Remember when more than 250 special education advocates stormed Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities? It was last July during the CEC/CASE 2017 Special Education Legislative Summit. Advocacy is one way that CEC fulfills its mission to advance the success of children and youth with exceptionalities. The ongoing advocacy work done by CEC and its members is essential and it matters.
In January 2017, the CEC community sent over 18,000 letters to Congress during the confirmation hearing of Betsy DeVos demanding for the assurance that all provisions of IDEA be enforced and that public funds be reserved for public education. CEC and its members put the pressure on, raised awareness, and helped to delay the confirmation vote.
Then in March 2017, when Congress was considering the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA), jeopardizing Medicaid funding, the CEC community made a difference. The membership’s advocacy work resulted in the House withdrawing the AHCA from consideration, protecting the $4 billion of Medicaid funding that school districts and early intervention programs rely on to provide services to children and youth with disabilities.
And last July, 250 special education advocates from 46 states stormed Capitol Hill as part of the annual CEC/CASE Special Education Legislative Summit. During the summit, advocates delivered a unified message to lawmakers asking them to protect Medicaid, increase investment in special and gifted education and early intervention programs, and support public education by keeping public funds in public education. The advocacy work of these professionals continues to have a significant effect on the decisions made by Congress.