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!
Congress averted a government shutdown on September 28 by passing a short-term funding continuing resolution until December 9. For federal education programs that received an appropriation in fiscal year (FY) 2016, funding will be extended at the same level, less a 0.496 percent across-the-board reduction, through December 9. Both House and Senate chambers have left Washington D.C. until after the election. They are scheduled to return on November 14. It is anticipated upon their return that Congress will develop a FY 2017 Budget including funding for education programs.
Education and disability issues have received nominal coverage during this year’s Presidential Election, and with final voting taking place in just two months, there is still much to learn about the four leading 2016 presidential candidates. That’s why the Council for Exceptional Children encourages voters to access the individual campaign websites for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jill Stein and Gary Johnson for information about what the candidates and their respective party platforms have to say about issues such as special and gifted education, school spending, early-childhood education and testing, among others. Voters may also access an overview of each nominee’s positions here. And be sure to ask your candidates, at the national, state, and local level, where they stand on education of children with exceptionalities.
*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.
In a bipartisan effort, members of the House Education Committee updated the Carl. D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act (1984). The goal of the rewrite is to improve career and technical education. Committee Chairman, John Kline (R-MN), posted a fact sheet to the Education and the Workforce website. Read more here.