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
A Fresh Look at U.S. Public School Teachers
Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:05:00 -0400 A recently published This First Look Report, Characteristics of Public Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the United States: Results From the 2015–16 National Teacher and Principal Survey, by The National Center for Education Statistics report provides descriptive statistics and basic information from the 2015–16 National Teacher and Principal Survey Public School Teacher Data File. Data from the 2015-16 National Teacher and Principal Survey provide information about the more than 3.8 million teachers that work in U.S public schools. Data included teacher’s teaching status (full or part time) and subject matter, including special education. The study found that among all...
STOP the Devastating Health Care Repeal Efforts Today! Tell Your Senators to Vote No!
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 15:25:14 -0400 We need every CEC member to contact their Senators today and tell them to Vote NO on the Graham-Cassidy bill. Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) are leading the charge on yet another Affordable Care Act repeal bill. Reports indicate that they are close to having the votes to narrowly push forward this last-minute repeal effort. Supporters of the bill want to pass it as part of the budget reconciliation process for fiscal year 2017, which will allow the bill to pass with a simple majority (51 votes or more – Vice President Pence is able to cast...
U.S. Senate Gears Up for Medicaid Vote before End of September
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 14:08:57 -0400 Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) are poised to introduce another bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill is being referred to as the “Graham-Cassidy” bill. Language of the legislation is not available to the public. The Congressional Budget Office has not yet released a score for this bill. We can assume, from past attempts from the Senate Republicans to repeal and replace the ACA, Medicaid funding will be significantly cut in this bill. The bill may include severe cuts and caps to Medicaid and therefore lessen services to children and youth in...
CEC Endorses Child Care for Working Families Act
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 11:50:20 -0400 The Child Care for Working Families Act was introduced last week in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced S. 1806, which has currently has 27 cosponsors. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced H.R. 3773, which currently has 44 cosponsors. This bill amends the Child Care and Development Block Grant. CEC was included in the almost 100 organizations endorsing the bill. This legislation “will ensure parents aren’t forced to pay more than they can afford for child care and improve access to high-quality preschool for low-and middle-income children.” A fact sheet on the...
CEC Asks Congress to Support Funding for CHIP
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 09:53:48 -0400 The Council for Exceptional Children, included in the 35 national organizations of the Save Medicaid in the Schools Coalition, sent a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee in an effort to support an extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The letter requests a five year extension of current funding levels for CHIP. The access to health care that is supported through CHIP improves health care and educational outcomes for students. Failing to extend funding for CHIP could...
U.S. Supreme Court Remands Voucher Case to Colorado
Fri, 15 Sep 2017 15:02:04 -0400 The U.S. Supreme Court recently remanded a high-profile school voucher case, Douglas County School District v. Taxpayers for Public Education, to the Colorado courts. This action took place after the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that religious institutions cannot be excluded from state programs with a purely secular intent, found in the Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer case. The Colorado Supreme Court sent the case back to the Denver district court. The case has the potential of negating constitutional provisions in 39 states known as “Blaine Amendments” that prohibit public money from aiding religious organizations, including private...
Resource to Help Teachers Implement Evidence-Based Practices
Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:34:38 -0400 The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) recently released the first Instructional Tips publication, based on user feedback collected through a comprehensive multi-faceted self-study. This publication was created to help educators carry out the recommendations in the WWC Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 through 8 practice guide. Tips are provided for the following recommendations: Assisting Students in Monitoring and Reflecting on the Problem-Solving Process; Teaching Students to Use Visual Representations to Solve Problems; and Helping Students Make Sense of Algebraic Notation. WWC is planning to publish additional Instructional Tips publications after receiving feedback on this first publication.
Congress Passes FY2017 Comprehensive Funding Package
Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:18:40 -0400 Last week the U.S. House of Representatives (316-90) and the U.S. Senate (80-17) passed a bill to provide additional emergency assistance to respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, to raise the debt ceiling to allow the United States to meet its financial obligations, and to allow for the continuation of government programs and services through a FY2017 Continuing Resolution (CR) until December 8, 2017. The Continuing Resolution is a temporary measure to allow time for final year-long Appropriations funding legislation to be completed. The CR covers all 12 Appropriations bills, maintains current FY2017 funding levels without “poison pill” policy riders...
U.S. Senate FY 2018 Appropriations Bill
Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:51:10 -0400 The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have a packed calendar for the month of September. First on the docket was the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee and full Appropriations Committee markups on their fiscal year (FY) 2018 funding bill which took place last week. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. No amendments were included. This bill provides $63.8 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, a $29.0 million increase compared to FY 2017. The bill also maintains funding for many...
Members of Congress Speak Out Against ESSA Review Process
Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:23:28 -0400 Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, urging her to “maintain the U.S. Department of Education’s established review and feedback process for consolidated state plan submission, as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).” The letter raises concerns about the process for reviews specifically that the U.S. Department of Education will “conduct private phone calls with state education agencies to discuss Department concerns with state plans prior to finalizing feedback letters to states.” Members of Congress are criticizing this review process, explaining that this plan limit’s the...