Policy Insider Blog

CEC's Policy Insider

Learn about the special and gifted education issues Congress and the administration are considering by reading CEC's Policy Insider. Sign up today to receive weekly e-mail updates!

CEC is also pleased to offer up-to-date news about federal special and gifted education policy through the Policy Insider Blog. A complement to the weekly e-mail service, CEC’s Policy Insider Blog features regular posts throughout the week, providing you with real-time special ed policy news. 

Questions or comments? Send an e-mail to CEC's Policy and Advocacy Services team.

CEC Policy Insider CEC's source for special education policy news
CEC Applauds Signing of WIOA
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:02:57 -0400 On Tuesday, July 22, 2014, President Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA updates the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and maintains a focus on supporting the nation’s workforce development, job training and employment services system while expanding the role of state and local workforce boards to better match job-seekers with employment needs, in addition to boosting programs aimed at those with disabilities. A step forward in the right direction as agreed by those on both sides of the political spectrum. “Now that we have recovered from the Great Recession, we must expand opportunity to the people...
CRPD Passes through Foreign Relations Committee and Moves to Senate Floor
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 15:44:54 -0400 On Tuesday, July 22, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed on a 12-6 vote, The Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Two years ago the treaty passed in a similar voting style 13-6. Along with the full support of the Democrats, Senators John McCain (R-AZ), and John Barrasso (R-WY), joined in voting, sending the treaty to the Senate floor. The treaty has continuously been opposed by conservatives who continue to argue on a range of topics they believe deem the treaty unethical including: expansion of abortion rights, threats to certain parental rights, and a shift of power...
24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act!
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:58:55 -0400 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will turn 24 on July 26th, 2014. The ADA, which was passed in 1990, marks a milestone in civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA ensures the rights and equality of persons with disabilities on the job, in school, in the community, in transportation and telecommunications and more. Learn more about ADA by checking out these resources: ADA.gov: The U.S. Department of Justice’s website, run by the agency’s Civil Rights Division, provides a comprehensive overview, information and technical assistance about the Americans with...
Senators to Advance International Disability Treaty Next Week; Your Advocacy Needed!
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:12:18 -0400 Here's how to advocate for individuals with disabilities across the world in only 2 minutes: Next Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider whether to advance the United Nations Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international treaty that protects the human rights of individuals with disabilities Opponents continue to use inaccurate scare tactics to diminish support in the Senate. Join CEC in correcting the record - email your Senators today! The CRPD can only be voted on by the full Senate if it passes the Foreign Relations Committee - urge your Senators to support the treaty....
Senator Harkin Calls for Big Push on The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:31:45 -0400 Senator Harkin (D-Ia.), a longtime disability advocate, is leading a renewed advocacy effort to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an international treaty that is the vital framework to protect the human rights of persons with disabilities across the world. In a rally with advocates today, Harkin noted the great progress that has been made over the past several months while strongly advising that there is still work to be done. Advocates are pushing for the Senate to consider the CRPD by the end of this month. With National Disability Awareness week starting...
The White House Welcomes New Disability Advisor
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:19:11 -0400 The White House has been without a liaison to the disability community since Claudia Gordon left the position in April, after less than a year on the job. But this week, Taryn Mackenzie Williams assumed the role of advisor within the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, providing a bridge between the disability community and President. Williams is expected to fill this role on a short-term basis as she is on “detail” (a fancy government word for “loan”) from her position as senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. Along with her work...
4 Key Provisions to Know in the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 16:16:49 -0400 As President Obama readies to sign the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law, following overwhelming, bi-partisan approval last week from the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in June, here are 4 key provisions that impact individuals with disabilities: 1) Emphasis on competitive employment by providing career counseling services and information about alternatives to subminimum wage employment. 2) Expands access to pre-employment services including job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary education programs, workplace readiness training and self-advocacy. States must use 15% of its vocational rehabilitation services funding to support these services. 3) Strengthens transition-to-work...
6 States Granted ESEA Waiver Extensions
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:07:19 -0400 As schools recess for the summer months, the U.S. Department of Education is considering whether to provide extensions to over two dozen states that will see their ESEA waivers expire this summer. Late last week, the Department announced six states – Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota, and Virginia – will have a one-year extension to their ESEA waiver, which allows states to be free from many controversial mandates (i.e. AYP) in exchange for implementing key education reforms (i.e. new teacher evaluations tied to student achievement). Currently, 43 states and Washington, DC have ESEA waivers. A few months ago, Washington...
U.S. Department of Ed Launches 50-State Teacher Equity Plan
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 09:31:20 -0400 The U.S. Department of Education is dusting off and giving a tune-up to the requirement in No Child Left Behind that states address how students from low income and minority backgrounds will not be taught by inexperienced, unqualified, or out-of-field teachers at higher rates than their peers. It’s been over a decade since this requirement took hold, but most state plans have not been updated since 2006. This week, the Department unveiled its 50-state teacher equity strategy to revive these plans by focusing in 3 areas: State Educator Equity Plans: By April 2015 states must submit a new plan to...
USDOE to Host Conference Call on 7/3 to Discuss New Competition for TA Center on Transition to Postsecondary Education & Employment for Students with Disabilities
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:29:42 -0400 Today, the U.S. Department of Education released information inviting applications for a new award to establish and operate a National Technical Assistance Center on Improving Transition to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students with Disabilities. The Center will assist State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies and other VR service providers to implement evidence-based and promising practices and strategies to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities, graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills, and supports needed for success in postsecondary education and employment. The Department intends to fund one...