Aiming to tailor educational services to the needs of New Jersey’s gifted and talented students from kindergarten through 12th grade, legislation known as the “Strengthening Gifted and Talented Education Act,” which would codify State Board of Education regulations on instruction, received final legislative approval on Monday, passing the full Assembly 77-0. The measure was approved by the Senate in September, 31-0.
Sponsors of the bill (A4710), Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington), Andrew Zwicker (D-Somerset, Mercer, Middlesex, Hunterdon) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) released the following joint statement:
“Students who are identified by their school district as gifted and talented often have very different needs, and it’s our job to ensure those needs are met. This bill will clearly codify into law and expand the practices school districts across New Jersey are using to educate gifted and talented students. This includes designing appropriate instructional adaptations; training and supporting professional development for staff; and carrying out an ongoing identification process for students who are gifted and talented. This measure will promote transparency and accountability for gifted and talented programs across the state, ensuring that all school districts are providing gifted and talented students the educational support they need to succeed.
“We want students to come to school feeling healthily challenged and eager to learn. Strengthening our gifted and talented programs will foster a positive learning environment for children who could benefit from more advanced learning.”