Even though 32 states require schools to offer gifted and talented education, just under half of all states provided no funding for such programs over the past school year, according to a new report.
It finds that, in most states, the financial burden for supporting gifted education falls on districts. But, even among the states that help foot the bill for such programs, the 47-state survey shows, state-level financial support varied from $2 a student to $750 a student over the 2008-09 school year.
The report also notes that only five states require classroom teachers to receive some preparation for instructing intellectually gifted students before joining the profession. Just 20 states require teachers of gifted students to earn a specialized certificate in that field.
Ann Robinson, the president of the National Association for Gifted Children and the director of the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, said the findings suggest the need for a “comprehensive national gifted and talented education policy in which federal, state, and local districts work together” to serve the needs of the brightest students.
Released last week, the biennial report was prepared by the association in conjunction with the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted.
A version of this article appeared in the November 18, 2009 edition of Education Week as Gifted Education