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We have wonderful members in Canada and other countries

from CASE

Did you know we have two Canadian subdivisions? We have one in Ontario and one in British Columbia but we have members in 7 of the 10 provinces and 3 territories. As I was about to start writing this article, I realized almost every morning I drink my green tea from my favorite mug — one given to me by the wonderful folks in the Ontario CASE unit when I did a half day workshop for them a couple of years ago. I am always looking for our friends to the north to tell me more of what CASE can do for them. And for them to share some of the great work they do on behalf of students — all students! Thank you for all you do for so many and without a federal law that mandates it!

Speaking of federal laws... Phyllis Wolfram (MO) and her amazing policy and legislative committee have been really busy these last couple of weeks on the CASE response to the NPRM on Disproportionality. There are so issues which vary drastically from state to state! I believe the process CASE uses to determine the position we should take is full of requests for input and equally rich in thoughtful deliberation. We know not all units will be in agreement with every point but we just try to put together a thoughtful expression of our best beliefs for the good of the child, school, district, and state and hopefully we can continue to influence! Watch the CASE website under legislative for those positions/letters. The committee is also working on the recommendations for IDEA Reauthorization. Have input? Send it to Phyllis Wolfram.

And speaking of continuing to influence ... Have you registered for the CEC/CASE Legislative Summit? This event is the perfect way to influence our legislators and their staff — many who actually write the laws! Be sure your state is represented and register now! You can get other information on the dedicated webpage for the Summit! We had over 180 last year and the hotel has limited space so we need you to make your hotel reservations ASAP! Believe me, a room rate of $155 in a D.C. area hotel right across the street from the metro is a real deal!

Remember, if you bring 3 or more, there is a great group rate! Of all of the CASE events, the Legislative Summit gets both the highest marks on evaluation and highest return rate! It is also an event that is hard for the State units to replicate. Be a part of the team your state sends to advocate for special education up on the Hill this year!

The Poll for the last two weeks dealt with hiring issues. The question for the week of May 2 was "what is your biggest issue in finding the personnel you need?" First place with 41 percent was, sufficient applicants in our location. In second place with 29 percent was funding for the position. Coming in third with 18 percent was adequately trained applicants. With 12 percent was sufficient resources for personnel. I think that could also count toward funding, don't you think? Maybe a good point to make when we go up on the Hill! There was one "other" listed: "a toss-up between sufficient applicants and adequately trained." There was a statement with that comment that said the university programs were turning out weak candidates. Another good reason we should be working collaboratively with our university and college programs!

The question for this past week was "what is the most critical factor you look for when hiring?" There was a tie for first place with 33 percent: willingness to learn and desire to teach and make a difference — likes children. I know it almost seems redundant to say teacher and likes children but haven't you run into teachers who at the very basic level you believed didn't even like children?! In second place with 17 percent was attitude towards team work. I think being willing and able to be a part of a team is so critical in our schools today! Coming in third with 6 percent was skill competence level. There were a couple of "other" listed: "the person's core belief regarding education, special education, and students with disabilities" and "using data to make educational decisions." How do these critical factors line up in your mind — they really all are aren't they!

Speaking of hiring, are you using the resources available to you through CASE and CEC? Be sure to visit both the CASE Career Center and the CEC Career Center.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read the weekly update and especially for answering the weekly poll! I know as the days in May click away, the pace of the school district increases. In my area, the last day of school for the students is May 25 though I know many of you go well into June. Either way, the close of the 2015-2016 school year is fast approaching. Take time to keep yourself in good shape, your job is a marathon, not a sprint! Thank you for all you do every day for so many!

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Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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