Perry A. Zirkel
This monograph provides a comprehensive, concise, and current overview of the law—specifically, legislation, regulations, and published court/administrative decisions—relating to gifted education for K-12 students. For students whose legal rights are based solely on their gifted status, the law largely boils down to (a) varying state statutes and/or regulations, and (b) for states with relatively “strong” (e.g., mandated individualized programming and impartial dispute-resolution mechanism) legislation/regulations, with Pennsylvania being the prime example to date, published hearing/review officer and court decisions that have enforced, but not expanded, the requirements for individualized programming. For gifted students who are also covered by other special status, such as those who have a disability or who are racial minorities, the legal issues are more complex and largely based on federal civil rights laws. For these “gifted-plus” students, the principal legal forums have been the U.S. Office for Civil Rights and the administrative/judicial process of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The leading issues in the gifted-plus cases to date have been eligibility, including underrepresentation, and free appropriate public education. The narrative portion of the monograph provides an impartial and a systematic summary of the law for the lay reader, whereas the appendices and endnotes provide rather thorough and cited support for legal specialists.
The Law on Gifted Education
Perry A. Zirkel
- The law of gifted education is largely a matter of state statutes, regulations, court decisions, and public hearing/review officer decisions.
- Students who are “gifted-plus” (legally covered as disabled or minority as well as gifted) pose complex and difficult problems.
- Unless and until parents and school districts collaborate on establishing defined policies and law on gifted education, parents will be left to adversarial litigation, which often proves to be insufficient.