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
I Educate, I Participate
Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:32:26 -0400 The 2018 U.S. Congressional Midterms are approaching. As special educators, it is our job to promote civic responsibility with the needs of children and youth with exceptionalities in mind. It is equally important to be aware of the education positions of each candidate so that you vote knowing how your decision will impact you as a professional and children and youth with exceptionalities. CEC’s goal is to ensure that you have the information you need to become an educated voter and active participant in our society. That’s why CEC is providing you with our nonpartisan voter education guide: I Educate,...
State Efforts to Solve Teacher Shortages
Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:16:57 -0400 Across the country, districts and schools are struggling to meet the growing demand for qualified teachers. There are some subjects—such as mathematics, science, and special education—in which nearly every state is experiencing a teacher shortage. The cost of high-quality preparation is a significant obstacle to entering the teaching profession. Although research finds an association between teachers’ level of preparation and both their effectiveness and their likelihood of remaining in the profession, the cost of preparation is increasingly difficult for candidates to afford. To overcome such barriers, at least 40 states have established service scholarship and loan forgiveness programs as a...
Key Challenges and Characteristics of U.S. Colleges of Education
Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:13:32 -0400 Celebrating their 70th anniversary, The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) released a report, Colleges of Education: A National Portrait. The report provides a comprehensive picture of the nation’s schools, colleges and departments of education: the work that they do, the people who do that work and the students they serve. Because teacher preparation is so important to society and central to the work of most colleges of education, the report describes in detail the key trends and challenges in meeting the nation’s need for profession-ready teachers. It also portrays the full spectrum of undergraduate and graduate programs,...
America’s Students More Diverse than Educators in Schools
Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:09:38 -0400 The Pew Research Center recently released an article in FACTANK - America’s Public School Teachers are Far Less Racially and Ethnically Diverse than their Students. Growth in racial and ethnic diversity has been much faster among U.S. students than among both teachers and principals in recent years. Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 20% of all public elementary and secondary school teachers in the United States during the 2015-16 school year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). By comparison, 51% of all public elementary and secondary school students in the U.S. were nonwhite in 2015-16....
Senior Executives at U.S. Department of Education Pushed into New Jobs?
Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:06:18 -0400 Senior career executives in the Education Department are being asked to choose other positions inside the agency, potentially resulting in a significant shake-up of the workforce. While not all of those workers may be reassigned, every member of the department’s Senior Executive Service was asked last month to select two or three positions for potential reassignment, according to a memo viewed by The Washington Post. An attachment listed 68 jobs that could be affected, including positions in finance, acquisitions, budget, ethics, human resources, privacy, and planning.
Federal Budget Deadline Looming - Continuing Resolution or Government Shutdown?
Tue, 11 Sep 2018 17:19:54 -0400 The end of the federal fiscal year is September 30. Will Congress meet the deadline for the final passage of the appropriations bill? Maybe and maybe not? The Senate passed its appropriations bill this summer and the full House has not yet passed its bill. Only the House Appropriations Committee has marked up the appropriations bill. The House recently announced an unconventional path by agreeing to bypass the full House vote and go to conference with the Senate on the Labor-HHS-Education bill. Both the House and the Senate have appointed conferees that will negotiate the final bill. Congress is in...
CEC Denounces the Use of Federal Funds to Purchase Guns and Arm Teachers
Tue, 11 Sep 2018 16:48:51 -0400 The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) recently issued a statement opposing guidance being considered by Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education, that would allow school districts to purchase guns with federal grants funds, specifically Title IV, Part A - Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). CEC supports the use of Title IV, Part A grant funds to support a safe and positive school climate and environment, including funding mental health services and violence prevention programs NOT for purchasing guns to arm teachers. House Democrats (173 out of 193) penned a letter to Secretary...
Teacher Pay Lags Behind
Tue, 11 Sep 2018 16:43:31 -0400 A new paper published by the Economic Policy Institute found that the "teacher wage penalty" has increased significantly. The paper underscores the crisis in teacher pay—the percent by which public school teachers are paid less than comparable workers. The wage gap between teachers and comparable professionals has grown over time, with teachers now earning 18.7 percent less than other college-educated workers. This is just 1.8 percent less than comparable workers in 1994. Overall, teachers' weekly wages lag by more than 25 percent compared to similarly educated professionals in 16 states. There are no states where teacher pay is equal to...
CEC Supports the School Discipline Guidance Package
Tue, 11 Sep 2018 16:36:01 -0400 The Council for Exceptional Children joined the Educators for Excellence and Discipline Revolution Project, along with over 70 signers, who sent a letter to Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions asking them to maintain the Department of Education’s and Justice’s federal guidance related to addressing racial and other disparities in school discipline. The Obama administration's school discipline guidance was issued in 2014 and protects students' civil rights against discriminatory practices. The discipline guidance is important as it informs schools that they may be found in violation of federal civil rights laws if they enforce disciplinary practices that disproportionally target students...
CEC Celebrates ADA’s 28th Anniversary
Tue, 24 Jul 2018 12:14:46 -0400 On July 26, 1990 President George H. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark legislation that forever changed how individuals with exceptionalities are treated. This civil rights law prohibits discrimination based on disability and promotes equality, accessibility, and community integration. On this 28th anniversary, CEC reaffirms its support for the core purposes of ADA and remains committed to the implementation of this essential law.