Be an advocate for gifted education
Legislative updates for the 2018 session
Week 6- 1st funnel, no report
Funding for gifted education in the 2017-2018 school year
Legislative updates on flexible funding: 2017 session
There were a number of changes to education funding in the 2017 legislative session. ITAG is sharing this handout to help answer questions about gifted funding.
This handout is an annotated version of DE Director Ryan Wise’s letter to the field that summarizes 2017 legislation impacting education. Specifically, ITAG is sharing Dr. Wise’s summary of HF 564 and HF 565, the flexibility funding bills, and HF 573, the limited home rule law.
Categorical funding for gifted and talented programs remains categorical. Gifted and talented funds are NOT among those that can be moved to the flexibility account established by HF 565. However, districts may choose to use funds from this account to add additional funding to support their district’s gifted and talented program.
Use of gifted and talented funds must be spent according to existing state code. Code and allowed uses of funding can be found at the Gifted and Talented page on the Iowa Department of Education website.
2017-2018 gifted and talented allocations
Allocated funding for 2017-2018 district gifted and talented programs is available on the DE website at https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/advanced-learning-opportunities/gifted-talented#Allocations
Carryover gifted and talented funds
Does your district have unspent gifted and talented funds from last year? Check your district balance here. Look at Column G for the gifted and talented carryover. The best advocacy is local advocacy. Visit with your local administrators to develop a plan for using the carryover funds as intended for gifted and talented programming and services.
For more information
For more information on gifted and talented funding, contact Tom Cooley, DE Bureau Chief of Finance, Facilities, Operation and Transportation Service, Tom.Cooley@iowa.gov, 515-725-1120. Questions about gifted and talented programming can be addressed to Rosanne Malek, DE Gifted and Talented Consultant, Rosanne.Malek@iowa.gov, 515-281-3199.
Questions about ITAG can be directed to Dr. Maureen Marron, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requesting TAG budgets for your district
TAG budgets are public information. Those who wish to request their district’s budget can ask the person with the title of “board secretary.” This person is the legal custodian of all records of the district. Usually, this person is also the School Business Official.
Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA)
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the name of the 2015 legislation that revised and reauthorized the federal K-12 education law known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). ESEA was more commonly known as No Child Left Behind.
For the first time, gifted education is included in federal ESSA statute. The Iowa Department of Education submitted their third draft plan to the US Department of Education on September 18, 2017, and are waiting for approval. The plan and information on how the plan was written can be found at https://www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/every-student-succeeds-act
Thanks to the efforts of advocates in Iowa, there is a section on gifted and talented education in the state’s ESSA. The language related to gifted and talented education is on pages 73-74 and includes the following excerpt: “The Department will improve the skills of teachers, principals, and other school leaders to both identify and serve the needs of students who are gifted and talented by collaborating with state-level organizations such as the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association to identify and disseminate exemplars of evidence-based practices for gifted and talented students within an MTSS framework.”
Finding Your Legislator
The Iowa Legislature makes it easy to find out who your state senator and state representative are. Go to https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find. You can search by your address, city name, Zip code, county, or school district.
What can you do to advocate for gifted education when the Iowa legislature is in recess? Continue to advocate! Advocacy is about building relationships. Meet your legislator over coffee to talk about the importance of gifted education. If school is in session, invite your legislator to visit your classroom to talk to the students or to observe what happens in a gifted classroom. Follow up your visit with a thank you note.
Local advocacy is a MUST. Advocate at your school, in your district, with your administrators (curriculum coordinators, principals, superintendents), at a school board meeting.
See the information on advocacy through the National Association for Gifted Children at http://nagc.org/get-involved/advocate-gifted-children.
Establish a parent group for support and advocacy in your area. Download the NAGC brochure, How to Start a Parent Group. For a more in-depth discussion, read and share the e-book, Starting & Sustaining a Parent Group to Support Gifted Children.