Policy Insider Blog

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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. 

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CEC Policy Insider CEC's source for special education policy news
$4.1 Million Awarded Through Charter School Program by U.S. Department of Education
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:27:06 -0400 Last week the U.S. Department of Education announced six new grant awards which totaled to $4.1 million through the Charter Schools Program (CSP) National Leadership Activities program. These grants were created to help strengthen charter schools and charter school authorizers, while aiding to serve students with disabilities and English learners. The Department has made these key issues a priority for helping charter schools. The six grantees will provide technical assistance and training and share effective practices with charter schools across the country. The grantees are: the Alameda County Office of Education; the California Charter Schools Association; the Illinois Network of...
Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program FY 2015 Competition
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:54:59 -0400 The Department of Education has recently published in the Federal Register applications for new awards for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program. The purpose of this competition under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program (Javits) is to provide grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) to allow them to carry out an organized program of scientifically based research, demonstration projects, innovative strategies, and similar activities designed to strengthen and improve the ability of elementary and secondary schools nationwide to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented students, particularly those from disadvantaged...
The 2020 Federal Youth Transition Plan: A Federal Interagency Strategy
Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:52:27 -0400 The Federal Partners in Transition (FPT) is a workgroup with representatives of several federal agencies, including the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, and the Social Security Administration, which was formed in 2005 to support all youth, including youth with disabilities, in successfully transitioning from school to adulthood. Working together, these agencies strive to achieve their vision: to promote the full inclusion, integration, and participation of youth and adults with disabilities in the workforce and beyond. During the course of their work, as a way to provide information on the workgroups continued mission, they developed the 2020...
IES Opens SLD Grants Competition
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:18:51 -0400 Last week, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) invited State educational agencies to apply for grants to assist them in using data in statewide, longitudinal data systems (SLDS) to inform their efforts to improve education in critical areas. Applicants are open to apply for funds to carry out projects to address up to two of the following data use priorities Financial Equity and Return on Investment (ROI); Educator Talent Management; Early Learning; College and Career; Evaluation and Research Instructional Support. Under any of these priorities, States should consider how their proposals would enhance their ability to use their SLDS to...
IES Announces Special Grant Competition for the Evaluation of State Education Programs and Policies
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:15:35 -0400 Last week, the Institute of Education Sciences announced a special competition called The Evaluation of State Education Programs and Policies (State Evaluation) Grant program which supports the evaluation of fully-developed programs and policies implemented by State educational agencies to determine whether they provide a valuable impact on student education outcomes. These evaluations are designed to measure the overall impact of the programs/policies and the impact across a variety of conditions. For the fiscal year (FY) 2015 competition, the State Evaluation program supports evaluations of major state programs and policies intended to improve the education outcomes of students in grades K–12....
U.S. Department of Education Announces Access to Free Video-On-Demand for Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities
Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:44:46 -0400 Yesterday, The U.S. Department of Education today announced free access to video-on-demand children’s television programming for thousands of students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing. A number of children’s and family TV episodes may now be viewed online featuring closed captioning and descriptions through the Education Department’s Accessible Television Portal project. Some of the featured and most popular shows include: “Ocean Mysteries,” “Magic School Bus,” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” The portal is part of the Department-funded Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP). In order to gain access to the content, teachers and school personnel,...
2013 Fourth Quarter Interpretations of IDEA from U.S. Department of Education
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:56:28 -0400 On Monday March 2, 2015, the Federal Register published a list of correspondence from the U.S. Department of Education to individuals during the previous quarter. Section 607 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act amendments of 1997 requires that the Secretary of Education, on a quarterly basis, publish this list. This is correspondence from the Department of Education received by individuals during the previous quarter and describes the interpretations of IDEA or the regulations that implement IDEA. These letters have been archived from 2001-2013. These letters are also indexed by topic. In addition to Microsoft Word documents, also available on...
NCER and NCSER Releases Working Group Summaries on Education Research
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 16:53:42 -0400 Last week the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) released documentation on two Technical work group meetings in 2014 to discuss critical research needs and ways to strengthen IES research and training programs. Practitioner Perspectives on Emerging Research Needs and Improving Relevance in Education Research A work group convened to discuss research needs in education and how research could be more relevant and useful to the field. The discussion covered these five subject areas: (1) making research available through effective dissemination; (2) research needs for elementary, middle, and high school; (3)...
CEC and the Friends of IES Advocate for Research Funding
Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:37:47 -0400 This week the Friends of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) urged the Congress to build upon the President's request of $675.8 million and restore, as a bare minimum, $11.2 million to Regional Education Laboratories (RELs) and $16.6 million to the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), matching the 2008 funding level. They also encouraged the Congress to provide $703.6 million for the education sciences in the FY 2016 Labor, Health & Human Services, Education, & Related Agencies appropriations bill. The Council for Exceptional Children is a member of the Friends of IES. They pointed out that during this...
ESEA Reauthorization Bill in House Stalls
Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:08:06 -0500 Last week an expected vote in the House on the Student Success Act, H.R.5 did not occur due to apparent controversy on the provisions in the bill. It is unclear when or if the bill will come back on the floor for a vote. It is not on the House schedule this week and the House is in recess next week. The House considered 44 amendments with various outcomes last Thursday and Friday. CEC along with many disability and education groups oppose H.R.5. In the Senate, Senate HELP Chair Alexander (R-TN) and ranking member Murray (D-WA) are working to draft...