CAN Alert: Universal Screening & Group B Weights FAQs

What are the details about administering the assessment for Universal Screening?

  • ADE is developing an RFP to solicit potential vendors to supply assessments for universal screening of every second grader in every district and school across the state.
  • Potential vendors must:
    • Have the ability to deliver the assessment online
    • Assist each school with training to administer the assessment in order to strictly adhere to testing protocol
    • Stay within the budget of $850,000 state-wide
    • Provide scoring services
  • ADE will ask for the number of tests each school will use. The total of assessments across the state will be purchased together by ADE.
  • Logistics and mechanics will be decided once the assessment is secured and the date for availability is known. No dates for testing are firm at this time, but will mostly likely be sometime in the second half of the school year.  This assessment will not interfere with already scheduled assessments.
  • ADE will keep districts and school informed as more information becomes available.

What can your school community do to support Universal Screening?

  • Make sure your administrators, districts and schools are aware of this opportunity.  Universal screening will give information about each school’s population revealing the number of students who have learning differences that may require placement in gifted programs and services.  This includes students who are already achieving at a higher level and those who have the potential to achieve at a higher level through talent development opportunities.
  • Universal screening will provide equity in identification of gifted students who traditionally are not offered the opportunity to be assessed and are underrepresented in gifted programs and services.

How and when will the Group B funds be distributed?
Qualifying pupils will generate the new 0.007 Group B add-on funding in FY 2022 and the corresponding funding will appear in payments and on payment reports later this year.

More information about Group B weight funding for gifted students can be found at the ADE School Finance website:
https://www.azed.gov/finance/reporting-gifted-students-generate-new-add-funding

AAGT will continue to monitor the progress and will distribute more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, continue to advocate at the local level for your child’s gifted and talented education!

For tips on advocacy at the local and state level, download our Parent Handbook!

Gifted Education Funding and Advocacy Background

Funding for gifted education was suspended 11 years ago.  In 2015, we began a grass roots movement to restore dedicated, ongoing funds.  We are grateful to Representative Jennifer Pawlik for introducing a bill and getting it past during the 2021 Legislative session, to add gifted education to Group B weighted funds. Districts and schools will receive money from Group B that can only be used to support gifted. They will be able to count on this resource year after year.

In a separate bill introduced by Representative Michelle Udall, the Legislature approved funding for Universal Screening of all second-grade students in every school across the state for one year.

Universal Screening will provide equity in identification of gifted students in underserved populations so no student falls through the cracks.

We are now in a position to begin to build out an infrastructure that will provide more effective identification, programs and services. This year we will:

  • Work to shift universal screening to ongoing to continue to reduce inequity in identification.
  • Work for a technical change in the mandate to use local norms rather than national norms to identify each schools’ gifted population.
  • Work to secure funding of the gifted education additional assistance grant and building the capacity at ADE to support schools and families.

This is all made possible with your support, dedication to the cause and persistent efforts in having your voice heard.

With gratitude and respect,
AAGT Advocacy Task Force
Donna Campbell
Connie Crowley
Laura Dorrell
Scott Hagerman
Denise Hicks
Heather Pace