Our Policy Agenda
CEC's Policy Priorities
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities. We accomplish our mission through advocacy, standards, and professional development.
The organization has a long history as a leader in advocating on behalf of children and young adults with exceptionalities for the human and fiscal resources necessary to enable each individual to attain their highest level of education, employment, and life success.
CEC’s influence in shaping the policies that support publicly funded education, special education, and early intervention is well recognized and valued by legislators and other policy makers as well as other professional organizations.
Therefore, the Policy Steering Committee (PSC) recommends that CEC establish a set of principles as well as a structure and process for guiding the establishment of legislative and policy priorities that is flexible and not time-bound—and which can also serve as a framework for assessing CEC’s response to changes in policy environments. Accordingly, the PSC recommends that CEC adopt the following principles as a guide for developing policy and advocacy priorities. Further, the PSC recommends that the priorities be reviewed at least annually to determine status and to recommend revisions and replace the prior two-year Public Policy Agenda.
Approved by CEC Board, July 2020
Guided by the following principles, CEC strives to meet the needs of infants, toddlers, children, and young adults with exceptionalities by:
- Engage with Congressional and Executive Branch monitoring, strategic support, and oversight activities to ensure that all appropriations bills as well as any legislative or regulatory policies or positions proposed in response to COVID-19 are consistent with the core principles and support public education’s ability to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education to children and youth with disabilities and early intervention services to children and infants and toddlers.
- In the current political environment, and especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEC agrees with Congressional champions and its partner organizations that now is not the time to reauthorize IDEA.
- Monitor and influence COVID-19 response bills that impact IDEA.
- Monitor and influence COVID-19 response bills that impact students with exceptionalities.
- Monitor and influence the Higher Education Act.
- Monitor and influence COVID‐19 response bills that strengthen the teacher pipeline.
- Support evidence‐based legislative initiatives that strengthen the teacher pipeline.
- Promote emergency funding for IDEA through COVID‐ 19 response and recovery bills.
- Promote large‐scale funding to states to bolster state budgets so that schools can be protected from major revenue losses and educator cuts.
- Advocate for increased funding for IDEA through the Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations process.
- Advocate for the full funding of IDEA by fiscal year 2029.
- Work with lead Congressional committees to develop restraint and seclusion legislation.
- Work with lead Congressional offices to develop school climate legislation.