P. O. BOX 2120
August 13, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
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

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

Attachments:    A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
                will be sent to the superintendent's office.