Legislative Issues

There are currently an estimated three million children with gifts and talents in the United States whose unique educational needs go largely unaddressed. By neglecting the educational needs of these students, we put our country at a disadvantage to effectively compete in the global marketplace and deprive them of an appropriate, challenging education.

Dubbed the “quiet crisis” by former Secretary of Education Richard Riley in 1993, the availability of gifted education still varies dramatically between and within states, leaving many of our nation’s schools under-prepared to meet the learning needs of these students. Unfortunately, the federal government has done little to properly address the educational needs of students with gifts and talents. The only federal program dedicated to identifying and serving students with gifts and talented, the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act, was not funded in the last budget.

CEC and CEC-TAG believe that every student should have access to a challenging education.

Landmark Court Case for Gifted and Talented Students
Read CEC’s Statement on Illinois School District Gifted Education Segregation Court Case: Schools must be inclusive settings that support success of ALL students.

The Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act
In January 2014, President Obama signed into law the 2014 appropriations bill that included the reinstatement of funding for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act, which was defunded in 2011. The amount of $5,000,000 will support a national research center and research on gifted education. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) who chairs the Appropriations Committee said: “Our most gifted children need our help just as much as our most vulnerable do. They need to be held to high standards, they need to be challenged, and they need to be engaged. I’m proud to fight to support the Javits Gifted and Talented Education program – our nation’s only federal program dedicated specifically to gifted and talented students.”

The TALENT Act: To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers Act S. 857 and H.R. 1674
The TALENT Act was introduced in the Senate by Senators Chuck Grassley (IA) and Bob Casey (PA). Representatives Elton Gallegly (CA) and Donald Payne (NJ) introduced the bill in the House. With the intent “to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to aid gifted and talented learners, including high-ability learners not identified as gifted,” the TALENT Act has four main emphases: 1). changes to assessment and accountability systems; 2) classroom practices; 3) underserved populations; and 4) research and dissemination.

The TALENT Act: Research and Resources
Created for Leaving Talent on the Table: How the United States Leaves High-Ability Students Behind, a congressional briefing hosted by the CEC and the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), this resource contains executive summaries of compelling national reports that highlight the need for action.

CEC’s Legislative Action Center
Use this site to contact your Congressional delegation to ask them to co-sponsor The TALENT Act.

CEC’s Legislative Agenda for the 112th Congress (2011-2013)
CEC’s advocacy priorities emerge from one essential conviction: Every child deserves access to a challenging, motivating, and rigorous education – including children who are gifted and talented. This agenda highlights their main legislative priorities.

CEC’s Policy Insider Blog/Weekly Digest
Sign up for weekly email updates, keeping you current about gifted and special education issues Congress and the administration are considering.

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