SUMMARIES of Bills for the 2023 Session:


SB 595 : allocates one percent of the State School Fund for TAG. 

--One quarter of that would go to the Oregon Department of Education for technical support and grants "as provided by rule of the State Board of Education."

-A second quarter goes to ESDs serving small and rural districts to provide technical support, identification and assessment services and professional development.

--The remaining half would go to districts based on their total weighted average daily student enrollment.  This half would be distributed "as provided by ORS 343.399." I have copied that statute below. Note that the Oregon Department of Education is already asking districts to provide most or all of the information  that this statute calls for on a new form starting this spring. There is a "maintenance of effort" clause attached to this provision (districts can't substitute the new funding for the amount they are already spending on TAG). 

If we assume that the state education budget is about $9 billion per biennium, it would be about $4.5 billion per year.  One percent of that would be $45 million.  That's still much smaller than ELL formula allocations ($220 million) or Special Education ($1.2 billion).  It is less than was allocated by several other states. (some states didn't report and in a couple of cases the data  are unclear). Washington State allocated a little more than $30 million in 2020-1.

This bill does not offer any incentive for districts to over- or under- identify students because the amount is distributed by total enrollment, not by number of identified students.

Although the new identification rule may increase the identified TAG population, assuming the current population, this would provide a little more than $1,000 per TAG student; $500 to the student's district for services and $500 to the state and ESDs for support and training.

Nineteen Oregon districts currently spend more than $500 per TAG student (in addition, Bandon was at $499) so this represents a realistic service budget. Many of the highest-spending districts were small districts trying to do the right thing by their students. These districts would especially benefit from access to regional support.  Other districts are simply ignoring the need to the detriment of their students.


SB 736 calls for a study to find out how to increase access for advanced instruction to prepare students for college and career. In some large districts with several high schools, a district may claim to offer advanced classes without noting that they were not equally available in every high school. The study might also address issues such as access to advanced classes in middle school and the outcomes of Oregon's new recommended math sequence.

SB 596
addresses issues related to TAG data reporting at the state and district level.

 This was in part triggered by the declaration of the State Board of Education that stripped TAG students and high-achieving students out of the portions of the Student Success Act that were designed for students in groups with special needs.  Ignoring the comments by the SSA workgroup concerning the neglect of our TAG students, and the evidence showing major differences in spending and services from one district to another, the Board declared that:
“Lack of access to programs for academically gifted and high-achieving students does not constitute facing academic disparities.”

The Board was referencing a section of the SSA that that spells out groups of "underserved" students experiencing disparities who will be explicitly included in SSA plans and for whom there will be "longitudinal growth targets."  Several other provisions of the SSA and even of other bills, laws, and rules reference this section, so when TAG students were excluded from this section of the SSA. TAG students were also left behind when the state developed its ESSA accountability plan. 

The bill calls for a breakdown of TAG students by income, ethnicity, ELL, and Special education status  compared to the overall population in a district.  It also calls for district-level reports on spending for services, student performance, course taking, FTE and staff credentials, and results of parent surveys "on the adequacy of instruction provided to talented and gifted children.," and also adds this data to the state report card together with district size.

Taken together, the three bills provide for resources and accountability.  It would also enable us to know whether the new rules were working as intended. 

--ORS 343.399 details the way TAG spending is to be used.  It is referenced in LC 2547 so I have copied it below:

     ORS  343.399 State aid to local districts; criteria. (1) Any school district may apply for state funds for special programs and services for talented and gifted children identified in the district. A school district may apply for state funds by submitting an application to the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

      (2) The superintendent shall annually establish a date after which no further applications for state funds may be submitted under this section.

      (3) The superintendent may approve only applications that comply with ORS 343.391 to 343.413 and rules adopted by the State Board of Education. Any criteria used by the superintendent to evaluate applications shall include, but need not be limited to:

      (a) A statement of the school district?s present level of special educational programs and services for talented and gifted children and how the special educational programs and services contained in the application conform with the school district?s written plan for instruction for talented and gifted children described in ORS 343.397.

      (b) Identification procedures that comply with rules adopted by the board.

      (c) A detailed budget for the program expenditures.

      (d) A description of the individual student assessment and evaluative procedures and tools.

      (e) A justification of special educational services and programs for talented and gifted children identified in the school district in terms of the student assessment and evaluation.

      (f) An evaluation design that meets standards set forth by the Department of Education.

      (4) The superintendent may not approve an application unless the school district agrees to expend district funds for special educational programs for talented and gifted children in an amount equal to or greater than the amount of state funds approved by the superintendent. [1959 c.528 ?8; 1963 c.570 ?24; 1965 c.100 ?411; 1971 c.613 ?4; 1979 c.385 ?4; 2011 c.440 ?3]