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How Lack of Funding Effects Gifted Students in Ohio

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How Lack Of Funding Effects Gifted Students In Ohio

This year is a landmark year for Gifted Education in Ohio; for the last few years the number of gifted children in Ohio has been growing steadily. This year for the first time the percentage of children in Ohio that were identified as Gifted and Talented finally equaled the percentage of children who were served in Special Education Classrooms. There is only one small problem with this statement. The percentage is equal only if you count the students who are identified as being Talented and Gifted, not served. There are currently only 11% of all Talented and Gifted students being served in the State of Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Education and the Federal Government gave a combined total $773 million for Special Education Programs around the state of Ohio this year. This amount includes professional development, classroom supplies, technology acquisition, testing supplies, and teacher salary. Gifted Education received $48 million from Ohio and no funding from the federal government this year. This $48 million can only spent on teacher's salaries. This $48 million cannot be used to pay for any benefits the teacher will get by working in a school district, benefits like health insurance, and retirement. These expenses are expected to be paid by the school districts out of their funds.

In 1984, Ohio required that early identification of gifted students, but did not require parent notification or services. In 1999, Ohio required parent notification but still no service. Ohio now requires school district to test students to see how gifted they are, and to notify parents that there students are talented and gifted, but does not require that school districts do anything to enhance or accelerate that child's education. The state would never consider doing this to a child in special education, but it is well accepted in gifted education.

The Ohio Department of Education beliefs that gifted children can make it on their own and do not need special services. This is not true, high percentages of students become underachieves and never attend college. Many are discipline problems, eventually dropout, and many commit suicide. Many gifted students who stand out in classrooms, are often used as a tutor for the other students. This only further excludes them from learning and makes them stand out to ridicule.

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