The Texas House school finance bill is slated to be revealed March 5, 2019 — and SAGE remains concerned that the G/T allotment could be eliminated, affecting services for 400,000 of Texas’ brightest students.
Below are some reasons why the allotment is so important to our kids:
The Gifted and Talented (GT) Allotment: Necessary to Meet GT Needs
In 2018, 7.9% of students in Texas public schools received GT services.
The GT Allotment funds up to 5% GT-identified students; districts may identify more.
Districts are encouraged but not required to supplement the GT Allotment with local funds.
The GT Allotment protects a minimum amount of funding that must be spent on GT services.
State GT Funding: Educational Excellence and Best Practices
Texas is one of 27 states that provide dedicated funding for gifted education.
Texas GT Allotment funds can be spent on direct and indirect GT expenses; funds are needed for both.
GT students do not thrive without appropriate services. GT students with unmet needs are at risk of negative outcomes, especially in certain populations (economically disadvantaged; twice-exceptional [gifted + disability]).
GT funding can include AP courses, GT teacher training, and curriculum resources to ensure quality education for all bright learners. Strong GT programs create opportunity for all bright learners & keep Texas competitive.
Texas GT requirements are flexible; local control allows programs to meet local needs (demographics, district size, etc.). For local programs to meet needs, GT Coordinators must receive funds to follow best practices.
The GT Allotment statute requires districts to maintain GT compliance to receive funding.
Several universities nationwide offer graduate programs in GT education (in Texas: Baylor and UNT)
Busting Myths About the GT Allotment
Claim: Eliminating the GT allotment “would not discontinue” GT services because of GT laws
FACTS: GT Educators cannot follow law and best practices without funds. Unfunded mandates hurt services. GT is a special population requiring services. The mandate must be funded.
Claim: Tracking annual identification rates will “ensure that students identified at GT do not decline”
FACTS: Identifying students with the GT label does not help without services. Without a funded mandate, GT Coordinators may not have funds to follow best practices and meet needs with GT services.
Claim: Gifted services are a “privilege” of “enriched opportunities”
FACTS: This is a myth disproven by decades of research. As required by the TEA, gifted services meet an evidence-based educational need. Above-grade-level ability is a identified learning difference that requires instructional services. Services needed to access learning in public schools are not a “privilege.”
Claim: The 5% funding cap limits identification
FACTS: Districts may identify & locally fund > 5%. The 5% could also be raised; this is no reason to repeal.
Risks of Eliminating the GT Allotment
Monitoring identification while removing dedicated funding will not help. The GT label will not help students if GT educators lack funds for specialists and services required to meet GT needs.
In 2018, the majority of TX GT students were students of color (62%), and more than 1 in 3 of those are economically disadvantaged (37%). Removing the GT Allotment risks greater negative impact on students from low-SES backgrounds who rely on public schools for these services.
Texas universities and businesses need graduates prepared for challenge and innovation. Without K-12 GT services, high-ability students often have difficulty coping with later challenges.
Businesses look at school quality when evaluating locations for operations.
National GT organizations track funded vs. unfunded state GT mandates; it is well known that unfunded mandates result in decreases in services. GT is a special population, and the GT mandate must remain funded.
Eliminating dedicated funding has hurt GT services in other states, including funding cuts and inequity in Ohio.
Gifted and Talented services meet a research-based educational need and prevent negative outcomes.
To protect student needs and Texas economic growth, it is critical to prioritize GT education and to protect dedicated GT funding.
Want more information? Click here…
… then read real stories from GCISD gifted students and their teachers and parents about WHY GT.