An educator advisory panel is recommending mandating gifted and talented instruction at every school district.
That requirement was eliminated in 2006.
Steve Coxon is chair of the gifted education advisory council. He told the state school board Tuesday that removing the mandate led to a disastrous loss of gifted programs in rural schools.
“One after the other, over 100 programs in the state,” Coxon said. “And that’s a disaster for the talent development and long-term economic viability by draining that talent potential, particularly from our rural areas.”
The number of programs for high-achieving students statewide is rebounding since the recession everywhere but the Bootheel. Gifted programs are more prevalent in urban districts than rural ones.
There are about 32-thousand students in Missouri categorized as gifted.