CAG Celebrates ESSA Legislation

WESTPORT, CT, December 17, 2015 -- The Connecticut Association for the Gifted (CAG), Connecticut's voice for high-ability and high-potential students, celebrates the December 10th enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

ESSA becomes the first federal legislation in 27 years to directly address the academic needs of gifted and talented learners. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), of which CAG is an Affiliate, has advocated for these provisions in the TALENT ACT, their proposed legislation that is still pending. ESSA obligates states to assist schools in identifying and serving their high ability students, as well as in improving the skills of educators working with them. The new law retains the authorization of the Jacob Javits Gifted Education Grant program, the only federal program intended to fund research and development of innovative strategies and other activities designed to build and enhance the ability of schools to meet special needs of gifted and talented learners. In fact, ESSA increased the 2016 funding of the program by 20% to $12 million, and provided additional resources for development of evidence-based best practices to identify and serve gifted students from underserved communities.

ESSA "marks the first time that Congress makes clear that Title I funds may be used to identify and serve gifted students, which will ensure that high-ability students from low-income families and other under-served population receive the challenging instruction they require to achieve their potential," said NAGC's Executive Director, M. Rene Islas.

Connecticut is still one of only a handful of states in the nation not mandating services for its high-ability, high-potential learners. CAG will follow the implementation of the gifted education provisions and continue to work with the Connecticut State Department of Education to further CAG's mission of supporting and advocating for Connecticut's gifted, talented and high-potential children.

About the Connecticut Association for the Gifted (CAG)

The Connecticut Association for the Gifted, founded in 1969, is the pre-eminent parent, teacher, and school resource and legislative advocate for Connecticut's gifted and talented students. CAG provides parents with information and resources to benefit their talented children, educators with high quality professional development, and Boards of Education with the tools to support talented students. Our highly acclaimed Minds in Motion™ programs engage hundreds of Connecticut students in high interest, interactive courses which stimulate learning. CAG meets with legislators to advocate for legislation to provide high ability students with challenging curriculum. Visit www.ctgifted.org for more information.

View an abbreviated version in The Hartford Courant

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