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HB 347
SHORT TITLE Gifted Education Teacher Requirements
ANALYST Escudero
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
or Non-Rec
General Fund
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
FY08 FY09
FY10 3 Year
Total Cost
Recurring or
$169.0 Non-Recurring
Recurring General
LFC Files
Responses Received From
Public Education Department (PED)
Synopsis of Bill
House Bill 347 requires the Public Education Department to establish an assessment examination
and competencies for teachers of Gifted Education. Additionally, this bill requires teachers of
Gifted Education to complete the following:
a minimum of twelve graduate course hours in the teaching of gifted students from an
accredited college or university
pass a state-approved assessment examination for gifted education or
complete three or more years of gifted education teaching and successfully complete
a portfolio process reviewed by two or more individuals who already meet the highly
qualified requirement for gifted education teachers.
House Bill 347 – Page
The bill appropriates $200.0 to the PED for expenditure in fiscal year 2009 and subsequent fiscal
years to increase the gifted consultant position in the department to a full-time position, to
provide for professional development of teachers to meet the requirements for a gifted education
teacher, to increase the number of highly qualified gifted education teachers and to provide for
an annual summer institute on gifted education.
The effective date of the bill is July 1, 2008.
The appropriation of $200.0 contained in this bill is a recurring expense to the genera fund. Any
unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of FY09 shall revert to the general
According to PED, it is estimated that the $200.0 appropriation would only cover about one-
fourth of the projected costs. The Online Alternative License Portfolio cost approximately
$700.0 and three years to develop. Ongoing expenses for maintaining the online portfolio
system are estimated to be $50.0 annually. The bill has a requirement for an annual summer
institute. Summer institutes, without providing books and materials or paying stipends to
attendees, cost approximately $50.0.
Further, this bill requires that a full-time position be allocated to the PED. Currently, the
position allocated is .50 FTE. This would require PED to purchase an additional .50 FTE. The
cost for an additional .50 FTE for an Education Administrator – A is $25.50 X 1040 X 30%
benefits, or $34,476. It should be noted that this position is currently a temporary full-time
position, with the person working at half-time status. The position needs to be established and
created as a permanent position.
According to PED, general education requirements are governed through statute while licensure
requirements are governed through PED rule. This would be the only license that would be
governed through statute and, therefore, would require legislative approval in order to make any
Prior to July 1, 1987, Special Education was an endorsement on a teaching license. Individuals
were required to meet requirements for an elementary or secondary teaching certificate. Further,
they needed to complete a minimum of 24 semester hours in a special education program.
Fifteen of the semester hours had to correspond to one of nine areas: General Special Education,
Education of the Communicatively Disordered Child, Education of the Hearing Impaired/Deaf
Child, Education of the Visually Impaired/Blind Child, Education of the Gifted Child, Education
of the Learning Disabled Child, Education of the Child with Behavioral Disorders, Education of
the Physically Impaired Child and Education of the Mentally Handicapped Child.
The rule further stated that individuals requesting the Education of the Gifted endorsement only
would meet the requirements for the endorsement by completing 15 semester hours in gifted
education. 24 semester hours in special education were not required. The question regarding
those 15 hours was, would they be in the pedagogy of teaching gifted or academic content
coursework in areas to be taught.
House Bill 347 – Page
Effective July 1, 1987, New Mexico implemented the broad-based competency-based license in
special education that created a Special Education License and eliminated the requirement of 15
semester hours in specialty areas.
This bill requires the Public Education Department to add three hours in Gifted Education to the
current teacher preparation programs by 2010 and thereafter. This requirement would either
increase the number of hours that it currently takes to complete a program in education or would
require that one of the existing courses be eliminated.
Currently the requirements are as follows:
Twelve hours in English
Twelve hours in History, including American History and Western Civilization
Six hours in Mathematics
Six hours in Government, Economics or Sociology
Twelve hours in science, including Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Zoology and
Botany, and
Six hours in Fine Arts.
Additionally, universities would have to develop and add courses in Gifted Education. PED
questions if they are prepared to make such offerings.
This bill also requires that teachers of Gifted Education complete a minimum of 12 graduate
hours in the teaching of Gifted and pass a state-approved assessment examination for Gifted
Education. Currently a teacher must complete 24 hours (12 lower division and 12 upper
division) in order to get an endorsement. If a teacher currently has an endorsement, they may
take a test and get an additional endorsement. Completing a minimum of 12 graduate hours in
the teaching of Gifted doesn’t meet the current New Mexico rule for endorsements. Additionally
not all in-state universities offer courses in Gifted Education and, if they do, they are under the
umbrella of Special Education. All of the four-year institutions in New Mexico would have to
develop programs for Gifted Education and two-year institutions would be excluded from
offering classes because the bill requires that the additional hours have to be graduate-level
The requirement that allows for passing a state-approved assessment examination as an avenue
for being qualified to teach Gifted Education means that the Public Education Department would
have to work with a testing company to develop an exam. The testing companies do not charge
for this service because they recoup their expenses from the individuals who take the test.
Things to consider would be where and when the exam would be administered, the format and
the cost to the teacher.
The bill’s requirement for completing a portfolio process for individuals with three or more years
of experience is both costly and time consuming. The cost for the Online Alternative License
Portfolio was approximately $700.0 and took three years to implement. To be consistent with
the direction that the Public Education Department is taking, the portfolio for Gifted Education
teachers needs to be an online process with external reviewers.
House Bill 347 – Page
Finally, there were 474 unduplicated teachers who taught gifted in 2006-2007 on the 120
-day of
reporting, according to the Student Teacher Accountability Reporting System (STARS).
As stated by PED, the administrative impacts will come in dedicating three years of staff time
and work to the development of the Online Alternative Portfolio Assessment. This work
involves convening and staffing a regularly scheduled diverse work group consisting of
representatives from the educational gifted community. It also includes developing teacher
professional development and conducting trainings and institutes to implement the system
statewide for both districts and teachers. The PED could not absorb the increased cost and
workload-associated from implementing the provisions of the bill.
As stated by PED, the use of “Highly Qualified" in Section 1-B and Section 1-C: “Highly
Qualified" is a requirement under NCLB and not a licensure requirement in New Mexico. The
use of this term intermingles state and federal requirements. At this time there are no federal
requirements specifically addressing Highly Qualified requirements for gifted teachers.
The language in Section 3 that requires the public education consultant to provide professional
development so that teachers can meet the requirements for Gifted Education teachers creates a
conflict. PED personnel cannot give teachers university credit for professional development.
The bill requires graduate-level course work in order to meet the additional 12-hour requirement.