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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Guidance for Parents Supporting a Gifted Child in the Foreign Service


Although gifted children do not qualify for the special needs allowance, under the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR), the families of most US Government civilian employees overseas who have gifted children who are not sufficiently challenged in their overseas school may avail themselves of up to $4,100 per school year to supplement the education in academic areas (mathematics, science, languages, and social studies). Information about obtaining such allowances can be accessed through the embassies and consulates. Information is also available in the DSSR 276.9 (e) .

To receive the supplemental allowance, the parent must present to the post Management Officer one of the following:

  • A letter from the child's previous school that the child qualified for and participated in a Gifted and Talented (GT) program.
  • A letter from the child's current school which endorses that the child's performance qualifies for a GT program which the school cannot provide.
  • The results of a standardized GT test(s) which shows the child eligible to participate in a GT program. On request of the family, the Office of Overseas Schools will facilitate the administration at post of an instrument to evaluate the child's academic level.

Some rules of thumb for using the allowances:

  • It is important that parents and schools work together to choose appropriate academic options and to support one another.
  • Funds may not be used for activities not ordinarily funded by stateside schools (e.g., advanced summer programs) or for informational materials directed at parents rather than students.
  • It is important to note that before making expenditures for any specific adaptations, the Post Management Officer must be contacted in order to review the specific program in relation to the regulations related to the GT Supplementary Education Allowance.

The supplementary allowance can be used to pay for several activities as outlined below:

Talent Search Organizations 
Numerous resources are offered by the organizations that sponsor talent searches, typically for children from fifth to eighth grades. These include:

A number of internet informational resources are available.

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