SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 153
August 13, 1999
||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
||House Bills Passed in the 1999 Legislative
Session Addressing Gifted Education
The 1999 General Assembly passed two key pieces of legislation that pertain to gifted education. House Bill 2415 amended 322.1-18.1 of the Virginia Code addressing gifted education (attached, House Bill 2415). This legislation places the following provision from 8 VAC 20-40-60 B of the Board of Education's Regulations Governing Educational Services for Gifted Students into law: 3 Each school division shall appoint in accordance with the regulations of the Board of Education, a local advisory committee on gifted education. The local advisory committee on gifted education shall annually review the local plan for the education of gifted students, including revisions, and determine the extent to which the plan for the previous year was implemented. The comments and recommendations of the local advisory committee on gifted education shall be submitted in writing directly to the school board and the superintendent. Similar legislative actions in the 1998 session codified Board of Education regulations. These changes were reported to divisions through Superintendent's Memo 136, September 25, 1998. The following changes were madelaw: 3 A school board shall comply with Board regulations governing gifted education relative to the use of multiple criteria for the identification of gifted students.(1998 Session, House Bill 1287) 3 With such funds as may be appropriated for this purpose, the Department of Education shall conduct an annual review of all local gifted education programs, on such date as it may determine, to ensure full implementation and compliance with federal and state laws and regulations governing gifted education. The Department may conduct the review as an on-site observation or require certification of compliance from the division superintendent. (1998 Session, House Bill 1289) Based on House Bill 1289, staff members from the Department of Education, working with representatives from the school divisions, have redesigned the Gifted Education Annual Report. The revised report form, to be used for the first time in 1999-2000, is intended to provide data that will allow the Department to report divisions' compliance with state regulations as they are outlined in The Virginia Plan for the Education of the Gifted. During a very active 1999 General Assembly, several other pieces of legislation affecting gifted education were considered. Senate Bill 1200, (attached) establishes the Virginia Gifted Education Consortium. The members of the committee are to be selected by the Superintendent of Public Instruction from names of volunteer representatives provided to the Department of Education by division superintendents. Representatives must be parents, teachers, administrators, or members from local advisory committees, professional organizations, higher education and other advocacy organizations for gifted students. The committee would support and monitor gifted education through the recognition of best practices demonstrated through research or practice. Currently, funds have not been allocated for the convening of such a committee or to conduct its activities. The Department of Education stands ready to facilitate the objectives of the legislation should funds be appropriated in the future. If you have questions about this legislation, please contact Barbara McGonagill, Secondary Instruction, 804/225-2884 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. PDS/bkm Attachments: A hard copy of this memo and its attachment will be sent to the superintendent's office.