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
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...
We’ve Got Issues…
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 17:29:45 -0400 Issue Briefs, that is! CEC has recently unveiled a series of 8 issue briefs on the most timely special/gifted education policy topics under discussion in Congress: Improving Outcomes for Children with Disabilities Through High-Quality Early Learning Program Promoting Access & Achievement for Children and Youth with Exceptionalities in PK-12 Education Advancing Higher Education & Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities Preparing Future Educators to Meet the Needs of Children with Disabilities Special Education Research & Development: Supporting Educational Excellence for Children & Youth with Disabilities Expanding the Federal Role in Gifted Education Investing in Special & Gifted Education: Impacting 10...
Major Reforms for Teacher Preparation Proposed in Rewrite of Higher Education Act
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:21:31 -0400 As Congress continues to check off items on their education “to-do” list, next up on the agenda: rewrite the Higher Education Act (HEA). Sure, this Congress has been called the “least productive in recent history” but there are some lawmakers who are intent on moving the education agenda, and have turned their attention to HEA. You might remember HEA as part of President Johnson’s war on poverty originally passed in 1965, with a goal of expanding access to higher education for students through various financial aid programs. HEA also has an entire section dedicated to the preparation of teachers. Just...
The Office of Special Education Programs Reopens Applications for New Awards for Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 09:59:53 -0400 The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) is reopening Applications for New Awards for Training and Information for Parents of Children with Disabilities--Parent Training and Information Centers which was published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 27, 2014. This notice reopens the FY 2014 Parent Training and Information Centers competition, authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as amended. The notice was published inviting applications (NIA) for this competition on April 9, 2014, in the Federal Register which can be found here. The notice provided a deadline date of May 27, 2014, as well as other information,...