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Gifted Education Funding Sources

gifted students working together

Four Funding Sources for Gifted Education

  1.  State Categorical Funds:  Gifted Grant Code 3150

Gifted Education funding and distributions from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) are dependent upon annual funding allocations determined by the General Assembly through the Long Appropriations Bill.   These categorical funds are supplemental in nature.  The funds are retained in a separate line item in the Long Bill.  The supplemental funds are set aside under the provision of law for a specific purpose and are distributed on a per-pupil allocation based on the AU’s total enrollment, not the number of identified gifted students.  State funds are determined by a funding formula.

Funds are dispersed to the AU in the fall.  State categorical 3150 funds may change from year to year based on the overall state enrollment, an AU’s enrollment, number of AUs in the state, and total funds allocated by the Legislature.  Expended funds must meet requirements outlined in ECEA Rule 12.02(2)(k).  Carry over of 3150 funds is allowable.  Funds carried over must remain dedicated to the specific purpose outlined in ECEA Rule 12.02(k) and may not be rolled into the AUs general budget.


  1.  Universal Screening & Qualified Personnel:  Gifted Grant Code 3228 

The Exceptional Student Education Act (ECEA) through House Bill 14-1102 permits AUs to apply for grant funds to offset the cost incurred by employing a qualified person to administer the gifted program and/or the costs of universal screening.  When the amount of AU requests exceeds the available grant funds, AUs receive a percentage of the total available funds based on the total amount of funds requested.   Universal Screening and Qualified Personnel (USQP) Grant applications are due on April 15 of each year.  Grants are dependent upon the annual appropriation provided to the Department in any given year and shall be distributed to applicants in accordance with 22-20-205, C.R. S. 

USQP Grant Funds (3228) must be expended by June 30 and are reported in the Expended Budget Report.  The AU may not carry forward funds or roll funds into the AU’s general budget.  Grant funds for 3228 may only be used for the purpose of universal screening and qualified personnel.  Funds may not be allocated for other purposes to support the gifted program plan.  

View information about USQP Grant


  1.  AU/District Funds

State categorical funds for gifted education are intended to be supplemental.  The AU supplements state funds to provide a comprehensive gifted program and ensure the continuum of gifted services in all areas of giftedness as defined in ECEA Rule.  ECEA Rules stipulate, “The budget shall detail the funding committed by the AU and funding requested from the Department. Funding committed by the AU shall be an amount determined by the AU to contribute towards the AU's gifted student education program described in the AU's program plan.” [12.02(2)(k)] 

AUs shall determine the amount of general funds allocated to gifted programming.  In a multi-district AU or BOCES, the annual budget reports must include the supplemental gifted funds and other 3150 program expenditures provided by each district within the AU to support gifted education.  The multiple-district and BOCES AUs are accountable for obtaining reports on how flow through funds are expended.


  1.  Other Local Grants and/or Federal Funding   

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) allows districts to use ESSA funds to identify and serve gifted students and, specifically, homeless gifted students, Native Americans, and Title II professional development funds to provide training specific to gifted education.  AUs may choose to use ESSA funds to support gifted programming and quality and differentiated instruction. 

Additionally, AUs may choose to apply for other educational grants that may be used to support gifted programming.  This reporting category is not for the purpose of recording Grant Fund 3228 (Universal Screening and Qualified Personnel) expenditures.  

Note:  There are several ESSA title programs that can support gifted students.

Note:  If you are not able to access the resources or need additional support, please contact the Office of Gifted Education Program Administrator