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Take Action: Senate-Passed Budget Resolution Could Include Historic Investment in Educator Pipeline

Senate HELP committee leaders in masks after proposing bill

This week, the Senate passed a budget resolution instructing key committees to begin drafting a $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill expected to resemble the American Families Plan (AFP).

$726 billion has been allocated to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), which has jurisdiction over education legislation. The HELP Committee could make investments in a variety of priorities from the AFP, including universal pre-k, free community college, and a historic $9 billion proposal to grow the educator workforce.

The AFP proposal to fortify the educator pipeline includes $900 million for Personnel Preparation under Part D of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This fund helps prepare new special educators, early interventionists, and specialized instructional support personnel to effectively support children with disabilities. By some estimates, it could fully address shortages over the next 10 years.

Committee leaders are under considerable pressure, as the legislation is expected to be drafted by mid-September and advance through the Senate and House early this fall. Reconciliation bills bypass the Senate filibuster rule, only requiring a simple majority to pass. Thus, every Senate Democrat will need to vote in favor of the package—a challenge given the tentative support of moderate Democrats for another major spending package. To appease moderate Democrats, the final price tag could be lowered, jeopardizing the inclusion of all AFP proposals.

Take Action Today to Support the Special Educator Workforce

Over the next month, the HELP Committee will be drafting its portion of the reconciliation bill. CEC encourages you and your colleagues to join us in support of the inclusion of $900 million for IDEA Part D Personnel Preparation funding as part of the bill. We are partnering with numerous groups to make our voice as loud as possible and turn this proposal into a reality!

Please take 2 minutes to send a pre-drafted, customizable email to your Congressional delegation here. Every message counts so please share this message widely. Let’s reverse the trend and build back the special educator workforce!

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Posted:  13 August, 2021
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