Journal of Law and Policy


Jamie M. Kautz


Gifted Education is a topic that is often not at the forefront of educational issues throughout federal and state discussions and legislative actions. However, while there are a large number of students in classrooms across the country who are “gifted,” the number of individual states with comprehensive gifted programs within their public school districts is small. As a result, gifted programming is limited and gifted students are not guaranteed any sort of academic assistance beyond that of a standard classroom curriculum for their designated grade levels. More importantly, in the majority of states, including New York, the legal protections offered to gifted students are extremely limited, translating to the reality that those students are sitting in classrooms unengaged for years. Eventually, many gifted students are no longer within the four walls of the classroom because they have resorted to dropping out of school all together. This Note argues that New York’s current laws covering gifted education are inadequate and need to be reformed in order to adequately protect gifted students within the state. A proposal is made for New York to amend its laws and follow the Pennsylvania approach to gifted education. The Pennsylvania model mandates the implementation of a Gifted Individualized Education Program as well as the requirement that all public school districts within the state maintain gifted programs for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. This amendment to the law would help ensure that gifted students in New York receive educational services tailored to their individualized learning needs. It will also afford adequate legal recourse to help guarantee that such gifted services are provided, much like the protections afforded to special education students in the state and nationwide.