Legislation that would improve how the state identifies highly capable students unanimously passed the House Education Committee last week.
House Bill 1641, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Vick, would require school districts to develop an assessment, referral, and placement process for highly capable students. Each student would be screened at least once prior to 6th grade. The legislation would also ensure students are able to receive transportation services to and from school.
“School districts are currently doing their best to identify and educate highly capable students, but the simple fact is, there are a large number of students who remain unidentified and are falling through the cracks. By standardizing the process across rich and poor districts, we should be able to identify the students who need and deserve the service,” said Vick, R-Vancouver. “Not only does House Bill 1641 benefit our highly capable students and their futures, but it will have a positive impact on our state’s economy and workforce.”
The legislation would:
- Modify school district procedures related to identification, selection, and placement of highly capable students.
- Direct the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to designate staff to provide technical assistance and guidance to school districts regarding the Highly Capable Program.
- Require that the state fund, and school districts provide transportation to and from programs for highly capable students.
- Specify staff training requirements related to identifying and serving highly capable students.
“Education is not one size fits all. What I am trying to accomplish with this legislation is ensure each student is getting the education they deserve regardless of their socio-economic status,” said Vick. “This legislation will assist in unlocking lifelong potential for our highly capable students. There should be no barriers or limits to what these students can accomplish in or outside the classroom.”
The bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee.
The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn the 105-day legislative session on April 28.