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Illinois Gifted Education Advocacy Update

October 31, 2020 8:08 PM | Pamela Shaw (Administrator)

Illinois State Board of Education Budget Hearing

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children submitted testimony in October to the Illinois State Board of Education requesting funding for gifted education in the amount of $27 million. CGCC and IAGC board member and IAGC Policy and Advocacy Committee Co-Chair, Pamela Shaw, spoke on behalf of the IAGC at the October 14, 2020 ISBE virtual budget hearing. The state of Illinois has had no funding for gifted education since 2003, leaving too many students, especially those who are Black, Latinx, and economically disadvantaged without opportunities to develop their talents. The requested amount is based on the budget for gifted education in 2003, adjusted for inflation. 

IAGC has also requested the creation of a full-time dedicated position at ISBE to oversee gifted education. Duties would include ensuring compliance with the Accelerated Placement Act and Report Card Act and related data-reporting requirements and providing support to schools and families regarding acceleration, gifted services, and teacher training. This professional would also facilitate meetings of the Advisory Council on the Education of Gifted and Talented Children and assist their collaboration with the State Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities to support evidence-based practices to meet the needs of twice-exceptional children, which would finally fulfill the intent of the twice-exceptional section of the school code enacted in 2010.

Office of Civil Rights Data

On October 15, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights released data collected for the 2017-2018 school year. According to Dr. Scott J. Peters of the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, the data shows that out of 4,145 Illinois schools, only 787 report having students in gifted/talented programs, which represents a meager 19% of all schools. Clearly there is much work to be done in our state to ensure equal access for our high-potential learners.

If you would like to view the data for your local school, visit the Civil Rights Data Collection website. School-level data can be found under “School and District Search.” Enter school information under Basic Search to select a school to review. Gifted/talented enrollment can be found in the data listed under “Pathways to College and Career Readiness.”

Upcoming Meeting

All IAGC members and others interested in furthering the needs of gifted education in Illinois are encouraged to attend the Policy and Advocacy Committee's next online meeting on November 7 from 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM. Please register so we can anticipate your attendance and send a link to participants a few days before the Committee Meeting.

About cgcc

The Chicago Gifted Community Center (CGCC) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by parents to support the intellectual and emotional growth of gifted children and their families. 

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We  are an all volunteer-based organization that relies on annual memberships from parents, professionals, and supporters to provide organizers with web site operations, a registration system, event insurance, background checks, etc. 

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