Everyone here at CEC hopes you have a wonderful holiday with your friends and families. We could not achieve our goals without the tremendous support we get from our members. We are thankful for YOU and everything you do for children and youth with exceptionalities!
Last week Kerry spoke on behalf of the continued effort to ratify and addressed the many concerns that are still being raised about topics such as homeschooling, the case of Bond v. United States, and the protection of American Sovereignty.
“I am still convinced that we give up nothing, but get everything in return,” he said. “Our ratification does not require a single change in American law and isn’t going to add a penny to our budget,” addressing that, “this is the single most important step to expand opportunities to over 50 million Americans with disabilities abroad.”
One particular group with disabilities that Kerry emphasized would benefit from the treaty would be American students with disabilities who wish to study abroad, who will need to be able to compete in the global economy, paving the way for the United State’s further involvement and influence internationally.
Support continues to show and not just through disability advocacy and veteran organizations but in businesses as well. Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), in his opening remarks, listed off dozens of groups, businesses and individuals in support of passage, including companies such as Coca-Cola, NASCAR, the Consumer Electronic Association, Microsoft, the Red Cross, IBM, and more! Overall, there are some 800 groups that are pressing the Senate to ratify the treaty.
Despite the support of several well-known Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), conservative groups are still attempting to counter the alliance of administration and activists, insisting that the treaty will harm American interests. Even with opposition, there are an overwhelming number of advocates who disagree with this notion, and Kerry made a note of this best when he took a moment to recognize the people present at the hearing. “This is about something real, look at the people here today, everyone represents thousands more making a difference,” Kerry said. No scheduled vote has been announced but there is no doubt much more to be discussed to make sure the CRPD will win enough votes to make it out of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Last week’s Policy Insider featured our Action Alert: Carve Turkeys, Not Education. Meanwhile, Congress continues to make decisions that will determine the amount of funding provided for education programs. Some lawmakers believe Sequestration must continue, but others are still on the fence. In honor of tomorrow’s celebration of Thanksgiving here in the United States, please join CEC and the Committee for Education Funding -- a national coalition of more than 100 education organizations -– in telling Congress to ‘Carve Turkeys, Not Education!’
CEC staff met today with officials from the White House Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget, and U.S. Department of Education to share how budget cuts have impacted children, schools and communities. As you know, the cuts are hurting our ability to serve our students.
CEC and the National Coalition for Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services (NCPSSERS) have conducted a survey and are putting the data together from more than 1,000 special educators from every state who’ve told us how budget cuts have been impacting services and supports for students with disabilities. Stay tuned in the coming days for a full release of the survey!
Today, we delivered preliminary findings to officials who are working to reverse the trend of sequestration, the federal budget cuts that slashed over $600 million from special education programs last year alone.
We left the meeting today with homework: The White House would like even more stories and data on the impact of budget cuts to families, students, schools and educators! So, if you were unable to participate in our survey from earlier this month, you can still share with us your story about how budget cuts have impacted you, your students and your school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, announced his intention to hold hearings and a markup on the Treaty and is singularly focused and committed to passing the CRPD this year. A hearing was held on Nov. 5. (Listen to the live webcasting with Senator Menendez presiding Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 at 2:30 PM at Senate Dirksen Office Building Room 419)
Another hearing of the Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled for tomorrow, November 21, 2014 at 9:30 AM at Senate Dirksen Office Buidling, Room G-50.
You can also watch the hearing live on C-SPAN or stream it to your computerhere.