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Beach Bill to Strengthen Gifted and Talented Programs Clears Committee


Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach, which would strengthen schools’ gifted and talented programs, cleared the Senate Education Committee.

“Gifted and talented programs offer our brightest students the opportunity to be challenged so they can reach their full potential,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Essex). “Too often biases or the method used to identify students can exclude minorities or students with disabilities who could truly benefit from the programming. Clearly outlining how students are selected to participate can help ensure we are including all of the students who meet the criteria.”

The bill, S-3258, entitled the “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act,” would create guidelines and oversight for schools’ gifted and talented programs, which are currently required by the State Board of Education.

Under the bill, districts would have to develop multiple measures to identify gifted students and file reports showing the demographics of students participating, among other things.

Gifted and talented students are those who possess or demonstrate high levels of ability in one or more content areas when compared to their peers in the district. They require modification of their education program to achieve in accordance of with their capabilities.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 6-0, and next heads to the full Senate for further consideration.