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
2017 Voting Schedule for U.S. House
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:17:03 -0500 The U.S. House of Representatives voting schedule for 2017 is an important reference when scheduling Capitol Hill or home office visits with your state Representative or Senators. The 2017 U.S. House of Representatives calendar calls for more days in session than in any previous years of their majority. The House will adhere to similar voting schedule during the week as this year’s schedule. Floor votes are expected to end no later than 7:00 PM, except for the consideration of a House appropriations bill, which may be voted on after 7:00 PM. Visit CEC’s Legislative Action Center to find out more...
Preschool Developmental Grants
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:00:26 -0500 Secretary King announced more than $247 million in awards to 18 states under the Preschool Development Grants (PDG) program to continue expanding access to high-quality preschool for children from low- and moderate-income families. The awards are the third year of grants to states working with local communities to prepare the nation’s most vulnerable children for success in school and beyond. In their applications, states committed to provide inclusive opportunities for children with disabilities. Jointly administered by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, the program has invested a total of $750 million and expanded access to new, high-quality...
ED Calls for Peer Reviewers
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:41:13 -0500 The U.S. Department of Education is seeking highly qualified individuals to serve as peer reviewers of State plans, as required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Under ESSA, States will build on their experience making progress toward high quality education for all students while reclaiming the promise of well-rounded education in individual State contexts. Under sections 1111(a)(4) and 8451(d) of the ESEA, a peer review process must be conducted to facilitate the approval of State plans. The multi-disciplinary peer review teams must include: Educators (e.g., teachers, principals, or other...
New Series of ESSA Guidance
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:34:31 -0500 The U.S. Department of Education recently released a series of resources to support States in their transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The Consolidated State Plan guidance is intended to support each State Educational Agency (SEA) in developing a consolidated State plan that meets all statutory and regulatory requirements with regard to improved student academic achievement and increased quality of instruction. The State and Local Report Cards guidance is intended to assist SEAs and Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in implementing the report card requirements under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and...
U.S. Supreme Court: Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 16:02:47 -0500 On Wednesday, January 11th, the Supreme Court justices heard a case deliberating what the level of educational benefit that school districts must confer on children with disabilities to provide them with the free appropriate public education (FAPE) guaranteed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District was focused on a Colorado boy with autism, whose family asked the justices to clarify what education benefits an Individualized Education Program (IEP) must provide. Endrew F. (Drew) was provided an IEP from preschool through 4th grade, where he was a student in Douglas County School District....
Stakeholder Involvement in ESSA
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:55:09 -0500 The Department of Education encourages local leaders to create a dialogue with stakeholders to ensure their voices are considered in regard to ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) implementation. A letter was released in June 2016 by Secretary King to provide guidance to states and districts to stress the importance of including community members in the implementation of the new law. State officials are currently in the process of developing their ESSA Consolidated State Plan that meets all statutory and regulatory requirements with regard to improved student academic achievement and increased quality of instruction. CEC encourages members to become involved in...
Tools for Building an Effective Education Workforce
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:06:50 -0500 The Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) has released two new resources. The first is a Call-to-Action-Paper, Time for Action: Building the Educator Workforce Our Children Need Now. States are developing plans for their federal education spending for the next several years, and now is the time to rethink strategies and to focus funds and efforts on what matters most for learning: great teachers and leaders for every student and school. This resource offers chief state school officers and state education leaders a vision for creating a talent system that gives every student a great teacher every year,...
Students with Disabilities Gain SAT Accommodations
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 13:36:56 -0500 The College Board recently announced that starting January 1st 2017 they will overhaul its request process for testing accommodations, making it easier for eligible students to receive support. The majority of students who are approved for, and currently, using testing accommodations at their school through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan, will automatically have those same accommodations approved for taking the SAT, PSAT, PSAT/NMQQT, SAT Subject Tests and AP Exams. This new process builds on the College Board’s August 2016 expansion of testing accommodations that can be approved directly by schools, and is expected to reduce the approval...
The 115th Session of Congress Begins
Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:26:01 -0500 Yesterday, January 3rd 2017, marked the official start of the 115th Congress, as newly-elected members were sworn in at the U.S. Capitol. This session of Congress is already making history, being the most racially diverse Congress Washington has seen. Composition of the House: Parties: Republican (241), Democrat (194), Independent (0) Minorities: Woman (83), Black (46), Hispanic (34), Asian (12) Composition of the Senate: Parties: Republican (52), Democrat (46), Independent (2) Minorities: Woman (21), Black (3), Hispanic (4), Asian (3) Notable statistics: A record number of women in the Senate (21). A record number of Hispanic members in the House (34)...
Paul Ryan Reelected as Speaker of the House
Wed, 04 Jan 2017 13:55:58 -0500 In a near-unanimous vote on Tuesday, January 3rd 2017, Paul Ryan was reelected as Speaker of the House of the 115th Congress. Speaker Ryan, a Congressman from Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional district, was reelected in November 2016 by the House Republican Conference to serve a second term as the Speaker of the House. Ryan was enthusiastic for the beginning of the 115th Congress on Tuesday, saying “There’s only a sense of potential…reminds you no matter how long you’ve been here, you still haven’t seen it all. And so to all our new members, I want to say simply thank you, congratulations,...