Letter: Don’t cut gifted education
To the editor:
Even in this economic climate, it is critical for USD 204 to retain high quality services for our advanced learners. Gifted education services are mandated by the State of Kansas under special education because gifted learners have needs that cannot be met solely by the general education program. The district's Expeditionary Learning School ‘s program has been described as "gifted education for everyone." That is counter to the laws and regulations and cannot be a replacement for special education services.
While each child is special to us, not all children have exceptional academic potential that requires individualized support. Some people simply learn significantly faster and with more intensity. All children are deserving of learning something new everyday. What may be rigorous and relevant to one student may not be to another. That is where gifted education services come in.
When our students are not intellectually stimulated and are not educated to their full potential, we are jeopardizing our ability to compete in a global society. I appreciate the district vowing to continue the ELS program, but I emphatically believe that in doing so, there should be no cuts in gifted services that are provided through special education.