Local lawmaker sponsors push for more funding for gifted student programs

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ATHENS, Ala. (WHNT) - There's a bill moving through the legislature that could bring in new money for gifted students across the state.

Senator Arthur Orr of Decatur sponsored it, arguing other states are investing more in their gifted programs and there's a lot of enthusiasm to do it here.

Limestone County school superintendent Tom Sisk is very interested.

From 1st thru 12th grade in Limestone County, students who qualify for gifted programs are accommodated.

"We do a centralized gifted program," said Sisk.

"We actually have units set up at our career technical center. And so we bus the students in from across the county into a centralized program."

Sisk applauds State Senator Arthur Orr's efforts to find more funding for education.

"We need more funding for gifted children in Alabama," said Orr.

He sponsored a bill to find money from taxpayers and the state to bump up resources for gifted children.

He said he's grateful for what is earmarked for Students with disabilities, but believes more should be done for students who excel.

So here is his plan:

"Our local systems, Madison, Huntsville, Athens, Decatur, the county systems, can apply for a grant and match a grant and pull down more dollars for their gifted programs in their particular school districts," Orr explained.

He says because he's talking about thousands of dollars and not millions, it's doable. And Sisk says there's plenty of evidence that gifted programs work.

"We see the byproduct," said Sisk. "We see it in the terms of the number of kids who go off to college successfully, that don't need remedial classes."

The bill has passed the full Senate and is headed to the House for consideration.