Public Policy


MCGT’s Public Policy Statement

The mission of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT) is to promote better understanding of, and educational services for, gifted and talented children and their families. We believe that taking stands on appropriate public policy matters, and promoting those positions, are important ways in which we serve our constituents and our community. MCGT pledges to use its voice strategically and thoughtfully. To accomplish its goals, MCGT will:

  • Cooperate and collaborate with appropriate organizations and agencies;
  • Endorse only initiatives, actions or campaigns that relate to its mission;
  • Work in various venues toward accomplishment of MCGT’s broader mission to maintain and strengthen support for gifted kids, recognizing that legislation is only one strategy;
  • Promote the long-term value of a broad-based approach to its advocacy.

Current Gifted Education Statutes in MN

126C.10 GENERAL EDUCATION REVENUE.

Subd. 2b.Gifted and talented revenue.
Gifted and talented revenue for each district equals the district’s adjusted marginal cost pupil units for that school year times $12 for fiscal year 2008 and later. A school district must reserve gifted and talented revenue and, consistent with section 120B.15, must spend the revenue only to:
(1) identify gifted and talented students;
(2) provide education programs for gifted and talented students; or
(3) provide staff development to prepare teachers to best meet the unique needs of gifted and talented students.

120B.15 GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS PROGRAMS.

(a) School districts may identify students, locally develop programs, provide staff development, and evaluate programs to provide gifted and talented students with challenging educational programs.
(b) School districts may adopt guidelines for assessing and identifying students for participation in gifted and talented programs. The guidelines should include the use of:
(1) multiple and objective criteria; and
(2) assessments and procedures that are valid and reliable, fair, and based on current theory and research.
(c) School districts must adopt procedures for the academic acceleration of gifted and talented students. These procedures must include how the district will:
(1) assess a student’s readiness and motivation for acceleration; and
(2) match the level, complexity, and pace of the curriculum to a student to achieve the best type of academic acceleration for that student.

Minnesota Definition of Gifted and Talented

Approved by MN Department of Education, August, 2005

Gifted and talented children and youth are those students with outstanding abilities identified at preschool, elementary, and secondary levels. These students are capable of high performance when compared to others of similar age, experience, and environment, and represent the diverse populations of our communities. These are students whose potential requires differentiated and challenging educational programs and/or services beyond those provided in the general school program. Students capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in any one or more of the following areas: general intellectual, specific academic subjects, creativity, leadership, and visual and performing arts.

Glossary of Terms Used in the Definition:

General intellectual ability: students who demonstrate a high aptitude for abstract reasoning and conceptualization, who master skills and concepts quickly, and/or exhibit advanced critical thinking capability.
Specific academic aptitude: students who evidence extraordinary learning ability in one or more specific disciplines.
Creative and critical thinking: students who are highly insightful, imaginative, and innovative; who consistently assimilate and synthesize seemingly unrelated information to create new and novel solutions for conventional tasks; and who can interpret, analyze, and evaluate information.
Leadership ability: students who emerge as leaders, and who demonstrate high ability to accomplish group goals by working with and through others.
Visual and performing arts: children who are consistently superior in the development of a product or performance in any of the visual and performing arts.
Differentiated: modifications to the existing curriculum based on the academic needs, interests, and learning styles of students with different ability levels, which often involve increasing the scope, depth, and pace at which topics are taught to gifted students.
Diverse: populations made up of group members who differ on a variety of characteristics, such as race, culture, socio-economic status, and language.

This definition of gifted and talented children and youth is included in the MARSS Manual (Minnesota Automated Reporting Student System), the individual student record system that serves as the Minnesota Department of Education’s primary reporting system for student data.

Other Current Education Statutes in Minnesota Helpful to Parents of Gifted Students

This statute allows parents to request that their child be allowed to do alternative instruction, including but not limited to on-line courses, if current curriculum does not meet the needs, academic or otherwise, of their child.

120B.20 PARENTAL CURRICULUM REVIEW

Each school district shall have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction. Alternative instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian, or adult student if the alternative instruction, if any, offered by the school board does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian, or adult student. The school board is not required to pay for the costs of alternative instruction provided by a parent, guardian, or adult student. School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction under this section. School personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student’s work.

How You Can Help Improve Minnesota’s Services for Gifted & Talented Children

1. Find out the names and contact information (office address, phone and email) for your representative and senator by going to the following website:

http://geo.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/districts/start.html

2. Once you know your senator and representative, you can contact them to let them know your position on these bills (see tips on how to do that below).

3. Set up an appointment to meet with your senator or representative. Contact tina.armstrong@mcgt.net if you are interested in being active at the capitol, need help with preparing for your appointment, etc.

Tips on contacting your legislator

The following link includes many hints that the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services and the League of Women Voter’s publish for how to contact your state representative or state senator. These include tips for writing, emailing, phoning and visiting your legislator.
Tips on contacting your legislator

MCGT Public Policy  Contact Information:

As part of its mission, the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented (MCGT) promotes “better understanding of, and educational services for, gifted and talented children and their families.” MCGT is a 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization primarily devoted to informing parents and members of the public about issues related to gifted education. One activity some members participate in is grassroots contacts with members of the Minnesota Legislature to explain how pending legislation may affect families of gifted children. MCGT does not advocate the election of specific candidates for public office and welcomes participation by members of all political affiliations. If you are interested in learning more about pending legislation in Minnesota, contact the MCGT Office for information on how to sign up for an email list about discussion of legislative proposals. Your thoughts and ideas about sound public policy in regard to education are very welcomed by the MCGT board of directors .

Reference Articles

Articles by former members of the MCGT board can be found through the links below. They reflect an earlier period of MCGT’s efforts to inform the public about legislation that would be helpful to families of gifted children, and may not reflect the most recent concerns of MCGT members.

How do I Stay Informed on Legislation and What Is Happening?

Suggestions for Action

Public Policy Archives from Previous Years

For public policy information from 1950-last year, click on the link below:
Public Policy Archives

National Public Policy Information

For national public policy information, click on the link below:
National Public Policy