draft and notes from their answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
7. If you get a response to a web form or email, please forward it to email@example.com
8. Use info from this template. Personalize it for your situation.
If email or web form: (you can send a similar request from each voting member of your household or any NJ voter to his/her state reps = 1 state senator and 2 state assemblypersons)
Feel free to use this or modify to include information specific to your child or situation…
“I am a (parent/ educator) of gifted children. New Jersey has phantom policy about gifted education in its administrative code, on paper but not in practice. This bill, the Strengthening Gifted Education Act, will clarify processes and protect the rights of our gifted students to get an appropriate education in NJ’s public schools. Currently, there is no reporting of data, how many gifted students are identified or how they are served, by local education agencies (LEAs) to the NJ Department of Education.
Many districts are out of compliance with the current requirements in administrative code. Positions for specialists in gifted education have been lost, programs cut, and addressing the unique academic and social emotional needs of these students is not on a priority list of many districts in NJ, mostly due to lack of information and interest requested by the DOE.
We have a huge equity gap with some districts saying they have no gifted, and others saying everyone is gifted, which is statistically impossible based on the state’s definition of gifted. We have affluent parents providing out of school opportunities while we leave those in poverty behind. N.J.A.C. 6A:8-1.3 "Gifted and talented students" means students who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their chronological peers in the local school district and who require modifications of their educational program if they are to achieve in accordance with their capabilities.
There have been no workshops offered or guidance from the Department of Education since 2005, when the current code was put in place. That means a child could have gone through 13 years of public education without its school district doing anything to meet her needs. There is no indicator on a child’s permanent record of any assessment for gifted, nor noted modifications to the program or NJ State Learning Standards for the child unless this bill becomes law. Parents currently have no access to the process used to identify students or services that might be offered based on student needs for gifted education.
These identical bills A4710/S3258 address and correct many of the problems, including a requirement to share information about gifted education services on a district’s website, as well as establishing a complaint procedure for parents that feel their district is not complying with the law.
Can I count on your support (to become/as) a co-sponsor and to help move this bill into law? Surely your interest and help will Strengthen Gifted Education in NJ. As your constituent, I urge you to take action to right these wrongs.
Thank you,… “
9. Please follow up if you get no response by resending or calling again in a week or two.
10. Together we can make a difference for our gifted students in NJ. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @NJAGCgifted and stay active with NJAGC by signing up for emails on the “contact us” part of www.njagc.org