Gifted education is supported in the state through eleven regional network systems. Gifted education regional consultants (GERCs) serve as leaders and facilitators of technical assistance and professional development for successful implementation of the administrative unit's (AU's) comprehensive program plan. A regional grant supports the network structure and personnel. A Fiscal Agent is designated for each region to be the accountant for the regional grant funds. The GERCs also serve as representatives on the Gifted Forum and Gifted Education State Advisory Committee (GE-SAC).
Administrative Unit (AU):
“Administrative Unit” means a school district, a board of cooperative services, or the state charter school institute that is providing educational services to exceptional children and that is responsible for the local administration of this Act - ECEA (Exceptional Children’s Education Act). Gifted education is administered and funded through the administrative unit, same as special education. Provisions for the implementation of identification of exceptional children, gifted education program elements, and accountability are supported through the administrative unit.
Gifted Education Regional Consultant (GERC):
The GERC is a member of a statewide regional grant team that serves AUs in education regions and collaborates on statewide initiatives, materials, and reviews for the benefit of administrative units. The GERC is an employee or a consultant of the administrative unit retaining fiscal agent duties of the grant, for the administrative units of the specific region. The GERC serves all administrative units in a region.
For purposes of the Gifted Education Regional Grant Program, the fiscal agent is the administrative unit that agrees to be the accountant for grant funds and the hiring agent or contractor for the gifted education regional consultant.
Purpose of GERC Grant Program:
- Provide funds for a gifted education regional consultant who will facilitate a specific regional AU network
- Provide support, consultation and technical assistance to AU directors and coordinators of gifted programs
- Foster collaboration and sharing of resources among AU directors/coordinators for implementing program plans and accountability practices
- Provide selected professional development experiences coordinated with the regional AU directors/coordinators to increase capacity of educators to identify and program for students with exceptional potential
- Provide the alignment, common resources, and consistency of the State’s provisions for gifted education through GERC participation in statewide reviews, resource development efforts, and GERC meetings
- Create an attitude of “esprit de corps” among educators and families in gifted education with high relationship and integrity of work and collaboration