Gifted Education Month in Georgia
This proclamation emphasizes the importance of developing the potential of Georgia’s children in the areas of academics, creativity, leadership, and fine arts. It recognizes that our teachers and educational leaders work together with our community to provide the key learning experiences that engage and inspire our students. Finally, it calls for all of us to join in recognizing the unique needs of gifted young people.
In honor of Gifted Education Month, you may want to invite your government representatives, Board of Education members, superintendent, school administrators, teachers, community leaders, parents, and local news/newspaper reporters to see the many ways gifted education impacts all students in your district. This can be a time of advocacy for gifted students and for gifted education, emphasizing the importance of challenging all students to reach their potential.
Please share this proclamation with your school board, teachers, parents, and community members as we highlight ways that gifted education transforms the lives of our Georgia students.
Education Reform Commission Update: November 19, 2015
The Education Reform Commission met today to discuss all of the subcommittee's recommendations, including the Funding Formula Committee's recommendations about the gifted weight. They presented the weight of .3231, described in the November 14 update below. That is good news for gifted education!
For the full narrative and presentation of today's Education Reform Commission Meeting's recommendations, please go to this link: https://gov.georgia.gov/meeting-10-materials-november-19-2015 .
Funding Formula Update: November 14, 2015
The Funding Formula Committee of the Governor’s Education Reform Commission met on November 12, 2015. They continued to propose a gifted weight that would ask the state to invest the same amount, or slightly more, in gifted education.
On page 4 of the narrative draft, the committee gave a clear rationale about the need for gifted education, citing the NAGC rationale for gifted. The notes from page 4 are pasted below.
Link to Narrative Draft:https://gov.georgia.gov/sites/gov.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/Funding%20Model%20Narrative%20Draft%20111015%20v8a.pdf
Link to spreadsheet that shows how all of the funding formula suggested changes impact individual districts:https://gov.georgia.gov/materials-1
Link to Education Reform Commission page: https://gov.georgia.gov/education-reform-commission
From page 4 of narrative draft, November 12, 2015:
GIFTED: The formula under consideration by the funding committee proposes a weighted funding amount for students identified as Gifted. Gifted weighted earnings for 1 segment in the FY16 QBE formula = $237.98. Students statewide were funded for an average of three segments. For three segments in QBE the student earned$713.94 in FY16 QBE. The current proposed model weight for Gifted is 0.3231. Gifted weighted earnings for 1 student in proposed formula = $750.20. Gifted total funding earnings above the base in the FY16 QBE formula are approximately $129M. Gifted total funding weighted earnings in the proposed formula are $133,444,875.
Rationale for the weighted gifted student characteristic:
- Developing and nurturing high performance supports the future prosperity of our nation, state, community, and of individuals.
- Most gifted students are not developing to the level their potential would indicate is possible.
- In the normal distribution of ability and/or of achievement, 68% of students score near the mean; students far from the mean require different educational experiences to develop optimally or at all.
- All children deserve the opportunity to learn something new each day.
- Schools have a responsibility to meet the learning needs of all students. Gifted children are found in all income, cultural, and racial groups; gifted children may also have one or more disabilities.
- Most teachers say their brightest students are bored and under-challenged.
- Most teachers have no training in working with gifted learners.
- In classroom observations, most learning activities are not differentiated for gifted learners.
- Additional considerations:
- Gifted classes often require additional materials, supplies, and lab equipment for in-depth study that results in students producing projects/products that demonstrate real-world application of concepts.
- Teachers must be specifically trained to differentiate instruction at high levels, to fulfill their teaching roles of facilitator and guide, and to accommodate the variety of giftedness that students bring into a classroom.
- Additional funds are required to allow students to participate in challenging competitions that require complex thinking and high level problem-solving abilities.
- Curriculum, instruction, and assessment must often be modified or developed to meet the needs of the gifted student.
Funding Formula Update: October 23, 2015
The Funding Formula Committee from the Governor’s Education Reform Commission is considering a new way of funding education. Instead of districts earning funding for 6 segments of instruction to equal 1 FTE, they are considering a student-based funding formula that involves a base student amount and additional funding for weighted student characteristics, such as special education, ESOL, or gifted.
The members of the Funding Formula Committee are continuing to decide on actual weight amounts. The initial “placeholder” number for gifted was quite low, but they proposed a higher weight at their Sept. 23 meeting. We are hopeful at this time that the committee may decide on a gifted weight per student that would result in the state funding equal to the same amount of gifted funding to districts as the present QBE system earns.
The funding formula committee will be meeting on October 28, 2015 to discuss the revised weights, including the new proposed gifted weight.
We will keep you posted on this website and if needed, by contacting GAGC members as this process continues to unfold.
For more information about the Funding Formula Committee and the other proposals from the Education Reform Commission, please explore this link: https://gov.georgia.gov/education-reform-commission