We have once again veered off topic on another post onto the topic of the points allocations and associated programs for students labeled as gifted. The gifted label provides what we call FTE (full time equivalent) points of 1.667. As a comparison, a typical high school student with regular services counts for 1.0 FTE points, a kindergartner counts as 1.6585 points and special education students can range from 1.3 to 2.5 or more. Principals are given point totals for the students in their buildings and use them to hire the necessary staff. In doing so, they have to follow the legal requirements for services for special education and gifted students. We often hear that some principals may be pooling these extra points to fund school wide benefits like art, music and PE, with the stated reasoning that "the special ed and gifted students also enjoy these extras." We also often wonder exactly how the magnet programs for high achievers are funded, and if they are causing harm to students who are identified as gifted, but do not win a seat at the magnet table in the lottery and must take the services offered at their assigned neighborhood school.
For more information on the gifted points allocations, read our recent post on the subject:
Gifted and Magnet School Data Now Available
Additionally, you can click the link below to access the FTE assignments by school proposed in the 2012 budget.
Proposed 2012 Budget
For more in-depth but easy to understand information on FTE, click here to download a great Powerpoint called FTE for Dummies written by Paige Cooley of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System.
Also, click here for the FTE resources produced by the state.
Here is a link to the state's requirements for gifted labeling.