Congress is back in session after the election and the FY2017 appropriations bill is on their agenda among other important issues. The Congress approved a continuing resolution (CR) through December 9 before leaving Washington for the election. It is not clear the route to a final appropriations bill. Several options are being considered including: all "remaining" bills (mini-buses); mini-buses for some bills but a CR for the whole year for other bills; or another short-term CR until spring for all remaining bills, but it seems unlikely that President Obama would sign such a bill.
Whatever the path to a final spending bill, WE NEED EVERY CEC VOICE to join this advocacy campaign and send a letter to all their members of Congress during the final weeks of November. Our window of opportunity is short. The CR ends on December 9, 2016. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committee proposed bills cut or level fund many special and gifted education programs. The House and Senate bills offer modest increases to IDEA Part B. Both bills level fund Part B Section 619 and Part C. The House bill proposes significant cuts to Part D Programs including: State Personnel Development, Technical Assistance and Dissemination, Personnel Preparation and Technology and Media Services. If these programs are cut it is unlikely that there will be any new grant competitions in FY2017. Both bills level fund Research in Special Education Programs in NCSER and Javits Gifted and Talented Grants. These funding levels are far below the actual need.
TAKE ACTION! NOW is the time to tell your elected officials how important special and gifted education and early intervention funding is to you, children and youth, and your programs. Use CEC's Legislative Action Center to contact Congress - it only takes a few minutes!
The annual Kids’ Share 2016: Federal Expenditures on Children through 2015 and Future Projections report shows the current and future projections of the limited amount of federal money existing for children. These projections include federal spending and tax investments for both children and families. The report states that funding specific to children will be cut in coming years, including education. Education is projected to suffer a 24% decrease in funding throughout the next ten years. Take a stand now and send a letter to your legislators through CEC’s Legislative Action Center to let them know education funding cannot be cut!
Approaching the November 8, 2016 election, as citizens it is our civic responsibility to vote. As special educators, it is our job to promote civic responsibility with the needs of children and youth with exceptionalities in mind. And as advocates on behalf of students with disabilities and/or gifts and talents, it’s important to be aware of the education positions of each candidate so that you vote knowing how your decision will affect your life and those of students with exceptionalities. Our goal is to ensure that you have the information you need to make the best decision for yourself, children and youth and your programs. Read more.
CEC does not take a position to support or oppose any candidate or political party.
This 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.
You advocate for children and youth with exceptionalities every day, and that makes you an expert at telling the powers-that-be what children need to succeed.
Bring your expert advocacy skills to the offices of your elected officials in Congress this summer as a member of your state's national advocacy team during the 2016 Special Education Legislative Summit, July 10-13.
It's your once-a-year opportunity to stand alongside special education teachers, administrators, teacher educators, early interventionists, researchers, teacher candidates, and other related service providers—as we take CEC’s messages to Capitol Hill.