Gifted Education Funding is IN the FY22 Proposed Budget!

A summary of the FY22 proposed Budget as introduced by the House and Senate includes two items related to gifted education funding.

  1. Establishment of a Group B funding weight of 0.007 for gifted students who score at or above the 97th percentile on a test adopted by SBE.
    1. This amounts to approximately $1 million for FY22
    2. In Group B weight, this funding is now ongoing
  2. Appropriates $850,000 for one year to procure a statewide gifted assessment
    1. Universal screening of all second graders in all schools for possible placement in gifted programs and services
    2. Universal screening results in increased identification of minority, poor, female and ELL students who might otherwise be recommended for placement in gifted programs and captures all students with high potential who don’t exhibit obvious gifted behavior in the classroom
    3. Universal screening provides local norms data more reflective of a district’s or school’s population

We are thrilled and grateful to secure dedicated, ongoing funds for gifted education with the addition of gifted to Group B weights and for funding for universal screening.

While these two items will provide new sources of funding, our dedication to restoring funding of the mandate (Gifted Grant) will continue.  It is vitally important to do so.

  1. Districts and schools are required to establish programs and services to meet the learning differences of gifted students using local dollars. This puts many small and rural districts and schools at a disadvantage.
  2. Funds from the grant provides seed money for small and rural districts to establish gifted services and in time work toward a comprehensive K-12 gifted program
  3. Grant monies enhance programs by funding professional development for teachers, counselors and administrators in the academic, and social and emotional needs of gifted students
  4. The grant provides resources to allow students to move swiftly and purposefully along their learning journey with adjustments in curriculum and instructional strategies that allow for enrichment and depth and complexity
  5. The grant would include funding for ADE to administer and support gifted programs statewide

With companies such as Intel and TSMS establishing plants in Arizona, there will be a demand for a highly skilled workforce.  This is dependent on a strong educational system.  The time is now to build the system to support the workforce in the near future.