TAGT Advocacy Goals

 

2020-2021 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.


Restore Dedicated State Funding for G/T Services
TAGT supports the restoration of designated gifted & talented funding. The repeal of the G/T allotment represents a major step backward for students with unique gifts and who require a range of services.

Ensure Compliance with State Plan  
Per HB 3, school districts must have a gifted program that is consistent with the state plan. The state plan is designed to ensure guidance to districts as they meet the diverse needs of the gifted/talented population in Texas. TAGT will work in partnership with TEA to support appropriate, appropriate and timely regulatory efforts to ensure ISDs meet the spirit and stated language in HB3 and State Plan. 

Maintain G/T Law in HB 3
TAGT supports protecting the G/T-specific sections of HB 3 that require ISDs to adopt a local policy, report G/T expenditures, and establish programs that are consistent with the state plan. These major changes ensure the level of services for our students and require more accountability from ISDs. 

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.

Ensure Full School Funding
As G/T funding has been integrated into the Basic Allotment, TAGT supports efforts to ensure schools are funded at or above levels established in House Bill 3 and that funding laws consider mastery of learning objectives over instructional minutes. All forms of daily attendance should be funded including blended learning, virtual learning, traditional learning, alternative schedules, and any innovative learning environments.


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.

Encourage TEA to include Gifted Education in Texas’ ESSA State Compliance Plan
If/when the Texas implementation plan for ESSA is revisited, TAGT believes the Texas Education Agency ESSA State Plan should mirror and reflect the federal ESSA plan in regards to language and focus around gifted students and should recognize gifted in compliance measures.