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Florida Gifted Information &  Resources

Updated March 15, 2011

On this page:

Organization & Agency Contacts
Identification & Eligibility for Gifted Programs & Services
Gifted Program Options
State Laws, Regulations, & Legal Issues: Due Process, Filing a Complaint
Reports and Statistics
Summer Opportunities


Organization & Agency Contacts  

Links to District, School, and Parent Group Websites
School District Gifted Coordinators/Contacts  - contact Donnajo Smith, Program Specialist for Gifted or the local school district.
Florida Association for the Gifted
Florida Federation of Council for Exceptional Children
Department of Education Contact for Gifted     Donnajo Smith, Program Specialist for Gifted
Florida Department of Education Gifted Webpage

University Endorsement and Graduate Programs for Gifted

      University of South Florida -    Gifted Endorsement Courses and Online Masters Degree in Gifted Education  (2 yr. program)
      University of Central Florida - 
Endorsement Certificate in Gifted Education & Masters in Curriculum & Instruc. - Specialization in Gifted
Identification & Eligibility for Gifted Programs & Services  

Eligibility for gifted programs is governed by FL Administrative Rule: 
6A-6.03019 Special Instructional Programs for Students Who Are Gifted 

Gifted Program Options  

Although the State of Florida currently mandates identification & services for gifted students, the types and quality of services are left to local districts and schools to determine. HERE is a draft resource guide from the Florida Department of Education, which includes acceptable gifted program delivery models.

Acceleration Mechanisms  (IB, AICE, dual enrollment, early admission, credit by exam)
State Laws, Regulations, & Legal Issues  
Services for students in Florida who meet "gifted" eligibility requirements are mandated by state statute, regulated by Department of Education Administrative Rules, and funded annually by the FL Legislature.


(Laws established by the Legislature)

Title XLVIII - K-20 Education Code

Florida's "gifted mandate"  -- 1001.01 Definitions

3)(a)  EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT.--The term "exceptional student" means any student who has been   determined eligible for a special program in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education. The term includes students who are gifted and students with disabilities who are mentally handicapped, speech and language impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, dual sensory impaired, physically impaired, emotionally handicapped, specific learning disabled, hospital and homebound, autistic, developmentally delayed children, ages birth through 5 years, or children with established conditions, ages birth through 2 years, with
established conditions that are identified in State Board of Education rules pursuant to s.1003.21(1)(e).

“Special education services” means specially designed instruction and such related services as are necessary for an exceptional student to benefit from education. Such services may include: transportation; diagnostic and evaluation services; social services; physical and occupational therapy; speech and language pathology services; job placement; orientation and mobility training; braillists, typists, and readers for the blind; interpreters and auditory amplification; rehabilitation counseling; transition services; mental health services; guidance and career counseling; specified materials, assistive technology devices, and other specialized equipment; and other such services as approved by rules of the state board.

1003.57  - Exceptional Student Instruction

Funding for gifted education in Florida is provided through the ESE Guaranteed Allocation, which is basically a block grant. The legislature may choose to increase the funding due to ncreases in the cost of living and/or increases in the number of students identified as exceptional.
1011.62 -  Funds for operation of schools  (1)(e)2
For students identified as exceptional who do not have a matrix of services and students who are gifted in grades K through 8, there is created a guaranteed allocation to provide these students with a free appropriate public education, in accordance with s. 1001.42(4)(m) and rules of the State Board of Education, which shall be allocated annually to each school district in the amount provided in the General Appropriations Act. These funds shall be in addition to the funds appropriated on the basis of FTE student membership in the Florida Education Finance Program, and the amount allocated for each school district shall not be recalculated during the year. These funds shall be used to provide special education and related services for exceptional students and students who are gifted in grades K through 8.Beginning with the 2007-2008 fiscal year, a district's expenditure of funds from the guaranteed allocation for students in grades 9 through 12 who are gifted may not be greater than the amount expended during the 2006-2007 fiscal year for gifted students in grades 9 through 12.


(State Board of Education Rules which implement the statute/s & are developed by the Dept. of Education, with public input & voted on by the Florida State Board of Education (not the Legislature.)

Florida's Administrative Code - FAC Online  (searchable database)
State Board of Education Rules
  In Florida, gifted ed. falls under Exceptional Student Education. Any rule title or phrase in a rule which states "exceptional student education" or "exceptional students" includes students who are gifted.  A rule title or phrase in a rule stating "students with disabilities does not refer to gifted students.

Each district adopts policies and procedures implementing the state statutes and rules. These are public documents and may be requested from your district.  The title of the document is:  Policies and Procedures for the Provision of Specially Designed Instruction and Related Services for Exceptional Students, often referred to as the SP & P.*


6A-6.03019 Special Instructional Programs
for Students Who Are Gifted 

The "Gifted Rule" governing student eligibility for gifted service in Florida..


6A-6.03313 Procedural Safeguards for Exceptional Students who are Gifted

Rights regarding notice, informed consent,private evaluation for gifted eligible students.. Complaint procedures.  https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleNo.asp?ID=6A-6.03313


6A-6.0331 Identification and Determination of Eligibility of Exceptional Students for Specially Designed Instruction

The state mandated process and procedures for the formal identification of exceptional students, including for gifted programs/services..


6A-6.030191 Development of Educational Plans for Exceptional Students Who are Gifted

The state mandated process for the development and review of a gifted student's education plan.


6A-4.01791 Specialization Requirements for the Gifted Endorsement

Requirements for teachers of the gifted.
Note: the teacher may be working on the coursework while teaching gifted students.


6A-6.0034  Temporary Assignment of Transferring Exceptional Students

6A-6.0312 Course Modifications for Exceptional

Educational Plans for students who transfer school districts within Florida https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ruleNo.asp?ID=6A-6.0334



6A-7.099 Challenge Grant Program for the Gifted



Competitive grants for districts/teachers of the gifted awarded annually.
   (and fought for annually during the legislative funding process!)



6A-1.09414 Course Descriptions For Grades 6-12, Exceptional Student Education

6A-6.03411  Policies and Procedures for the Provision of Specially Designed Instruction and Related Services for Exceptional Students

The rule spells
out for districts what must be included in their local policies and procedures
(SP & P) document regarding exceptional student programs & services.




DOE Technical Assistance Papers & Memos  - guidance provided to school districts.


  • Response to Intervention for Gifted Learners - Memo dated January 19, 2009  (PDF)
  • Clarification: Response to Intervention for Gifted Learners - Memo dated February 5, 2009  (PDF)
  • Services for Secondary Students who are Gifted (PDF)
  • Development of Educational Plans for Students Who Are Gifted (PDF)
  • Acceleration of Gifted Students
  • Assessing Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students for Eligibility for Gifted Programs (PDF)
  • Nonverbal Tests of Intelligence (PDF)
  • Use of Part Scores of Intelligence (PDF)
  • Standard Error of Measurement (PDF)
  • Clarification of Service Delivery Models for Students who are Gifted (PDF Memo)
                    note:  This memo is no longer on the FLDOE website, but FGN has left it up for historical purposes.

  • State Complaint Process

    Request for Due Process Hearing

  • Request for ESE Due Process Form (PDF, 148KB)
  • Report of Due Process Resolution Information Prior to Hearing
  • Due Process Hearing Orders (Redacted)

  • Monitoring and Compliance
    ESE Program Monitoring  

    "In carrying out its roles of leadership, resource allocation, technical assistance, monitoring, and evaluation, the Bureau of Instructional Support and Community Services is required to examine and evaluate procedures, records, and programs of exceptional student education; provide information and assistance to school districts; and assist the districts in operating effectively and efficiently."

    Due Process

    Procedural Safeguards for Gifted

    Summaries of Due Process Hearing in Exceptional Student Education    (not up to date)
    Summary of Agency Orders  (not up to date)

    Reports & Statistics    

    Important OPPAGA Reports

    Report No. 10-36 Some Progress Made in Monitoring Services for Gifted Students; Additional Steps Needed, published in April 2010.
    Report No. 08-01 Florida’s Gifted  (note: this study lacked validity & reliability)

    Report No. 95-45 Information Brief of Florida's K-12 Gifted Program (March 1996)
    Report No. 96-06 Review of Florida's K-12 Gifted Program (September 1996)
    Report No. 96-83 Review of the Exceptional Student Education Program (April 1997)  

    Review of Florida's Education Funding System - 1996
    Report No. 95-50 Florida's Education Funding System (April 1996)
    Report No. 95-43 Florida's Education Finance System Compared to Other States (March 1996)

    Summer Opportunities for Gifted Students     under construction
    Governor's Summer Program  - provides an opportunity for Florida's outstanding gifted and high-achieving students to participate in and use the resources of the universities and colleges of the State of Florida. Program proposals are submitted annually. Check with the gifted coordinator/contact for your school district regarding upcoming program information.
    Scholarships   under construction
    Scobee Scholarship - Sponsored by the Florida Association for the Gifted.