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Exciting times!
CASE
Things have really been "popping" in the heat of the summer! CASE Policy and Legislative committee, chaired by Phyllis Wolfram (MO) has been very busy over this past year! They have once again revised the CASE ESEA brochure just in time for the Legislative Summit AND for you to use with your Senators and Representatives while they are home on their August recess. ESEA is at a critical point. There will be many decisions made during the conference committee work. The House and Senate versions are polar opposites and so it is up to all of us to speak to both Senate and Representatives to point out what is important to our schools, students and communities! Click here for the most up to date version of the CASE ESEA recommendations!

Speaking of talking to your legislators during their August Recess... CASE Legislative Consultant, Myrna Mandlawitz, has put together a short explanation of NDD and Sequester. Be sure to read it in this issue! Hopefully, it will help you explain to your delegation how important it is for the Congress to remove Sequestration!

Speaking of Policy/Legislative Issues... Maintenance of Effort is one of the issues the Policy and Legislative committee has been working on for over 5 years! Some of our members are in dire financial straits due to decisions made by Governors and state legislatures. CASE has worked with many folks over this time and there finally was an option that seemed to provide relief to the LEA but at the same time protect students with disabilities from budget fights! Let me make it very clear, CASE does not want to eliminate MOE! We just want to correct some unforeseen consequences given the budget decisions being made in some states. If it isn't a problem in your state now, just remember it only takes one decision by either the Governor or your Legislature for it to become a big issue for you! Rep. Walberg (MI) has introduced a bill which CASE is supporting H.R. 2965. To find out more on the bill go to www.thomas.gov and then enter in the H.R 2965.

Speaking of MOE... I attended the OSEP meeting in DC this past week and there was a session on MOE for LEA (Local Education Agency). While OSEP is bound by the law, they did relook at the regulations to see if there was anything they could do to assist the LEAs. They have developed a power point, a cross walk between the former regs and the now current regs and a Q & A. CASE has also offered to work with OSEP to make sure all directors know how to maximize their dollars and accounting in ways to prevent an MOE failure. What are some things you feel you need in order to better understand and therefore meet MOE? Let us know as OSEP leadership are sincere when they say they do want to help.

We now have the list of the breakout sessions for the fall conference. Even though you missed out on the Early Bird registration, the price is still a bargain! The price includes 2 lunches, 2 breakfasts, and lots of snacks as well as quality keynoters and amazing breakout sessions! A tentative schedule for the conference is ready for you to check out by clicking here and also look at these practical, cutting edge breakout sessions! Mark your calendar now and register as soon as you can. Don't forget to get your room as they are going fast! Click here to reserve your hotel room and remember to use the code "case."

Last Week's Poll asked, "How do you determine when to add more Special Education staff?" and of those answering the poll, the vast majority (77 percent) said they used standardized formulas/caseload limits to determine those needs. All the rest (23 percent) said they used subjective determinations. Does this surprise you? I was not surprised about which came in first and second, but I am surprised no one said school requests played a roll. I would be very interested in seeing some of your standardized formulas/caseload limits ... and I bet others would like to see them too ... perhaps you would be willing to share them with us — you could even take off the school district or any identifiable notations. Just send them to me at lpurcell@casecec.org.

Thanks for all you do all the time to make sure ALL students succeed!

Signature


Luann Purcell
Executive Director
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Understanding the federal budget caps: It's not just NDD!
Myrna Mandlawitz, CASE Legislative Consultant
In 2011 Congress passed the Budget Control Act to address the growing deficit. The BCA calls for $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction through 2021 — $984 billion in budget cuts and $216 billion in reduced interest payments. As part of the BCA, the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction — the Super Committee — was appointed to determine where to cut. However, the Super Committee was not able to meet its mandate, triggering the process of sequestration or automatic across the board cuts in all discretionary spending — education, health, social services, environmental protection and all other agencies, including defense and homeland security.
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Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
U.S. Department of Education
On Friday, July 24, 2015, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights will bring together policy and program leaders, community organizations, and youth to examine current implications of the ADA's implementation and cross-cutting issues with other federal civil rights laws, and plant the seeds for the next 25 years of achieving new milestones to advance civil rights for people with all types of disabilities. To unite thought leaders with today's up-and-coming generation of youth and young adults with disabilities, the event will consist of three parts.
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CEC Division for Research 2016 Awards: Call for nominations
CEC via CASE
The following awards are open for nominations. Self-nominations are welcome. The deadline for all award nominations is Oct. 15. Information on previous recipients of each award can be found at: http://www.cecdr.org/.
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Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
Conference on Behavior Issues for School Leaders
Oct. 8-9
12604 Quivira Road, Overland Park, Kansas

Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders
The Conference on Behavior Issues for School Leaders sponsored by Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders provides evidence-based information for building leadership teams to build positive student behavior and work effectively with difficult students.

Conference features: Vern Jones, Ph.D., author and co-author of books including, "Comprehensive Classroom Management: Creating Communities of Support and Solving Problems", and "Creating Effective Programs for Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders." Sessions will focus on what school leadership teams can do to support teachers in their work with challenging students. David Bateman, Ph.D., co-author of "A Principal's Guide to Special Education" and "The Special Education Program Administrator's Handbook" will talk about what special education teachers want/need from their school leaders and what administrators need to know about the 504 process.

Contact www.mslbd.org "School Leaders’ Conference" for session descriptions, registration and hotel information. Early Bird discounts are available through Sept. 25, 2015. Teams of 3 or more receive a 15 percent discount. This is a conference you don't want to miss!

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IDEA changes lives: 40 years of parent training and support
U.S. Department of Education
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In the same year, the first center to help parents understand IDEA and how to advocate for their children with disabilities was born.
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HHS, Education Department and Too Small to Fail release the 'Talk, Read, Sing Together Every day!' toolkit
CASE
"We know that right now during the first three years of life, a child born into a low-income family hears 30 million fewer words than a child born into a well-off family. By giving more of our kids access to high-quality pre-school and other early learning programs, and by helping parents get the tools they need to help their kids succeed, we can give those kids a better shot at the career they are capable of, and a life that will make us all better off."

-President Obama


During the first few years of life, children's brains develop at a rapid pace, influenced by the experiences they have at home, in their early care and education settings, and in their communities. Their experiences include the quantity and quality of words they are exposed to through talking, reading and singing. Research has found that providing infants, toddlers and preschoolers with rich early language experiences can have important benefits on their brain development and school readiness.

Today, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education, in partnership with Too Small to Fail, are releasing "Talk, Read, Sing Together, Every Day!," a suite of resources that can help enrich children's early language experiences beginning from birth. This toolkit is the result of a commitment made at the 2014 White House convening focused on bridging the "word gap."

The suite of resources includes tip sheets for families, preschool teachers, and infant/toddler teachers and caregivers, as well as a fact sheet that highlights the evidence behind the benefits of being bilingual and embracing children's home languages. All tip sheets are available in English and Spanish, and can be downloaded for free at toosmall.org.

We hope you find these resources helpful and share them with your networks!





How safe is the schoolhouse?
Autism National Committee
The updated 2015 edition of How Safe Is the Schoolhouse? An Analysis of State Seclusion and Restraint Laws and Policies, written by Jessica Butler, has been published by the Autism National Committee. The report describes and examines state restraint and seclusion statutes, regulations, rules, and policies/guidelines in effect as of March 2015.
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Making a shift in the public workforce system
U.S. Department of Education
July 1, 2015, marks the day that many of the provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act take effect. This new law has the potential to make a tremendous difference for tens of millions of workers, jobseekers and students across this country. WIOA's transformation of our publicly-funded workforce system means that all of us — federal and state partners, governments, nonprofits and educational and training institutions, must be pressing for innovations.
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The Raising of America
OSERS Office of the Assistant Secretary
The screening for The Raising of America early childhood documentary was a great success! We had a strong turnout for the event with over 100 participants, including many online. Our panelists, Libby Doggett, Linda Smith and Christy Kavulic, led a lively discussion about the state of early childhood education in America and how the Administration is working to address the most critical issues faced by families with young children. Thank you to all who joined us to view The Raising of America documentary. If you missed the screening, you can view it on EDSTREAM until July 31.

To learn more about The Raising of America, you can also visit the website at: http://www.raisingofamerica.org/documentary.

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Bridging the gap between educators and policy experts
The Teacher Voice Project
From NCLB to IDEA to FERPA, we see the impact of decisions by Congress on a daily basis in our schools. Too often, the voices of teachers and administrators are absent from the table when these momentous decisions are made, though their wisdom and experience are imperative to making them work. For those who are interested in joining the policy debate at the state or federal level, a new report (Teacher Voice: The Current Landscape of Education and Policy Expert Communication) may help. Through case studies and survey results, it explores how educators and policy experts currently communicate and offers tips for teachers and administrators hoping to get more involved in policy discussions.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    $28 million effort aims to identify autism biomarkers (Disability Scoop)
Education groups urge Congress to finish the job on No Child Left Behind (The Washington Post)
The test that can look into a child's (reading) future (NPR)
Identifying literacy and learning disabilities early (Language Magazine)
Budget allocates $10 million for training in positive discipline (EdSource)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


A matter of equity: Preschool in America
OSERS
All parents hope their child will start school ready for success. Unfortunately, not every parent can find the high-quality early learning opportunity that sets their child up for success.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Education released a new report outlining the unmet need for high-quality early learning programs in America. Roughly 6 in 10 4-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded preschool programs, and even fewer are enrolled in the highest quality programs.

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Teacher Educators and Accomplished teachers
Pearson
Pearson is in need of educators to score edTPA! edTPA is designed for the profession by the profession, edTPA was developed by teachers and teacher educators from across the nation, in collaboration with faculty and staff from Stanford University, to support candidate learning and preparation program growth and renewal. Aligned with the Common Core State Standards and InTASC Standards, edTPA assesses teaching that promotes student learning in diverse contexts.
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50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments for 2014-2015
Education Commission of the States
Has the frenzy around Common Core State Standards impacted decisions on which state summative assessments are being administered this year? That's the question on many minds as we approach spring testing time. As many states began adopting college and career ready standards, such as the Common Core State Standards, there became a subsequent need to develop new summative assessments — tests that measure the new skills and knowledge outlined in the new standards.
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CEC Policy Insider


Hot Topics: Subject line featured story

Schools warned on speech services for students with autism
Disability Scoop
Federal education officials are reminding schools not to skimp on needed speech and language services for children with autism. In a letter to states, officials from the U.S. Department of Education say they've heard that an increasing number of kids on the spectrum may not be receiving services from speech-language pathologists at school. Moreover, such professionals are frequently left out of the evaluation process and are often not present at meetings to determine what services a child should receive under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the department said.
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Legislation


Education Department celebrates ADA's 25th anniversary
Education Week
Twenty-five years after the Americans With Disabilities Act passed, schools and other public spaces have made strides to accommodate children and youth with disabilities, said the participants at a U.S. Department of Education event to honor the civil rights law. But there is still work to be done on making the promise of the ADA the "delivered reality of our kids in schools," said Catherine E. Lhamon, the assistant secretary for civil rights at the department.
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As Senate passes ESEA bill, focus shifts to compromise
Education News
The U.S. Senate has passed an update to the much-criticized No Child Left Behind education with a vote of 81-17. The bill cleared a week after the House barely passed its version of the rewrite of the 2002 law. This win was one that Republican supporters had worked months to achieve. Maggie Severns and Kimberly Hefling, writing for Politico, say it is now time for the two chambers and the Obama administration to negotiate a bill that will be acceptable to the President and House Republicans. The House GOP members passed their bill without any Democratic support and under the threat of having it vetoed.
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Justice Department says Georgia illegally segregates students
Disability Scoop
At a school in Cordele, students with behavioral disorders must use segregated restrooms. They have separate lunch periods. They have to enter through a special door and, unlike their peers without disabilities, pass through a metal detector. In Rome, students in the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support program aren't allowed to engage with other students — or even leave the basement. "School," one student said, "is like prison where I am in the weird class." Through such programs, Georgia illegally segregates thousands of students with behavioral or psychiatric disorders, often in schools that are dirty, in poor repair and, in some cases, served as blacks-only facilities before court-ordered integration, the U.S. Justice Department charged this week.
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In the News


No Child Left Behind's one big achievement?
The Atlantic
Nearly two decades ago, when Ricki Sabia insisted her 5-year-old son could read, his public-school teachers didn't believe her. He didn't have a clear reading voice, Sabia explained, so they couldn't understand him. "His expressive-language issues were a big barrier and caused inappropriately low expectations," said Sabia, whose son, Steve, has Down syndrome. "It wasn't until he started taking state assessments and far exceeding expectations that they started to take my observations about his abilities seriously and stopped trying to get him into special-ed classes."
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Digital literacy yields test gains, better behavior
District Administration Magazine
Test scores have improved and online bullying incidents have been virtually eliminated at a California school that added weekly digital literacy instruction to its curriculum five years ago. In response to an online bullying incident in 2010, parent Diana Garber and Journey School, a public K-8 charter with 400 students in California's Capistrano USD, created the Cyber Civics curriculum for the middle school grades.
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A song of loneliness, empathy and action
By: Howard Margolis
For at least 100 times over the past several days, I've listened to Vivian Green's rendition of "Oh, Freedom." Her performance was morally powerful, personally humbling, and haunting in a bittersweet way. In its courage and moral power, it offers lessons to those of us concerned about the needs and dignity of children and adults with disabilities.
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5 clever ideas to spark independent reading by kids
MindShift
There are so many concepts, skills and standards to be covered in any given school day, week or year that it can be easy to forget about one simple activity that promotes autonomy and starts students down a path of lifelong learning — independent reading. Kids are increasingly immersed in their digital devices, leading some adults to worry that reading for pleasure is in danger of disappearing. But creative school librarians are proving there are plenty of great ways to get kids excited about reading on their own.
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What we (don't) know about English learners and special education
Education Week
English language learners are one of the nation's fastest-growing student populations. But when it comes to English learners who may also have learning disabilities, states and districts are struggling both to identify these children and to steer them to effective programs. A document from the federal Institute of Education Sciences and written by the Regional Laboratory West at WestEd outlines the challenges facing schools around English learners and students with disabilities. The document offers examples of what some states are doing around student identification and support of English learners with disabilities.
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CASE Weekly Update
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