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    Illinois Association for Gifted Children

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General Advocacy Information – Resources and Research

Reference section with existing law and policy impacting gifted education in Illinois

        • No state law mandate for providing or funding gifted education
        • 2003 is the last year that schools received state funds ($19 million) to meet the needs of gifted students. Budget is $0 now.
        • Schools decide if and how they will identify and serve gifted students
        • The Illinois State Board of Education is not required to collect or report information about gifted students and/or the services they receive in the absence of funding

Why Does Policy Support for Gifted Students Matter?


        • The No Child Left Behind Act created strong incentives for schools to focus on students below the minimum proficiency bar and inadvertently neglect the growth of advanced students
        • Opportunity gaps: Most Illinois elementary/middle school districts do not offer gifted programming
            • Over 80% had gifted programming in 2003, prior to NCLB and end of state funding (ISBE)
            • Only 27% currently offer gifted programming. Districts serving predominantly low-income students were least likely to provide programing. (Dwyer & Welch, 2016)
            • Lack of access to gifted programming during the school day is most detrimental to economically disadvantaged students whose families lack resources for supplementation
        • Excellence Gaps: Illinois currently has among the largest academic excellence gaps in the country. 15% of 4th graders and 12% of 8th graders who did not qualify for free or reduced price lunch in Illinois scored at the advanced levels on the 2013 NAEP math test, while only 2% of students who qualified for free or reduced price lunch scored at advanced levels (Plucker, 2016)
        • Illinois received a D- in the 2015 Jack Kent Cooke report that graded states on gifted education policies

Resources on how to advocate effectively in your school

Most decisions that affect the availability of and funding for programs and services for gifted and advanced learners are made at the local level. Therefore, in addition to supporting strong policy and funding for talent development at the state and federal levels, it is critical that parents and concerned educators engage with local school leaders to ensure that addressing the needs of advanced learners is a high priority.

Additional Useful Resources


Contact Us:

Illinois Association for Gifted Children

800 E. Northwest Hwy., Suite 610
Palatine, IL 60074

Ph: 847-963-1892
Fax: 847-963-1893

email us:

The Illinois Association for Gifted Children is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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