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
Congressional August Recess
Wed, 09 Aug 2017 15:55:54 -0400 The U.S. Congress is now on August recess. CEC encourages advocates to schedule home visits during this time. To read more on planning and tips to have an effective home visit with your members of Congress, review this month’s CAN Do! There are two key messages you should address in your August recess meetings, town halls, etc. The first is to continue support for the increase of funding for public education, specifically programs that support children and youth with exceptionalities. The second message is that although there are no immediate policy efforts looming, remind your members of Congress not to...
How School Vouchers will Bring Decades Old Segregation Back into Schools Today
Wed, 09 Aug 2017 13:37:09 -0400 Representative Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Workforce and a panel of distinguished speakers: Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators; Richard D. Kahlenberg, senior fellow, The Century Foundation; Catherine E. Lhamon, chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; and Justin Reid, director, African American Programs, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, spoke recently at a Washington, D.C. based briefing on the racist origins of private school vouchers. In 1959, five years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling outlawing...
Senate Rejects Repeal and Replace of ACA
Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:21:21 -0400 Immediately before the August Congressional recess, the U.S. Senate rejected the repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As you know, CEC has been tracking the development of these various bills. CEC thanks all advocates for your hard work in spreading the policy message to Congress to reject schemes to cut and cap Medicaid. Over the last days before their recess, there were multiple attempts from the U.S. Senate to repeal and replace ACA. Although numerous policies were considered, the ACA still stands. CEC is aware that health care reform efforts are not over and there will likely...
Confirmation of the Assistant Secretary of Education for Legislation and Congressional Affairs
Mon, 07 Aug 2017 17:19:15 -0400 The U.S. Senate has confirmed Peter Oppenheim as the Assistant Secretary of Education for Legislation and Congressional Affairs. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, released a statement on Oppenheim’s confirmation, stating “Peter has spent his career working tirelessly on behalf of our nation’s students, and I am thrilled he will continue that work here at the Department of Education.” Previously Oppenheim served as Education Policy Director and Counsel for Senator Lamar Alexander’s HELP Committee staff. Sen. Lamar Alexander released a statement on President Trump’s selection Oppenheim to serve at the Department of Education. CEC congratulates Mr. Oppenheim and we look forward...
Resources for Special Education Program Improvement Efforts and Elements Impacting Charter Schools
Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:18:00 -0400 The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS) has released two new resources. The first resource, in partnership with the Center on School Turnaround, is the review tool Assessing and Improving Special Education: A Program Review Tool for Schools and Districts Engaged in Rapid School Improvement to assist school districts or individual school leaders in catalyzing conversations about, and reviewing and improving the quality of, their special education program as a key component of school improvement efforts. The second resource, as part of the NCSECS State Special Education Finance Initiative, is a new focused report comparing the Legal...
Support Social Emotional Learning for Continuous School Improvement
Tue, 01 Aug 2017 13:22:00 -0400 The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires state accountability systems to include indicators of “school quality and student success” along with indicators of academic outcomes. ESSA provides an important opportunity for states to broaden the definition of student success to include measures of students’ social-emotional, and academic development. The Learning Policy Institute shared findings from the report Encouraging Social and Emotional Learning in the Context of New Accountability, during a recent Washington D.C. based briefing: How and why does students’ social emotional learning (SEL) affect college and career readiness? What is the role of a positive and inclusive school climate...
Improving Employment for Individuals with Disabilities through ADA and WIOA
Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:20:00 -0400 The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Rights and Employment Task Forces and the Collaboration to Promote Self-Determination hosted a briefing Wednesday, July 19, 2017 entitled Employment of People with Disabilities: Achieving the Americans with Disabilities Act’s Goal of Economic Self-Sufficiency. Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Gregg Harper (R-MS), co-chairs for the Congressional Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, spoke in support of policies and services that improve employment access and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Discussion focused on implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to build capacity for competitive, integrated employment for persons with...
Low-Cost Grants Awarded to Study the Impact of Education and Special Education Interventions
Thu, 27 Jul 2017 13:15:00 -0400 The Institute of Education Sciences has awarded five Low-Cost, Short-Duration grants for the study of education and special education interventions and programs. The evaluations are conducted as partnerships between researchers and state or local education agencies, and cover a wide range of educational topics. The grants, from the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), are for $250,000 or less and the work will be completed within two years. The evaluations will use randomized controlled trials, regression discontinuity designs, or experimental single case designs to determine the impact of interventions on student...
U.S. Senate May Vote this Week on Health Care Repeal
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:50:17 -0400 Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pulled the Senate Republican bill, Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) last week. Overwhelming public opposition and “no” votes from at least four Republican Senators led to the abandonment. The congressional Republican’s seven-year campaign to undo health care reform once again failed due to the advocacy of CEC members and the larger community. Thank you for your dedication to CEC’s save Medicaid advocacy campaign to ensure children with disabilities have access to health related services in schools and early intervention programs. Mitch McConnell is expected to bring up the Motion to Proceed to begin repealing health...
Senate Democrats Express Concern - Secretary DeVos’ Harmful Actions on Civil Rights Enforcement Protections
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:57:00 -0400 Recently, 34 Senators, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee sent a letter to Secretary DeVos citing major concerns with steps the U.S. Department of Education has taken under her leadership to diminish civil rights enforcement for students across the country. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened a multi-agency investigation to see if there have been increased risk of discrimination in the Administration’s proposed budget, staffing cuts and policy priorities.