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Published in Print: April 21, 1999, as Gifted Education

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Gifted Education

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Federal Effort: Advocates for gifted students are hoping that Congress will see fit to send a new source of funding to schools and their high-achieving students.

A measure that would create a new block grant for states to better identify and serve gifted and talented students has been introduced in both the House and the Senate.

Both chambers' versions of the legislation would authorize a total of $160 million in federal aid over the next five years for schools to use on a wide variety of services for gifted students and their teachers.

Peter D. Rosenstein, the executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children, based in Washington, said the legislation would help schools serve a more diverse group of gifted students, including minority students, those with disabilities, and youngsters from low-income families--groups not usually tapped for gifted programs.

"Too many states and school districts do not provide programs and services for the highest-achieving students," he said in a prepared statement.

"This legislation would help end this sorry practice by providing funds to ensure that these students have the opportunities to achieve to world-class levels," Mr. Rosenstein added.

Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., is sponsoring the House bill, HR 637; its Senate counterpart, S 505, is sponsored by Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa.

So far, no hearings have been scheduled on either bill.

Wallace Family Conference: The University of Iowa will co-host the first Wallace Family National Conference on Gifted Education in Rural Schools next month.

The conference, to be held May 21-22 at the university's Iowa City campus, seeks to bring together leading researchers and advocates for gifted students in rural schools.

Organizers plan to highlight such topics as obstacles to gifted education in rural areas, how to better identify gifted students, and the needs of teachers and gifted students in rural settings.

The Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, which is also a co-host, will release a report, "Gifted Education in Rural Schools: A National Assessment," in connection with the event. The center is part of the university's college of education.

For more information, or to request registration materials, call (800) 336-6463 or (319) 335-6196. The conference's World Wide Web site is at www.uiowa.edu/~belinctr/special-events/.

--Joetta L. Sack jsack@epe.org

Vol. 18, Issue 32, Page 10

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