Communicating latest news and trends about childrens\' education

Legislative Session 0

Please contact legislators throughout the legislative session so they can hear how parents and educators serving gifted students feel about the issue of restoring funding to serve gifted students.

What:

  • In Fiscal Year 2011, the Gifted and Talented Training Grant line item was removed from the state budget. Idaho has a mandate (Idaho Code 33-2001) that requires districts to identify and serve gifted students.  The line item funded training for districts to be able to meet the mandated requirements.
  • ITAG/SAGE is requesting that funding be restored to the Gifted and Talented Training Grant in the amount of $500,000.  This amount is only one-half (½) of what was appropriated in 2010 and one-quarter (¼) of what was requested in 2011. The Governors response to the 2011 request for a total of $2,000,000 for Gifted and Talented as recorded in the budget book was, “The Governor appreciates the importance of Gifted & Talented programs in schools, but the funding is not available to support increased funding at this time. However, the Governor would consider such a line item when economic conditions improve.”
  • Restored funding will allow districts to provide in-depth teacher and administrator training to help educators become highly qualified to provide services to gifted students. The funding may also be used to provide information and training for parents of gifted students.

 

How:

  • The rules governing gifted programs give local districts flexibility in developing strategic plans and providing professional development for identifying and serving gifted students.  This mirrors the recommendations given by the governor’s education task force for comprehensive education reform and can serve as a model throughout the state as reforms are pursued.
  • This action does not usurp local control. The training for providing services to gifted students will be determined at the local level, dependent on local services and plans, to meet the statutorily mandated service requirement. There should be no choice about whether or not to provide services.

 

Why:

Idaho’s Gifted and Talented Rules and Regulations (IDAPA.08.02.03.999) require districts to have a three-year plan that includes these elements: Philosophy, Definition, Program Goals, Identification Plan, Program Options, and Evaluation.  And, although Idaho Code 33-2001 requires districts to identify and provide services for gifted students, the number of school districts who report that they do not have a statutorily mandated gifted plan has dropped significantly.

  • Prior to the elimination of the line item in 2010, when funding was in place, 86% of districts reported having a plan. As of January 2014, only 47% of districts report having a plan. This equates to a loss of nearly half of all gifted and talented programs statewide.
  • In 2013, Idaho schools identified less than one percent of the student population as gifted and talented.  Research suggests that gifted students make up three to seven percent of the student population.

 

The rules also require a designated certificated person to be responsible for implementation of the district’s gifted program.  Lack of Gifted and Talented Training Grant funds for professional development has had the following consequences:

  • As of 2012, Idaho has a 29% shortage of GT educators. That means 1,900 students that need a GT trained teacher don’t have one.
  •  15% of all high school dropouts nationwide are gifted students. This equates to 750 of the brightest Idaho kids leaving school without graduating every year, a drain we can ill afford if Idaho is serious about attaining a go-on rate of 60%.

 

Key legislators include:

Idaho Senate Education Committee


Senator
District #
City
Phone
Email
John Goedde (Chair) (R)
4
Coeur d’Alene
664-9223
jgoedde@senate.idaho.gov
Dean Mortimer (R)
30
Idaho Falls
528-6377
dmortimer@senate.idaho.gov
Bob Nonini (R)
3
Coeur d’Alene
765-1904
bnonini@senate.idaho.gov
Steven Thayn (R)
8
Emmett
365-8656 (b)
365-6614(h) 
sthayn@senate.idaho.gov
Monty Pearce (R)
9
New Plymouth
278-5408
mpearce@senate.idaho.gov
Russ Fulcher (R)
22
Meridian
332-1410 (b)
332-1340 (h)
rfulcher@senate.idaho.gov
Jim Patrick (R)
25
Twin Falls
733-6897
jpatrick@senate.idaho.gov
Janie Ward-Engleking (D)
18
Boise
385-9564
jwardengleking@senate.idaho.gov
Cherie Buckner-Webb (D)
19
Boise
861-5482 (b)
343-2650 (h)
cbucknerwebb@senate.idaho.gov
 
Idaho House Education Committee
 
Representative
District #
City
Phone
Email
Reed DeMordaunt (Chair) (R)
14
Eagle
938-4845 (h)
340-9866 (b)
rdemordaunt@house.idaho.gov
Pete Nielsen (R)
23
Mountain Home
832-4382
pnielsen@house.idaho.gov
Paul Shepherd (R)
7
Riggins
628-3695
pshepherd@house.idaho.gov
Rich Wills (R)
23
Glenns Ferry
366-7408 (h)
484-0403 (b)
richwillis@house.idaho.gov
Linden Bateman (R)
33
Idaho Falls
524-0927
lbateman@house.idaho.gov
Judy Boyle (R)
9
Midvale
355-3225
jboyle@house.idaho.gov
Lance Clow (R)
24
Twin Falls
733-5767
lclow@house.idaho.gov
Terry Gestrin (R)
8
Donnelly
325-8844 (h)
325-8604 (b)
tgestrin@house.idaho.gov
Steven Harris (R)
21
Meridian
861-8638 (h)
376-0505 (b)
sharris@house.idaho.gov
Wendy Horman (R)
30
Idaho Falls
522-4387
whorman@house.idaho.gov
Ron Mendive (R)
3
Coeur d’Alene
667-9330
rmendive@house.idaho.gov
Julie Van Orden (R)
31
Pingree
684-4052
jvanorden@house.idaho.gov
Patrick McDonald (R)
15
Boise
938-1329
pmcdonald@house.idaho.gov
Donna Pence (D)
26
Gooding
934-5302
dpence@house.idaho.gov
Hy Kloc (D)
16
Boise
343-8465
hkloc@house.idaho.gov
Ilana Rubel (D)
18
Boise
866-4776
irubel@house.idaho.gov
 

 

 

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