Legislative Advocacy

The Connecticut Association for the Gifted Applauds Passage of CT's First Legislation to Benefit Gifted and Talented: Students in Underserved Communities Expected to Benefit Most

Gov. Malloy signed into law the gifted education bill SB 911, which was passed by the CT General Assembly with bi-partisan support on June 6th. Throughout its legislative journey, the new law, Public Act 17-82, enjoyed strong patronage of the Chairs and members of the Assembly's Education Committee, and the Education Commissioner, Dianna R. Wentzell.

PA 17-82 took effect on July 1, 2017. The Connecticut Association for the Gifted (CAG) will work closely with the State Department of Education and its Gifted Services Consultant, Dr Gilbert Andrada, on the law's implementation. When combined with gifted provisions of federal law, Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA, 2015), PA 17-82 should ensure that all high-ability students in our state receive appropriate services, no matter what their school's zip code.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Toni Boucher, Sen. Steve Cassano, Rep. Kathleen M. McCarty, Rep. Kim Rose, Sen. Heather B. Somers, Rep. Robert C. Sampson, and Rep. Terrie E. Wood, had its public hearing on March 1. CAG testified in support of the bill and offered amendments to enhance it. Nicknamed by CAG as the Gifted Education Emergency bill, the new law should help eliminate the "gifted but invisible" syndrome in all schools. You may read the full text of the bill using the link at the bottom of this page.

The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to designate an expert staff member to be responsible for providing assistance to educators and parents regarding identification and provision of services to Connecticut's gifted and talented students. The bill also requires the Department of Education to develop "best practices" guidelines for academic and social-emotional services to gifted and talented students, as well as professional development for teachers.

"The State of Connecticut is taking an important step in recognizing the special needs for children with extraordinary gifts and talents; particularly those bright students who are economically disadvantaged, from minority backgrounds, or are learning English as a second language," said M. René Islas, executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). "For too long, these students have been overlooked, and NAGC congratulates the extraordinary advocates and leaders whose tireless efforts to increase understanding and support for gifted education will ensure that all students are given a fair shot at achieving their personal best."

For the official record of the Bill's legislative path click here:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB00911&which_year=2017

For the Full text of the Bill as currently worded, click here:
https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/amd/S/2017SB-00911-R00SA-AMD.htm

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