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Potential Elimination of Federal GT Funding

September 1, 2008

Education Week brought to our attention, in a subscriber-only article, the fact that President Bush has, once again, requested elimination of the hallmark Javits Grant program for gifted and talented education.

This grant program, in the government’s own words, “Supports research, demonstration projects, and other activities designed to help elementary and secondary schools meet the needs of gifted and talented students.”

In 2008 the program was funded at $7.5 million.  This compares to $6 billion for Reading First, a program about which the Washington Post says: “Students enrolled in a $6 billion federal reading program…are not reading any better than those who don’t participate, according to a U.S. government report.” It also compares to 2008 special education expenditures of $15 billion.

The White House rationale for dropping the munificent funding for the Javits program: “Most gifted and talented education programs in the U.S. are implemented without Federal support,
and the program, by making a handful of grants each year, does little to increase the availability of gifted and talented programs in schools, increase the quality of those programs, or advance the field of gifted and talented education nationally.”

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