Be an advocate for gifted education

Legislative updates for the 2019 session

Iowa lawmakers returned to the state Capitol on Monday, January 14, 2019  for the start of a new session. Paula Feltner and Mike Heller, ITAG’s lobbyists, again will represent ITAG’s interests in Des Moines. Each week during the session, Paula and Mike provide ITAG with a weekly report. Those reports will be posted here and shared with gifted advocates. Contact ITAG (info”AT”iowatag”DOT”org) if you have questions about a bill.

Week 1: January 14–18, 2019

Week 2: January 21-25, 2019

Week 3: January 28–February 1, 2019

Week 4: February 4–February 8, 2019

Week 5: February 11-February 15, 2019

Week 6: February 18–February 22, 2019

Week 7: February 25–March 1, 2019

Week 11: March 25_29, 2019

Week 12: April 1–April 5, 2019

Week 13: April 7-April 13, 2019

Funding for gifted education in the 2018-2019 school year

2018-2019 gifted and talented allocations

Allocated funding for 2018-2019 district gifted and talented programs is available on the DE website at

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,, 515-725-1120. Questions about gifted and talented programming can be addressed to Rosanne Malek, DE Gifted and Talented Consultant,, 515-281-3199.

Questions about ITAG can be directed to Dr. Maureen Marron, Executive Director, info”AT”iowatag”DOT”org.

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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.

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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 approved plan from the Iowa Department of Education can be found at

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.”

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Finding Your Legislator

The Iowa Legislature makes it easy to find out who your state senator and state representative are. Go to You can search by your address, city name, Zip code, county, or school district.

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Advocacy Tips

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

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.

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