Stavisky, Rozic Announce Legislation to Increase Diversity for Gifted & Talented Programs

Flushing, NY – On the first day of school, Senator Toby Stavisky and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic announced legislation that would boost diversity throughout the Gifted and Talented Program in New York City.

The two elected officials introduced bill S3542/A2240 that would require all students, prior to the 3rd grade, be screened for gifted and talented programs, unless the parent or guardian opts out. The purpose of this legislation is clear: to ensure that all students are screened and benefit from the resources offered by their school districts. Earlier this year the Independent Budget Office estimated it would cost the City $3.8 million to test every student from Pre-K to 2nd grade.

“New York City’s Gifted and Talented Program allows for children who benefit from an accelerated learning experience an opportunity to be challenged in the classroom. This legislation would increase diversity throughout the Gifted and Talented Program and include more students from under-represented populations,” said State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing). “This bill would ensure any child with the ability to excel has the opportunity to flourish and reach their full potential.”

“All students deserve educational opportunities and it is my hope that by broadening access more students will enroll and benefit from accelerated school instruction,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Fresh Meadows). “With the start of the new school year, our school system should take this opportunity to broaden the gateways for students and ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the educational services they deserve.”

In 2015, the School Board of Broward County in Florida issued a report that explained the results of testing each child in the second grade and they found hundreds of additional students who qualified. and 84% of the students came from under-represented populations. Broward County saw an increase of 180% amongst disadvantaged students including, English language learners and those who qualify for free lunch. There was an increase of 130% amongst Hispanic students and an 80% increase of African American students.

The Assemblywoman and Senator sent a letter to the Mayor de Blasio earlier this week to demonstrate their support of the Gifted and Talented Program. Senator Stavisky also announced an online petition on her website for parents to show their support for the gifted and talented legislation.

To view the Senate Bill S3542: