Laws and Guidance for Gifted Education in Texas

Laws and Guidance for Gifted Education in Texas
Texas Education Code
The Texas Education Code, all laws and rules passed by the state legislature, addresses the definition of gifted and talented students, their identification, and establishes the Texas State Plan for Gifted/Talented Students, which guides school districts in establishing and improving services for identified students.
Definition of Gifted and Talented

  • According to the Texas Education Code (TEC), "gifted and talented student" means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:
    (1) exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area;
    (2) possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
    (3) excels in a specific academic field. TEC Sec. 29.121 
Identification of Gifted and Talented
  • Additionally, each school district shall adopt a process for identifying and serving gifted and talented students in the district and shall establish a program for those students in each grade level. A district may establish a shared services arrangement program with one or more other districts. TEC Sec. 29.12
  • Identification is further defined in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC), which notes that school districts shall develop written policies on student identification that are approved by the local board of trustees and disseminated to parents. Read more about the requirements for identification policies in 19 TAC 89.1.
Student Services
  • To guide districts in establishing and improving plans for identified students, the State Board of Education shall develop and periodically update a state plan for the education of gifted and talented students. The plan shall be used for accountability purposes to measure the performance of districts in providing services to students identified as gifted and talented. TEC Sec. 29.123
  • School districts shall provide an array of learning opportunities for gifted/talented students in kindergarten through Grade 12 and shall inform parents of the opportunities, which must include the required practices listed in 19 TAC Sec. 89.3.
Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students
The proposed draft of the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students is available on the Texas Education Agency Gifted/Talented Education webpage. The draft was revised by the Commissioner Advisory Council for Gifted/Talented and input from Education Service Centers and Gifted/Talented stakeholders. TEA is continuing to seek input on the proposed draft and welcomes Texas gifted education community members to weigh in before the final plan is approved in April.