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While the definition of giftedness varies from state to state, federal legislation is quite clear about the definition of a gifted student. According to the No Child Left Behind Act, “gifted and talented” refers to students “who give evidence of high achievement capabilities in such areas as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.”

Experts say an education in science, technology, engineering, arts and math—or STEAM—is essential to building an innovative workforce in the United States, and the sooner students delve into STEAM education, the better.

Soon after U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio shook up Capitol Hill by announcing his retirement at the end of October, Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown by passing a funding bill that will keep the federal government operational until December.

On Sept. 21, news that Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of a 62-year-old drug by 4,000 percent overnight made headlines. The drug, Daraprim, is critical to the care of HIV and AIDS patients. The sharp rise in price from $18 to $750 per pill is part of the all-too-familiar trend of drug-price spiking in the United States and highlights concerns about the sustainability of health care.

During a recent eCademy webcast, “Policy Recommendations to Improve Military and Overseas Voting,” members of The Council of State Governments’ Overseas Voting Initiative Policy Working Group discussed tools that improve the voting process for U.S. military members and civilians who are overseas.

Nearly 5 million white collar workers who make more than $23,660 a year are not eligible for overtime pay. This includes convenience store managers, fast food assistant managers, or office workers who may be expected to work overtime, yet receive no compensation for the extra time. But under a proposal by President Obama, this would soon change. Obama hopes to double the current salary threshold for overtime pay for salaried workers by 2016.

Ohio and Massachusetts are expected to consider legislation this fall aimed at regulating rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. CSG has partnered with the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation to provide academic, non-partisan seminars in both states for state policymakers and staff, including one taking place Sept 28 at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.

Congress returned from the August break facing the challenge of having to address a long list of critical issues in the dwindling legislative year. These important issues include reaching agreement on the budget and debt ceiling; addressing the expiring highway funding authority; overhauling federal education policy; and discussing cybersecurity legislation.

As classes resume across the country this fall, the University of Iowa will join nearly 1,100 colleges and universities that have declared their campuses tobacco free. The new policy adds smokeless tobacco, snuff, water pipes and electronic cigarettes—or e-cigarettes—to their list of banned substances on campus, joining cigarette and cigar smoke under the school’s previous policy.

This year’s HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana, refocused public attention on HIV and AIDS as an ongoing public health issue. Time magazine featured the Indiana story on its June 15, 2015, cover. About 1.2 million people in the U.S. currently live with HIV, and one in eight (12 percent) of those do not know that they have the virus. Each year 50,000 new cases are diagnosed, a number that has remained steady since the late 1990s, despite significant educational efforts at federal, state and community levels.