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. Senate May Vote this Week on Health Care Repeal
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:50:17 -0400 Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pulled the Senate Republican bill, Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) last week. Overwhelming public opposition and “no” votes from at least four Republican Senators led to the abandonment. The congressional Republican’s seven-year campaign to undo health care reform once again failed due to the advocacy of CEC members and the larger community. Thank you for your dedication to CEC’s save Medicaid advocacy campaign to ensure children with disabilities have access to health related services in schools and early intervention programs. Mitch McConnell is expected to bring up the Motion to Proceed to begin repealing health...
Senate Democrats Express Concern - Secretary DeVos’ Harmful Actions on Civil Rights Enforcement Protections
Mon, 24 Jul 2017 13:57:00 -0400 Recently, 34 Senators, led by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee sent a letter to Secretary DeVos citing major concerns with steps the U.S. Department of Education has taken under her leadership to diminish civil rights enforcement for students across the country. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has opened a multi-agency investigation to see if there have been increased risk of discrimination in the Administration’s proposed budget, staffing cuts and policy priorities.
U.S. House Budget Committee Markup and U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee Allocations
Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:09:00 -0400 This week, the House Budget Committee marked up and approved a budget that matches the fiscal year (FY) 2018 non-defense discretionary programs (NDD) total that the House Appropriations Committee allocated among its 12 government funding bills. Two education-related amendments were offered and rejected in the House Budget Committee markup. Although no specific programs are mentioned, the Committee published a blueprint, “Building a Better America: A Plan for Fiscal Responsibility.” In addition, this week the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved its 302(b) suballocations for all twelve FY 2018 funding bills, providing an increase of $3.0 billion over the FY 2017 enacted...
U.S. House Appropriations Committee Markup
Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:06:51 -0400 This week the House Appropriations Committee marked up and passed all 12 of its fiscal year (FY) 2018 government funding bills. Many education-related amendments were included in the House Appropriations Committee markup of the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill, but they all failed on a party line vote. The Committee appropriated $13.2 billion for all parts authorized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for children with disabilities. This is $187.3 million above the FY 2017 enacted level. IDEA Part B received a modest increase and IDEA Section 619, Part C and Part D were level funded. The Committee appropriated $12...
U.S. Senate Scraps Vote this Week for the BCRA
Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:26:10 -0400 Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pulled the Senate Republican bill, Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) this week. Overwhelming public opposition and “no” votes from at least four Republican Senators led to the abandonment. The congressional Republican’s seven-year campaign to undo health care reform once again failed due to the advocacy of CEC members and the larger community. Thank you for your dedication to CEC’s save Medicaid advocacy campaign to ensure children with disabilities have access to health related services in schools and early intervention programs. CEC has held a strong position of opposition for reform of the Affordable Care Act...
Thank You for Your Advocacy
Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:55:27 -0400 During last week’s Special Education Legislative Summit, over 250 advocates from 43 states stormed Capitol Hill and held approximately 300 meetings with their senators and representatives. The work done by these advocates is invaluable and essential to ensuring a free appropriate public education and early intervention services for all children and youth with disabilities. Thank you for the work that you do in the field every day and thank you for advocating for children and youth with exceptionalities. Here’s a recap of the 2017 Special Education Legislative Summit! Relive it or find out what happened if you weren’t able to...
Final Regulations Published for Rosa’s Law
Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:21:31 -0400 In a recent notice in the Federal Register, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has published final regulations pertaining to Rosa’s law. Rosa's Law changes references to "mental retardation" in Federal law to "intellectual disability" or "intellectual disabilities." These final regulations implement this statutory change in applicable Department of Education regulations. The publication date was July 11, 2017 with the effective date being August 10, 2017.
Improving Access to Higher Education Act for Students with Disabilities
Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:20:54 -0400 On Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) introduced bill H.R. 3199, the Improving Access to Higher Education Act. The new bill amends the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965 to improve access and completion of postsecondary education for all students, including students with disabilities. The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) signed on to support the bill. On Thursday, Jacqueline Rodriguez, assistant professor of special education at The College of William & Mary, CEC and Teacher Education Division member, participated in a panel hosted by the U.S. Committee on Education and the Workforce. The panel discussed the challenges faced...
Hundreds of CEC Advocates Delivered a Unified Message to Members of Congress
Wed, 12 Jul 2017 15:34:07 -0400 Special and gifted educators and early interventionists from 46 states stormed Capitol Hill Tuesday, delivering three strong messages to lawmakers: protect Medicaid, increase investments in special and gifted education and early intervention programs and support public education by keeping public funds in public education. This year, more than 270 education professionals went to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities as part of the annual Special Education Legislative Summit. In preparation for visits with their legislators, state teams were immersed in sessions about education policy and were briefed on CEC’s legislative recommendations. This year the...
IES Awards $187 Million in Grants for Education and Special Education Research
Wed, 12 Jul 2017 15:15:02 -0400 More than $187 million in grants have been awarded to nearly 90 colleges, universities, and research agencies through the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NSCER). The grants support research on a broad array of educational issues and challenges. In 2017, NCSER focused the Special Education Research Grants Program on research related to teachers and other instructional personnel. NCSER has awarded 20 grants in this competition, representing an investment of more than $35 million. The Special Education Research Grants have been awarded to 15 colleges, universities, or research agencies. The 2017 awards...