We the undersigned are requesting the SC House of Representatives add language to the proposed House Bill 3352 to protect Gifted and Talented programs as established by the Education Improvement Act. As currently written, HR 3352, Section 2.1, some districts may interpret this to mean they do not have to offer Gifted and Talented artistic and Gifted and Talented academic programs to serve the needs of these students. We understand the current need for flexibility in funding, but flexibility in regulations would result in reduction or elimination of services for academically and artistically gifted students. The undersigned believe it is critical that we protect the integrity of programs and services for academically and artistically gifted and talented children through the maintenance of regulations that establish criteria for the statewide identification system, the accountability of district plans, as well as the program models and time requirements. To do anything less for our students is unacceptable.