A bi-weekly e-brief of the DEC Children's Action Network
Want to see more emails like this?  
Call to Action

★ Contact your Senators and ask them to do no harm to children with disabilities by rejecting the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and strengthening Medicaid services in schools and early intervention programs. You can use the look-up tool at the CEC Legislative Action Center to find your Senators’ website(s) and contact them. You can also tweet your Senators or tweet your Representatives.

 Please continue to share the message that #WeBelieve in inclusion and the civil rights of all children and youth with disabilities and their families across social media. 


On June 6th, the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families (GCCF) released a report titled, “Medicaid in Small Towns and Rural America: A Lifeline for Children, Families and Communities”. The report provides a state-by-state look at the impact of Medicaid expansion. In particular, the report demonstrates that nearly half of the children in rural areas rely on Medicaid, while a smaller (but still substantial) percentage of children rely on it metropolitan areas. For children, the data show a clear correlation between increases in Medicaid coverage and decreases in the rate of uninsured kids in small towns and rural areas. Understanding the data trends in this report is important as advocates for young children, especially those with disabilities, who rely on Medicaid. 

 On June 1st, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had launched a revamped IDEA website. The new site URL is https://sites.ed.gov/idea/. The original IDEA website, referred to as the IDEA legacy website, remains available at http://idea.ed.gov

 At the end of May, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) released its annual report on the state of preschool. The report, The State of Preschool 2016, describes the state of state-funded preschool during the 2015-2016 academic year, showing that both enrollment and state-level funding increased during that time. The report provides a comprehensive overview as well as state-specific profiles. This document may be useful for DEC members to be familiar with as we continue to examine the extent to which inclusive preschool opportunities become available as preschool access increases. 

 On June 6th, the Council for Exceptional Children joined with Senators Casey, Wyden, Van Hollen, Duckworth, and Hassan- along with hundreds of disability, civil rights, and human rights advocates- to tell the Senate to stop Medicaid cuts and caps and protect the lives of people with disabilities. You can read the press release from the Save Medicaid Hill Day and Rally here. To read more about the impact of the June 6th day of action, check out Center for Public Representation (CPR)’s list. 

Other updates, courtesy of the Council for Exceptional Children:

DEC Policy & Advocacy News
Sharon Walsh, DEC Governmental Relations Consultant, has developed a comprehensive FY 2018 funding update specific to the programs and legislation important to young children with disabilities and their families. This DEC-centric update provides greater detail than our previous eBrief and news updates on the FY 2018 budget. You can read the update on the DEC Policy website here

 Ashley Lyons, Children’s Action Network (CAN) Coordinator, held a DEC advocacy webinar titled CAN: The Way Forward on Friday May 26th. The recording of this event is available on the DEC Policy website’s CAN recordings page

 DID YOU KNOW? At the CEC Legislative Action Center, you can use the look-up tool to find all the elected representatives for your area, both at the federal and state level. For those members who have voted on education issues at the federal level, CEC provides a scorecard regarding the extent to which their votes have matched up with CEC positions. 
  • DEC CAN Coordinator Drop-in Hours begin on Tuesday June 13th from 12-1pm ET. To call in during this time, use the following call-in information
    URL: join.freeconferencecall.com/anlyons7 (for screen sharing, video, etc.
    Dial-In Number: (641) 715-3580 
    Access Code: 632276 
    Pin: 8435 
    Online Meeting ID: anlyons7 
    Alternatively, you can bookmark this link for access to ongoing CAN information (e.g., CAN calendar, Google Drive, etc.). Not a CAN Coordinator? No problem! Join us during drop-in hours to learn more about the purpose of CAN and what you can do to get involved. 
  • The next DEC Advocacy webinar will be in July. Stay tuned for the date and time.  
Have an early childhood special education or early intervention policy or advocacy story you would like to share? Whether you are a Subdivision leader/member or just an interested DEC member unaffiliated with a Subdivision, contact  brittany@dec-sped.org or DEC CAN Coordinator anlyons@kent.edu  to share what's happening in your state or Subdivision or just to bring awareness to an important policy or advocacy issue relevant to DEC. 

Please note that all story submissions must be non-partisan in nature. If you are interested in guidance on how to craft your story and/or how to ensure it is non-partisan, DEC will be happy to help! Selected stories will be shared in a future issue of YES DEC CAN!