TAGT Advocacy Goals
2018-2019 Advocacy Goals
Background: TAGT focuses its policy-related advocacy on goals that will strengthen programs, services, and funding for gifted and talented education. The goals must address the current statewide decisions impacting public education in general, and especially those that relate to gifted and talented education.
Advocacy Goal 1: Support Accountability Measures That Recognize G/T Students
TAGT supports continued legislative efforts that measure and highlight post-secondary outcomes for gifted students in the A-F accountability system, including but not limited to early graduates, students taking accelerated courses beyond their grade level, students who skip a grade, and successful credit-by-examination passage.
Advocacy Goal 2: Protect State Funding to Public Education
In 2011, the 82nd Texas Legislature reduced public education spending by $5 billion. As the legislature considers its budget priorities, TAGT supports protection of the Foundation School Program (FSP) and any effort to incentivize funding for gifted programs that demonstrate rigor and innovation. TAGT opposes any cuts to the FSP.
Advocacy Goal 3: Protect the G/T Weight/Allotment (Funding Dedicated for Gifted Education)
TAGT supports the legislature’s continued efforts to revisit school finance where lawmakers may update the formulas, weights and adjustments for all students, including gifted students. TAGT will continue to advocate for the preservation of the funding specifically dedicated to gifted education and for G/T services to remain viable in public schools.
Advocacy Goal 4: Encourage TEA to Collect, Disaggregate, and Report Data About Gifted Education Programs
TAGT believes the Texas Education Agency must gather data in a simple and straightforward manner about the gifted and talented programs and services school districts offer. This data should include information regarding academic performance, identification procedures, and program evaluation. This is not to evaluate or rank school districts, but to provide data about the services offered as part of districts’ gifted programming. This will create greater transparency for taxpayers and for parents who need the information to make informed decisions about their children’s education.
Advocacy Goal 5: Encourage TEA to Include Gifted Education in Texas’ ESSA State Compliance Plan
Upon implementation of ESSA, TAGT believes the Texas Education Agency should include growth requirements for the top student performers in its state compliance plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). TAGT also believes TEA should include opportunities to access Title 1 funds for administering gifted programs and Title II funds for professional development in gifted education.
Approved by TAGT Board of Directors, 1/27/18