56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023


Christine Trujillo and Reena Szczepanski and Raymundo Lara

and Susan K. Herrera and Debra M. Sariñana









     SECTION 1. Section 22-13-6.1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1994, Chapter 25, Section 2, as amended) is amended to read:


          A. The department shall promulgate rules to adopt standards pertaining to universal screening and the determination of who is a gifted [child] student and shall:

                (1) publish those standards as part of the educational standards for New Mexico schools;

                (2) establish standards for equity and excellence in gifted education based on national association for gifted children pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade programming standards;

                (3) publish the standards established pursuant to Paragraph (2) of this subsection as part of the educational standards for New Mexico public schools;

                (4) triannually evaluate the effectiveness of each school district's gifted education programming and annually evaluate the equity of identification statewide in each school district and charter school;

                (5) create a funding code to track funds spent on gifted education and periodically audit public school and school district use of funds generated by the state equalization guarantee distribution for gifted education; and

                (6) include proportionality of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, language and disability group participation of gifted education and advanced performance in state accountability reporting.

          B. In adopting standards to determine who is a gifted [child] student, the department shall:

                (1) provide for universal screening and automatic identification of students obtaining advanced performance levels on state achievement tests; and

                (2) provide for the evaluation of selected school-age [children] students by multidisciplinary teams from each [child's] student's school district. That team shall be vested with the authority to designate a [child] student as gifted. The team shall consider information regarding a [child's] student's cultural and linguistic background and socioeconomic background in the identification, referral and evaluation process. The team also shall consider any disabling condition in the identification, referral and evaluation process. No single test, criterion or gatekeeping procedure, such as intelligence quotient or teacher referral, shall be permitted to disallow a student from identification.

          C. Each school district [offering a gifted education program] shall:

                (1) develop policies and procedures for universal screening;

                (2) develop policies and procedures to allow any student who may benefit to receive gifted identification and services in a timely manner; and

                (3) annually evaluate the equity and effectiveness of gifted identification and services compared to state standards for excellence and report to the school district's gifted education advisory committee.

          D. Each school district shall create one or more gifted education advisory committees of parents, community members, students and school staff members. The school district may create as many advisory committees as there are high schools in the district or may create a single districtwide advisory committee. The membership of each advisory committee shall reflect the cultural diversity of the enrollment of the school district or the schools the committee advises. The advisory committee shall regularly review the goals and priorities of the gifted [program] education services, including the operational plans for student identification, evaluation, placement and service delivery, and shall demonstrate support for the gifted [program] education services.

          [D.] E. In determining whether a [child] student is gifted, the multidisciplinary team shall consider diagnostic or other evidence of the [child's] student's:

                (1) creativity or divergent-thinking ability;

                (2) critical-thinking or problem-solving ability;

                (3) intelligence; [and]

                (4) achievement;

                (5) artistry;

                (6) leadership; and

                (7) aptitude in specific academic areas.

          F. School districts shall:

                (1) adopt an academic acceleration and enrichment policy that includes all of the following:

                     (a) a range of options such as: 1) skipping grades; 2) advancement by one or more grade levels in a single subject; 3) enrollment in concurrent high school and college credit courses; 4) credit for demonstrated mastery of subject matter; and 5) other research-based interventions for gifted and high-ability students such as school-wide enrichment;

                     (b) specified nondiscrimination and inclusiveness of all students, including those with disabilities, language differences and socioeconomic differences;

                     (c) provisions that the individualized education program team may make acceleration and enrichment decisions for students identified as gifted and that the student assistance team or district gifted education coordinator may make acceleration and enrichment decisions for other advanced students not identified as gifted; and

                     (d) inclusion of procedures for: 1) appeal and due process; and 2) safe reversion of placement within a reasonable time frame if the acceleration is ineffective;

                (2) uphold the student's right to accelerate through a dual-credit or concurrent credit course in the event that the student's home school offers the course that would allow the student to earn credit toward graduation;

                (3) provide special supports for disadvantaged and disabled students who are also identified as gifted pursuant to this section to participate in acceleration and enrichment; and

                (4) accept accelerated credit or college credit earned at accredited schools toward graduation from the student's home high school.

          G. A twice-exceptional student shall continue to be eligible for special education and related services even though the person achieves a high score on an achievement test.

          H. As used in this section, "twice-exceptional" means a student who qualifies as a gifted student and meets the criteria for a disability under federal law."

     SECTION 2. A new section of the School Personnel Act is enacted to read:

     "[NEW MATERIAL] TEACHER PREPARATION FOR GIFTED EDUCATION.--The department shall develop standards for teacher preparation based on national association for gifted children council for exceptional children teacher preparation standards. Standards for gifted education teachers shall include standards for teachers who provide services across educational domains and standards for gifted education and talent development in specific educational domains."

     SECTION 3. APPROPRIATION.--One million dollars ($1,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the public education department for expenditure in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 to assist public schools with implementing universal screening for gifted education. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2024 shall revert to the general fund.

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