Gifted in Florida "all over the board"
If you want to know how much school districts spend on gifted education, many district officials can't tell you. That's one of the many findings in a recently released OPPAGA report.
The report, conducted at the Legislature's request, indicates that many Florida district's don't track their gifted funding costs or expenditures. It's just mixed in with special education funding. Many parents don't even know that their gifted students fall under exceptional student education and can get protections as a result of it.
State Rep. John Legg, R-New Port Richey, has bill on the issue (HB 297). He suggests that the report and its recommendation - to study the issue more - doesn't go nearly far enough.
"It was very helpful, but it just confirmed what we already knew, that gifted programs are all over the board in the state of Florida," Legg said. "I agree with the recommendations but I think we need to go further."
His bill aims to overhaul the state's gifted program, adding such provisions as universal screening of all students and changing the accounting structure for easier tracking of whether the money follows the students. He presented the bill to two committees last week in hopes of easing the path to adoption.
"I'm definitely willing to compromise," Legg told the Gradebook."I'm hoping to have a revision with the committees' input in a week to two weeks."