CEC Introduces Issue Briefs to Support Special Education Advocacy

CecThis summer, over 200 special educators gathered in Washington, D.C. at the Special Education Legislative Summit, organized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) to advocate for special and gifted education issues with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill. During the 5-day event, attendees were briefed on nine critical issues addressing special and gifted education.

In an effort to promote additional advocacy, CEC has released all nine issue briefs, and encourages advocates to use them when preparing to speak with their members of Congress. The issue briefs consist of the topics below.

  1. Education Appropriations
  2. School and Community Based Mental Health
  3. Early Childhood
  4. Indiv (Read more...)

Your Thoughts on IDEA Reauthorization?

CecWhile we do not know for sure when IDEA reauthorization will occur, CEC wants to be proactive! To prepare for the reauthorization, the CEC Board of Directors has created an IDEA Work Group to develop principles and recommendations that will be available early in 2017. The Work Group wants to hear from CEC members, units, and divisions about successes and challenges with IDEA. Take part in this important effort and tell us what you think by completing all or part of the IDEA Reauthorization Survey. Please respond by October 12, 2016. Thank you for your participation! Learn more.

Join us! CEC’s Policy Team Heads to CEC’s Annual Convention and Expo with a Packed Agenda!

Cec_2016We hope you will be joining us and thousands of special educators in St. Louis, Missouri for CEC’s Annual Convention and Expo! CEC’s Convention will provide us all with an opportunity to reflect on special education and how we can continue to advance the profession and support better outcomes for children and youth with disabilities and gifts and talents.  This year’s convention will offer over 800 professional development sessions featuring the most pressing issues in the field, as well as speakers and celebrations you won’t want to miss!  

CEC’s Policy and Advocacy team will be bringing to you the hot policy topics from budget to ESSA and beyond! Here is the schedule of events (Read more...)

ED Releases Thirty – Seventh Annual Report to Congress on IDEA

Education-1The 37th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2015. Section 664(d) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as reauthorized in 2004, requires that the Department of Education report annually on the progress made toward the provision of a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities and the provision of early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities.

The 37th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 2015 describes our nation’s progress in:

  1. providing a free appropriate public educ (Read more...)

FY 2016 Omnibus: Increases Proposed for Special and Gifted Education!

Capitol 3The final text of the FY 2016 Omnibus was filed by Congress early this morning. Another short – term continuing resolution will likely be voted on by Congress in the next couple of days followed by the FY 2016 Omnibus.

CEC’s Advocacy voice was heard! While most education programs are recommended to be frozen at FY 15 amounts, both special and gifted education are slated for increases.

The following CEC supported programs are recommended to receive increases in the Omnibus for FY 2016 including:

  • IDEA Part B = +$415 million
  • IDEA Preschool Program = +$15 million
  • IDEA Part C = +$20 million
  • IDEA Part D
    • Technical Assistance and Dissemination = +$2.5 million
    • Technology and media services = +$2 mi (Read more...)

CEC Celebrates 40 Years of IDEA: Share Your Reflections

NewS (1)On the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Council for Exceptional Children reflects on the efforts of children and youth with disabilities, their families, educators, and policymakers who were instrumental in the passage of this legislation and remain committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities attain a lifetime of success.

On November 29, 1975, President Gerard Ford signed into law the Education for all Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94 – 142), legislation that paved the way for improved educational outcomes for individuals with disabilities. CEC was at the forefront of the advocacy effort – alongside many parents, organizations and (Read more...)

IDEA 40: Resources for Special Educators

Idea deptThe U.S. Department of Education and Justice released several resources for use by special educators and families during its 40th Anniversary of IDEA celebrations on Tuesday including the:

ED Celebrates 40 Years of IDEA

IdeaThis week there has been a flurry of White House and U.S. Department of Education events recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). CEC staff were pleased to join in the recognition of 40 years of progress in ensuring a free appropriate public education for our nation’s children and youth with disabilities. The week started out with a reception on Monday evening to honor the many significant contributions that families, teachers, related service providers, administrators, researchers, teacher educators and so many others have made under IDEA.

Tuesday began early at the White House where the stage was filled with policy makers, youth impacted by IDEA, ex (Read more...)

ED Celebrates IDEA 40th—Live!

Idea deptThe U.S. Department of Education and its Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), invites you to view two special events celebrating the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

When IDEA was enacted in 1975, America pledged to provide and ensure that children with disabilities have opportunities to develop their talents and contribute to their communities. That pledge endures today and IDEA continues to provide not only access to the school house, to assessment and to the general curriculum, but the full promise of inclusion, equity and opportunity. 

Read more about the events. 

Tell Congress TODAY to Increase FY 2016 Funding for Special and Gifted Education!

Action-AlertThe U.S. Congress voted to raise the budget caps last week thanks to the many advocates including CEC members who contacted their members of Congress. Thank you for your advocacy. Your voice made a difference! 

The bill eliminates most of the harmful sequester caps for nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 and FY 2017, thereby providing room for critically important investments in education programs including special and gifted education, through appropriations. 

We need your voice AGAIN! Please go to CEC’s Legislative Action Center and send a letter to your members of Congress and tell them to increase the FY 2016 Appropriations for IDEA programs, JAV (Read more...)