Pennsylvania Dept. of Ed Announces New Program to Expand Access to Gifted Education in the Commonwealth

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PENNSYLVANIA — The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) recently announced that $3.5 million is now available to expand access to gifted education programming in schools and serve more students through the Pennsylvania Gifted Equity Initiative (PGEI).

“This funding will enable schools to more equitably serve students identified as gifted and provide them with the tools and resources they need to learn, grow, and achieve,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Khalid N. Mumin. “Through collaboration and the use of evidence-based practices, the Pennsylvania Gifted Equity Initiative will create systems-level change to benefit students, families, and communities across the Commonwealth.”

Research shows there is a severe underrepresentation of African American, American Indian, and Hispanic/Latino students in gifted education. PGEI will provide school districts with the tools, training, and resources necessary to implement identification procedures that will increase the number of culturally, linguistically, and economically disadvantaged students who are identified as gifted.

The program will use federal Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program funding to develop systemic technical assistance and support to close the excellence and achievement gap currently found in Pennsylvania school districts by the identification of and provision of services to gifted students who are not traditionally identified. This will allow educators to use culturally responsive tools to recognize potential in students; increase identification and retention rates of underrepresented students in gifted education; encourage collaboration between institutions of higher education to prepare pre-service teachers to better serve underrepresented gifted students; and provide support and training to families.

PGEI will develop a statewide support team including state level leads, Intermediate Units (IUs), local education agencies (LEAs), and national leaders in equity to advance the equitable practices in gifted identification across the Commonwealth and will interact with 400 school districts—or 80% of school districts—over the course of the five-year grant. IUs will work directly with LEAs to implement the programming.

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For more information on the Pennsylvania Department of Education, visit its website.

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