Dear Kansas lawmakers,
I read today that the bill that would have removed gifted children from the special education funding was dropped.
A proposal to remove gifted children from the realm of special education in Kansas was abandoned Tuesday, after an outcry from advocates for gifted education.
I love how they say “an outcry.” Basically the shit hit the fan with this bill. I was going to let this go and move on, but I really think we all need to take a moment for a quick debrief on this bad boy and see what went wrong here before we sweep this under the rug.
First, I would have loved and I mean really LOVED to have been in on whatever meeting took place where the idea was proposed to write a bill that targeted gifted children in Kansas.
Maybe there was some brainstorming meeting that took place where different groups of children were presented that lawmakers could go after and it went something like this.
We can’t target ALL children in Kansas? No! That’s too broad. We have to narrow the field.
How about poor children?
No. We already target them when we write our poor shaming bills.
No. We would get too much heat from the special interests groups.
I know! How about gifted children?
That’s a fine idea. They are over educated anyway and there isn’t a liberal, special interest group who will come after us. Write it up and let’s move on that.
Take away – Targeting children in bills is NEVER a good idea.
Second, when you targeted gifted children, you ignited the parents of gifted children and trust me, that’s not a group you want to mess with. Gifted children’s parents are the MOST involved and active parents in our Kansas schools. They are at every PTA meeting, school board meeting, school function, etc. etc. Why? Because their children are using every available resource. Why? Because they are GIFTED that’s why! They need more than the regular school day to get the most out of what we offer.
You write a bill targeting their kids and guess what?
They are going to come after you with a text, letter writing, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat campaign that will break you and bring that ridiculous bill down. It’s the same way they get my PTA dues every year. It works like a charm. Because in the end both the parents and the gifted children are just smarter than me.
Take away – think about the parents if you ever dare mess with children.
Third, ask your self this every time you go to write a bill. How would that sound on a campaign ad? That sounds harsh, but remember this is politics, not a garden party. This bill would sound something like this, “Kansas lawmaker voted to defund gifted children in Kansas.” Then the evolution of that headline goes on as the campaign continues and gets nastier….
“Candidate (insert name)tried to hurt our best and brightest Kansas kids with a devil bill.”
“Candidate (insert name) tried to destroy future Kansas leaders by derailing their education.”
“Candidate (insert name) hates Kansas kids with a bright future in Kansas. He must be stopped.” The postcard would have a picture of a child with the biggest, saddest puppy dog eyes they can find.
See how that works?
Take away – don’t write bills that make you sound like your heart has been completely removed.
In the future, stop and go through steps 1-3 before introducing any more of these crazy bills. Trust me, it will save us all a lot of headaches.
Yours for empowering our gifted Kansas kids,
(and staying current on PTA dues)