Legislation to create a committee focusing on gifted education programs

The changes would affect grades K-12.

The Missouri Senate gave first-round approval to Senate Bill 193 on Friday. The bill requires the State Board of Education to appoint a staff person to lead and oversee educational programs for the gifted and talented.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, is the sponsor of the bill. He serves on the Joint Committee on Education and is the chairman of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.

The legislation would create an advisory council on the Education of Gifted and Talented Children. In the council, the Commissioner of Education would appoint seven members, where they would serve a four-year term. After four years, the members would be given shorter appointment lengths to help ease in and stagger new council membership.

The commissioner would take into consideration possible members under the recommendation from organizations of educators and parents of gifted children. The prerequisite would be Missouri residency and knowledge and experience with gifted and talented children.

The council would present advice to the commissioner when needed in regard to potential adopted rules and policies outlined by the state Board of Education. A liaison from the board would provide clerical support and assistance to the council.

The Center for Gifted Education provides programming and services to gifted and talented learners for all grades in Columbia. The Primary High Potential Program (K-2) and the Elementary Extended Educational Experiences are two of the programs the center provides.

The EEE is applied in elementary, middle, junior high and senior high schools throughout the Columbia Public School District.

According to the gifted program outline, the curriculum is categorized by the strands of Creativity, Problem-Solving, Independent Research, and Social/Emotional growth.

The curriculum is associated with the Show-Me Standards, which is designed to focus on mathematics, science or social sciences.

Terry Gaines, the co-director of the Center for Gifted Education, and Schaefer could not be reached for comment.

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