What you need to know about GT funding!

Funding for our gifted and talented learners can be complicated and we want to make the information easy and accessible for our stakeholders.

Below we had provided information about state GT funding that have impacted gifted education and that continues to be a battle for our gifted students to receive equitable increases in needed funds to support these unique learners.

CAGT wants to put all of the information we have about funds for gifted learners and their education in one place for our stakeholders to access. We will continue to update this information as we receive it. Please check back periodically for current updates.

Gifted and Talented Funding in Colorado

How does Colorado financially support gifted learners and their education?

All school districts receive categorical funding for formally identified GT students which supplements, and not supplants, per pupil funding in the annual School Finance Act. Check out the links below to learn more.

CAGT Funding Goals for 2022:

CAGT will continue to advocate for more monies to get the Universal Screening/Qualified Personnel Grant fully funded. It is our hope to get the grant funded so that every school can screen each student, who is not already identified as gifted, in 2nd and 6th grades. This grant will also pay for a full time qualified person in every AU and BOCES.

Links Concerning GT Funding in Colorado

Funding Links

To become familiar with and understand school finance visit the links below.

  • Gifted Funding in Colorado  A general overview of gifted funding in Colorado
  • 2020 School Finance in Colorado (from Legislative Council)  Gifted and Talented student funding is provided for in Colorado within the Categorical Fund, as explained above.  The Legislative Council publishes this document on overall school finance, and page 33 of this document explains what categoricals are and what current distributions for the last school year look like.
  • Gifted Student Enrollment and Per Student Funding (from Colorado School Finance Project)  These graphs give a quick overview showing the number of gifted students identified in Colorado as well as the fluctuation in funding per student.  This fluctuation is largely due to inconsistent increases in the gifted categorical funds that are less than inflation, meaning money must be spread among increasing costs of materials and personnel that are more than the inflationary amount.

Funding for the USQP Grant

In 2015, CAGT was the driving force behind establishing a law requiring Universal Screening and Qualified Personnel in Colorado, making Colorado one of very few states nationally to put this practice into a legal requirement. However, the amount of the USQP grant has not been increased since it’s origination in 2015. While the student population continues to increase, the costs of the needed tests for screening and costs for qualified personnel are increasing faster. This graph shows this dichotomy.

Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by gifted professionals in our state is a lack of equity in identification.  Students who attend Title I schools are only identified at 47% of the rate of those who attend non-Title I schools.  Essentially, this means that while the right doors have been opened through legal mandates, students are less likely to walk through those doors if they are in a Title I school.  Colorado ranks 39th in the nation in equity of identification.  The problem is compounded if students are from a racial or ethnic minority as well.  Overall, the best estimates show we are missing between 17,000 and 22,000 students in our state who should be identified and served as gifted but are not.