History of Legislation
In 1961, the California Legislature established the Mentally Gifted Minor (MGM) program for students scoring in the 98th percentile or above on standardized intellectual ability tests. By 1980, 454 school districts and 160,000 students were participating in the program. Assembly Bill (AB) 1040, enacted in 1980, established the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program allowing districts to set their own criteria for entrance and expanded service beyond the intellectually gifted to students who were gifted and talented in areas such as specific academic ability, leadership, visual and performing arts, and creativity.
In 2000, two pieces of legislation were enacted that amended provisions of the California Education Code (EC) for GATE. AB 2313 amended EC sections 52200–52212, requiring that GATE programs be planned and organized as differentiated learning experiences within the regular school day and established a categorical GATE funding formula. AB 2207 amended EC sections 48800 and 76001 providing options for gifted and talented students to attend classes at postsecondary institutions regardless of age or grade level.
In 2014, California's Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) legislation redistributed state funding from several categorical programs into the general funds provided to districts, allowing local governing boards to make decisions about how to allocate the funds to best meet the needs of their student populations. GATE was one of the categorical programs repealed through this legislation, prompting Senate Bill (SB) 971 to repeal EC sections 52200–52212 later in the year.
The LCFF provides a unique opportunity for local educational agencies (LEAs) to expand upon or develop new education opportunities for high-ability students in California public elementary and secondary schools, particularly those who are traditionally underrepresented in GATE programming. The LCFF requires stakeholder input during the development of Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP), further expanding the opportunity for educators, families, and other stakeholders to provide input as LEAs develop their annual budgets.
California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 5
The LCFF overrides the categorical funding provisions in CCR, Title 5, for GATE. Although not required, GATE program implementation guidelines provided in the CCRs may still be helpful to districts.