Gifted Education — It’s the Right Thing to Do!
As defined in 704 KAR 3:285. Programs for the Gifted and Talented, Kentucky’s gifted and talented students are those “exceptional students” who are identified as possessing demonstrated or potential ability to perform at an exceptionally high level in general intellectual aptitude, specific academic aptitude (e.g., mathematics, science), creative or divergent thinking, leadership skills, or in the visual or performing arts.
How many gifted students in KY?
- Kentucky students have been identified in 5 areas of giftedness since the enactment of KERA.
- KDE data from the 2010-2011 school year indicate that 97,770 students received gifted services in grades K-12.
What is the budget allocation for gifted and talented?
- $6,980,200 was allocated for fiscal year 2010-2011 and $6,979,200 for fiscal year 2011-2012.
- $7,121,500 was allocated for Gifted Education by the Kentucky General Assembly for 2008.
- $100,000 of the allocated amount goes toward the Commonwealth Diploma Program leaving $6,879,200 for direct services to gifted students.
- Funds are distributed to local districts based on a district’s total student population. Jefferson and Fayette Counties receive more due to larger total student populations.
- Due to budget cuts, the final funding received by districts for services to gifted children was less than the expected amount.
How do local districts use the money?
- 75% of a district’s gifted education allotment shall be used to employ properly certified personnel to provide direct instructional services to gifted students. Additional money for GT services must come from the local level.
Increased funding would permit more ongoing professional development for teachers — All teachers working with gifted and talented students must recognize the students’ advanced abilities and know how to modify the curriculum and teaching to challenge them.
- Educators are to:
- Find and select students for the Primary Talent Pool.
- Formally identify students in grades 4-12.
Increased funding would allow for a more comprehensive identification of gifted students — Identification of gifted students should echo the population diversity found within KY schools including the economically disadvantaged, ethnically diverse, those with Limited English Proficiency (LEP), and/or multi-exceptionalities. Typically, only the specific academic aptitude and general intellectual ability are consistently identified within the five areas of giftedness.
- Plan and implement the Gifted Student Services Plan.
- Provide instructional services to properly identified students in the five areas named in the regulation for gifted and talented students, grades 4-12.
- Provide services to the primary talent pool, K-3.
Increased funding would provide more appropriate services for gifted students —The gifted child’s strength becomes the need that should drive the responses from educators as the needs do for children in other programs. The needs arise from gifted children’s ability to learn at a significantly faster pace and their hunger for advanced, complex curricula. Appropriate services allow for continuous progress by ability, not age.
Gifted children have no racial, cultural, or socioeconomic boundaries.
They are found in all schools every day. Service options may go away but gifted students remain.
The needs of gifted students remain.
Academic modifications to meet these needs remain.
The need for educators trained in the nature and needs of gifted students remains.