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 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...
A Program Tool for Schools and Districts to Improve Assessments and Special Education
Fri, 07 Jul 2017 09:54:39 -0400 Anecdotal reports from the Massachusetts Office of District and School Turnaround suggested that our lowest-performing schools tend to have above-average enrollment of students with disabilities. For these schools, successful turnaround will depend on a focused and data-driven effort to ensure that students are provided with a high-quality special education program. The program review tool was developed by the Center on School Turnaround to assist school administrators, teachers, special education teachers, occupational therapists, school social workers, school psychologists, higher education, state education agency, and technical assistance center personnel across the nation in reviewing and improving the quality of their special education...
Speak Up During the Congressional Recess, Tell the Senate to Vote NO on BCRA!
Wed, 05 Jul 2017 10:57:13 -0400 As a reminder, last week the U.S. Senate delayed a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) until after the July 4 recess. The bill lacked the necessary votes to begin the debate on the floor of the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Senate version of the BCRA would significantly weaken the availability of Medicaid services to children and youth in schools and early intervention programs. The Congressional Budget Office released a score for the U.S. Senate bill, estimating that Medicaid would be cut by $772 billion and 15 million individuals would lose Medicaid coverage over the next 10 years....
Policies to Support Assistive Technology Initiatives
Mon, 03 Jul 2017 10:14:13 -0400 The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) recently sponsored a congressional briefing on “Assistive Technology and Independence: Achieving Education, Community Living, Employment and Health and Fitness.” Assistive technology facilitates activities of daily living that people with disabilities of all ages can benefit from. Assistive technology must be provided in a variety of settings, including school, work, the community and home. The importance of assistive technology for people with disabilities can be easily overlooked. The CCD suggested ways that members of Congress can support access to assistive technology, accessible information and communication technology for people with disabilities and chronic conditions. These...
2016 UNICEF Annual Report, 70 Years and Counting
Fri, 30 Jun 2017 15:46:49 -0400 The recently published UNICEF 2016 annual report confirms it has made an important impact over the years – particularly when measured by the gains of the past three decades in areas such as child survival, primary education enrollment and access to safe water. Seen in this report, UNICEF continued to call for increased data, awareness and dialogue to improve education opportunities for children with disabilities. For example, in Egypt, UNICEF supported the enrollment of 1,326 children with disabilities into 120 mainstream public schools and equipped those schools with inclusive learning resource rooms. In Serbia, parents of students with disabilities in...