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
ESEA Reauthorization is on the Move in the Senate
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:08:26 -0500 Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) held a hearing, “Fixing No Child Left Behind: Testing and Accountability.” Last week Senate HELP Chairman Alexander released his 387 page ESEA reauthorization discussion draft, entitled “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015.” CEC is concerned about the lack of strong accountability measures for children with disabilities in the Alexander draft. CEC joined with the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities and sent a letter to Chairman Alexander expressing their concern with the provisions related to alternate assessments based on alternate academic standards, alternate assessments based on modified...
State of the Union Highlights Improvements in Education: Present and Future
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:07:06 -0500 During the State of the Union, President Obama made note of important improvements at the start of his address, “Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we've been in almost 30 years.” Quickly following the noted improvements, the President discussed setting the stage for his...
State Personnel Development Grant Competition: Extension of the Application Period
Wed, 21 Jan 2015 14:50:35 -0500 On December 15, 2014, The Federal Register published a notice inviting applications for new awards under the SPDG competition. The purpose of this program, which was authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), is to assist State educational agencies (SEAs) in reforming and improving their systems for personnel preparation and professional development in early intervention, educational, and transition services in order to improve results for children with disabilities. The notice established a January 29, 2015 deadline for the submission of applications, and a deadline of March 30, 2015, for intergovernmental review. Both deadlines have been extended by fifteen...
Chairman Alexander Releases ESEA Reauthorization Discussion Draft
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 15:09:17 -0500 On Tuesday Senate HELP Chairman Alexander released his 387 page ESEA reauthorization discussion draft, entitled “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015.” Alexander is soliciting feedback on his staff discussion draft by Monday, February 2, at: FixingNCLB@help.senate.gov. Alexander will also be sponsoring a hearing, “Fixing No Child Left Behind: Testing and Accountability,” on Wednesday, January 21. CEC is concerned about the lack of strong accountability measures for children with disabilities in the Alexander draft. Stay tuned for CEC’s ESEA reauthorization feedback. Senator Murray, Ranking Chair of the HELP Committee outlined her “ESEA Principles” on the floor of...
Secretary Arne Duncan’s Vision for the Future of ESEA
Wed, 14 Jan 2015 13:41:52 -0500 Secretary Arne Duncan laid out an idea for the nation’s well-known education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in a speech on January 12th, 2015. On the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the ESEA bill, he called for a new law that will work to ensure strong opportunities for all students, and protect the most vulnerable. In his remarks, Duncan advised for dispensing with No Child Left Behind—the latest version of ESEA—and replacing it with a new law. Duncan made sure to put the pressure on for Congress in moving forward stating that although seeking to work...
Guidance from the Departments of Education and Justice on Equitable Educational Access for English Learner Students
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:26:32 -0500 The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice have released joint guidance reminding states, school districts, and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential. In addition to the guidance, the Departments also released additional tools and resources to help schools in serving English learner students and parents with limited English proficiency: A fact sheet in English and in other languages about schools’ obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students can participate meaningfully and equally in school....
College Ratings System Up for Public Comment
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 16:07:57 -0500 In the week of December 19th, based on extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Department released a framework for a college ratings system for further public comment. This framework summarizes the basic categories, institutional groupings, data, metrics, and tools that the Department is currently weighing in designing the ratings system. The purposes of the rating system are to: (1) help students and families make informed choices when searching for and selecting a college; (2) help colleges measure, benchmark, and continue to improve across the principles of access, affordability, and outcomes; and (3) enable the incentives and accountability structure in the federal...
2015-2016 Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellowship Program Applications Now Available
Wed, 07 Jan 2015 13:23:55 -0500 Applications for the U.S. Department of Education’s 2015-2016 cohort of Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellows are currently open and are scheduled to close on January 20, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. For more information about the application process, visit the Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellows program pages or go directly to the applications for the Teaching and Principal Fellowships on USAJobs.gov. Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellows are outstanding educators, with a record of leadership in the school community, strong communication skills, and insights on education policy based in their school and classroom expertise. They come with networks of support from...
Congress Passed FY 15 CRomnibus: Increased Funds for IDEA and Javits!
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:08:56 -0500 CEC’s advocacy voice was heard! While most education programs were level funded at FY 14 amounts, both special and gifted education enjoyed increases. Congress passed a trillion dollar spending bill to fund the federal government through September 2015, adverting a government shutdown. The CRomnibus combines the merger of 11 individual spending bills that fund the government through the fiscal year – an omnibus – with a continuing resolution (CR) that will provide only short term funding for Homeland Security at FY 14 levels. The following CEC supported programs received increases while all others (IDEA and special education research) were level...
Stepping Up Early Childhood Development: An Investment for Life
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 15:02:34 -0500 A child’s earliest years present the best window of opportunity to ensure good outcomes later in life. Early childhood development programs that include education, health, nutrition and social protection components have proven to be effective in several countries, but despite this growing evidence, more than 200 million children in developing countries under the age of 5 will not reach their development potential. CEC was invited to participate and attended the event. The panel discussed how to use the evidence to influence policy makers and scale up investments moving forward to ensure that children not only survive their early years, but...