Thank you for contacting me to share your support for the TALENT Act. I appreciate your continuing advocacy for the education of gifted and talented students.
This legislation aims to address the needs of gifted students through assessment requirements and increased support for educators, and authorizes funding for an entity to develop and disseminate best practices for meeting the needs of gifted students, among other provisions. The TALENT Act was introduced on April 14, 2011, and was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions for further review.
I anticipate that the education of gifted students will be discussed during a reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act; however, it remains unclear when a formal reauthorization may occur. I will continue to monitor discussions in Congress, as well as any proposals that are made by the Obama Administration and key stakeholders in the education field, in anticipation of future consideration of a reauthorization.
The foundation for a quality education begins at a young age, which is why I have supported efforts at the federal level for early childhood education and child development. For example, I strongly support funding for the Head Start program. In my estimation, Head Start is one of the most valuable programs funded by the federal government. This program has proven beneficial as it serves to prepare children for school and emphasizes parental involvement in the development of their children. The recently passed Continuing Resolution to fund the government for the rest of fiscal year 2011 included approximately $7.5 billion for Head Start.
I also believe that early literacy is a key indicator of a child's future success. Fostering a love of literature through daily reading plays an important role in reaching that goal. Toward that end, I have partnered with the Indiana State Teacher's Association (ISTA) in conducting the annual Lugar-ISTA book drive. The book drive collects books to be distributed to children who might not otherwise have them at home. Over the last two years, we have collected and distributed nearly 60,000 books. We look forward to expanding this effort this year with the help of the Indiana Library Federation.
Along with early childhood education initiatives, I believe proper nutrition is another key component of academic success, and I have been a strong proponent of child nutrition efforts throughout my career. In 1995, I led the successful opposition to ending the federal school lunch program. I informed my colleagues that the nutritional needs of a poor child who has no choice of geographical location do not differ from state to state and that all children who meet certain criteria should be provided a lunch. As a result of my efforts, the federal school lunch program survived.
I firmly believe that a strong public school system is vital to our state and our nation. While many of our public schools are doing well, some are not. We must keep working toward a day when all children are reaching their potential.
Thank you, again, for contacting me. I hope you will continue to contact me on issues of importance to you.
Richard G. Lugar
United States Senator
Indy’s Own Sycamore School Debuts on
Discovery Channel – June 1, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS -- On Wednesday, June 1, 2011 Sycamore School will be one of four featured schools on The Profiles Series to air at 7:00 a.m. EDT on the Discovery Channel. Sycamore School, located at 1750 West 64th Street in Indianapolis, was selected from more than 150 educational facilities across the country identified for their academic excellence. The Profiles Series, hosted by actor Lou Gossett, Jr., profiles the best and the brightest in several fields. This segment highlights excellence in education. Profiles Series’ episodes focus on today’s emerging advancements and innovative ideas through stories that avoid the negativity of the nightly news and offer positive solutions on the most pressing issues of the day. In addition to the Discovery Channel, The Profiles Series has also aired on The Learning Channel and Bravo Network.
“The Profiles Series’ Associate Producer, Dan Munroe, contacted me after his research team discovered Sycamore School,” says Diane Borgmann, Sycamore’s Head of School. “After much conversation, he became intrigued with our mission to help gifted students realize their potential and invited us to be a part of the segment and broaden our message.”
When asked how she feels about Sycamore School appearing on national TV, Diane remarked, “We are very excited to share our story on the Discovery Channel. Even though our school is well-known and respected by professionals in the field of gifted education, there are families that haven’t discovered us yet. We offer a very special program to gifted kids in Central Indiana.”
Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Sycamore School is the only private, independent, fully-accredited school for the education of the academically gifted from pre-school through eighth grade in the state of Indiana and one of the few in the nation. Its enriched and accelerated curriculum was developed for advanced learners and addresses their special educational, social and emotional needs. “Because of our unique mission and years of experience,” Borgmann says, “this national exposure may even help to encourage talent in the corporate, scientific, and medical communities to relocate to Indianapolis in order to take advantage of this educational opportunity for their children.”
For more information, call Sycamore School Head of School Diane Borgmann at 317-202-2500 or visit www.sycamoreschool.org.