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
U.S. Department of Education Awards $20 Million to Increase Access to Information and Communication Technologies for Individuals with Disabilities
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:15:08 -0500 The U.S. Department of Education recently announced a grant of $20 million to the University of Wisconsin for a pilot project through the Disability Innovation Fund— Automated Personalization Computing Project (APCP). The grant is designed to improve broadband infrastructure so that devices automatically adjust into a format based on the user’s preferences and abilities. The project will help individual users find and specify the formats and accommodations that work best for them. The grant is being funded under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ (OSERS) Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).
Applications Now Accepted for U.S. Department of Education’s Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:10:53 -0500 Applications for the U.S. Department of Education’s 2016-2017 Teaching and Principal Ambassador Fellowship is now open and will close on December 14, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. A complete application package includes 1) five short essay responses to the question prompts, 2) a current resume, and 3) a letter of recommendation from your employer for this program. All required materials reflect and will be assessed against the key qualities we seek in selected Teaching Ambassador Fellows, which are: Demonstrable Contributions to Student Learning– the extent to which the candidate has had demonstrable and meaningful impact on student achievement and school...
OSEP Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center Releases Practice Guides for Practitioners and Families
Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:01:32 -0500 The OSEP funded Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) has launched a campaign to bring widespread awareness about the DEC Recommended Practices (RPs). The latest ECTA resources to support implementation of the RPs include Performance Checklists for practitioners as well as Practice Guides for Practitioners and Practice Guides for Families. These resources were highlighted on a recent national webinar which was recorded and can be accessed in aRPy’s Corner of the ECTA web site.
Conference Committee Approves the Framework Bill to Reauthorize ESEA
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 16:34:47 -0500 The ESEA conferees approved the framework with few amendments on Thursday by a vote of 39 – 1. The only dissenting vote by proxy in the conference to agree to the compromise bill came from Senator Rand Paul. A summary of the framework approved by the conference committee can be found here. The agreement represents a compromise between the House – passed Student Success Act (H.R. 5) and the Senate – passed Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (S. 1177). The framework now has to be turned into a final bill for House and Senate members to review and vote...
CEC Celebrates 40 Years of IDEA: Share Your Reflections
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 15:22:53 -0500 On the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Council for Exceptional Children reflects on the efforts of children and youth with disabilities, their families, educators, and policymakers who were instrumental in the passage of this legislation and remain committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities attain a lifetime of success. On November 29, 1975, President Gerard Ford signed into law the Education for all Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94 – 142), legislation that paved the way for improved educational outcomes for individuals with disabilities. CEC was at the forefront of the advocacy effort – alongside...
IDEA 40: Resources for Special Educators
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 17:07:05 -0500 The U.S. Department of Education and Justice released several resources for use by special educators and families during its 40th Anniversary of IDEA celebrations on Tuesday including the: Dear Colleague Letter: Clarification of FAPE and Alignment with State Academic Standards, which clarifies that individualized education programs for children with disabilities must be aligned with state academic content standards for the grade in which a child is enrolled. IDEAs That Work: Preparing Children and Youth with Disabilities for Success website will connect teachers and families with resources to assist them in improving instruction and supporting academic, social, emotional, and behavioral needs...
ED Celebrates 40 Years of IDEA
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:47:03 -0500 This week there has been a flurry of White House and U.S. Department of Education events recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). CEC staff were pleased to join in the recognition of 40 years of progress in ensuring a free appropriate public education for our nation’s children and youth with disabilities. The week started out with a reception on Monday evening to honor the many significant contributions that families, teachers, related service providers, administrators, researchers, teacher educators and so many others have made under IDEA. Tuesday began early at the White House where the stage...
ESEA is on the Move!
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:41:05 -0500 Last Friday, House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), along with Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), issued the following joint statement on efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: We believe we have a path forward that can lead to a successful conference, and that is why we are recommending to our leadership to appoint conferees to take the next step in replacing No Child Left Behind. This is a law that everyone wants fixed,...
NCSER Releases New Research Summaries of Funded Projects
Wed, 18 Nov 2015 10:21:50 -0500 The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) released three new research summaries documenting ongoing and completed research the Center has funded in the following topic areas: Autism Spectrum Disorders Professional Development Mathematics and Science in Special Education ;and Reading These four comprehensive summaries of funded research are now available to view, download and print via PDF here.
ED Awards $4.8 Million to Improve Outcomes for Children with Disabilities
Fri, 13 Nov 2015 15:24:43 -0500 The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the award of more than $4.8 million in grants to improve outcomes for children with disabilities. Included is $1.2 million to upgrade adolescent literacy for students with disabilities and $3.6 million to enhance results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities through the use of accessible technology, media services and educational materials. The award of $1.2 million, funded under the Technical Assistance and Dissemination program, is to improve services and results for children with disabilities through the development of model demonstration projects designed to better adolescent literacy outcomes for students with disabilities...