Created in the 2008 General Session, the High-Ability Student Initiative provides "for educators to enhance the academic growth of high-ability students" (UCA 53A-17a-160). The program supports four main program functions. First, an internet-based resource center to disseminate information about high-ability students to teachers, parents, administrators and the community. Second, teacher professional development to train teachers in identifying high-ability students, implement strategies to meet the educational needs of high-ability students, and enhance teacher collaboration and networking. Third, assistance to teachers in obtaining an endorsement for gifted and talented education. Finally, statute requires an evaluation of the program by a qualified evaluator.
Formula -- Appropriated funding supports up to 250 grants (up to $2,500 each) to encourage teachers to obtain an endorsement for gifted and talented education. Teachers are required to provide matching funds for 50 percent of the grant amount. Program funding also provides for the independent program evaluation and up to 60 stipends ($1,500 each) for teachers that participate in the evaluation.
Participation in the High Ability Student Initiative is voluntary for teachers, school districts, and charter schools. If a school district or charter school chooses to participate, program funding cannot be used to supplant funds for existing high-ability student programs.
During the 2015 General Session, the Legislature appropriated for Fiscal Year 2016, $0 from all sources for High-Ability Student Initiative. This is a 0 percent change from Fiscal Year 2015 revised estimated amounts from all sources.
The Legislature repealed statutes governing the program. Program funding was transferred to the Enhancement for Accelerated Students program. Please refer to this program for statutory authority.
The Legislature intends that the State Board of Education review the Pupil Transportation Allocation Formula and recommend ways to improve the formula to increase efficiency, simplify allocation methodology to school districts, and provide incentives for alternative transportation methods. The Legislature further intends that the State Board of Education report its recommendations to the Education Interim Committee and the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee by October 31, 2015.
HB0002: Item 2
The Legislature intends that the State Board of Education and State Board of Regents provide joint recommendations on how to ensure that each concurrent enrollment course is taught by a qualified instructor, that credits earned by students count towards major and minor degree requirements at state colleges and universities, and that students are advised on the transferability of credits to private and out of state institutions. The Legislature also intends that these recommendations be reported to the Education Interim Committee and the Public Education Appropriations Committee by October 31, 2015.
Beginning in FY 2012, the High-Ability Student Initiative program was combined into a new program titled "Enhancement for Accelerated Students." Please refer to this program for additional information.
COBI contains unaudited data as presented to the Legislature by state agencies at the time of publication. For audited financial data see the State of Utah's Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports.