GATE program funding is now included in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), authorized by the 2013-14 Budget Act, in place of most previously existing K–12 state funding streams. Funding for this program will now be determined at the local level. The following information about GATE may still be helpful to local educators and families.
- Is our school district required to offer a Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program?
No. Education Code Section 52206 (a) says, “The governing boards of school districts … may establish programs for gifted and talented pupils…” Further, trailer bill Senate Bill 4 of the 2009-10 Third Extraordinary Session (SBX3 4) (Chapter 12, Statutes of 2009) included the GATE Program amongst State-funded programs for which funding has been designated as “unrestricted”, which means that the GATE funds may be used for any educational purpose. This designation is explained in Fiscal issues relating to budget reductions and flexibility provisions (Dated 17-Apr-2009; DOC; 188 KB; 16pp.). Under this designation, even when a district receives GATE funding, the governing board may determine whether they will implement any or all of the GATE program and funding provisions.
- What programs does the local high school offer to gifted students?
A variety of courses and programs for gifted students is offered in most California schools serving grades nine through twelve. Individual high schools make decisions about how to serve accelerated students, including optional enrollment of younger students from the middle grades who may be placed in high school courses. Early college high schools, Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate programs, and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) are popular examples of options for accelerated secondary level students. For more information, contact the local high school district office and ask for information about programs for accelerated students. At the California Department of Education (CDE), contact the Intersegmental Relations Office at 916-323-6398 or go to CDE’s Postsecondary Web page.
- What resources are available to parents of gifted children?
Many California school districts have a GATE Program Coordinator, who can serve as a resource for parents with questions about local school, and perhaps community, programs. The California Association for the Gifted has links to area parent and professional referrals, recommended reading, and lists of educational and activity resources for the gifted.
- Will a GATE-identified child who transfers to another school district be placed in the new school’s GATE program?
Because each district makes its own decisions about discretionary programs like GATE, there are differences between districts as to how GATE students are identified. Differences exist in the method used for identification, the criteria or standards applied when students are selected for GATE, the grade level at which students are first identified, and the method for maintaining and transferring GATE records. Therefore, parents who want an answer to this question might call ahead to the new school district’s GATE Office or to the new school’s principal and ask about transfer policies for identified GATE students.
- My child did not qualify and has not been identified for the GATE Program at our school. What should I do if I believe my child should be in an accelerated program?
Your district likely has a written policy and regulations describing how students are identified for GATE, and what the parent and teacher roles are in the identification process. There may be an appeal process parents can follow should their child not be identified. For ideas and resources about options for gifted youth, you can also search for schooling options that might meet your child’s needs on CDE Education Options or Charter School Resources Web pages.