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Gifted Education in Tennessee


April 2021

Author: Cassie Stinson

Legislative Brief

The report provides an overview of how intellectually gifted students are identified, the special education services they receive, the certification process for teachers of gifted students, and funding available for gifted education.

Intellectually gifted is a category of special education in Tennessee. Local school districts are required to identify and evaluate intellectually gifted students, as is required for all special education categories. If a student is determined to be intellectually gifted, special education services are provided according to the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
developed for the student. 

In school year 2019-20, 135 school districts in Tennessee reported a total of 13,441 students with intellectually gifted IEPs. The school districts with the highest number of intellectually gifted IEPs were Shelby County Schools, Hamilton County Schools, Williamson County Schools, and Rutherford County Schools. All other districts had fewer than 550 students with
intellectually gifted IEPs; 44 districts had fewer than 10 students with such IEPs. The number of intellectually gifted IEPs in the state has decreased in the last three school years, from 15,743 in school year 2017-18 to 13,441 in 2019-20.