Saturday, March 24, 2018
National Association of State Directors of Special Education
Government Relations

Government Relations



February 9, 2018: NASDSE sent a letter to Secretary DeVos urging the Department NOT to postpone implementation of the significant disproportionality regulation. Read the letter here.   


May 8, 2017: National Association of State Directors of Special Education Opposes House-Passed American Health Care Act: The National Association of State Directors (NASDSE) is deeply disappointed in the result of House of Representatives’ vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The passage of this bill, which restructures Medicaid and removes mandates of critical coverage for comprehensive essential health benefits, jeopardizes healthcare for the nation’s most vulnerable children, especially students with disabilities. The AHCA rescinds Medicaid’s 50+ year commitment to provide America’s children with access to vital healthcare services that ensure they have adequate educational opportunities and can contribute to society by imposing a per-capita cap and shifting current and future costs to taxpayers in every state and Congressional district. Moreover, a per capita cap, even one with various “buckets” for beneficiaries, will disproportionally harm children’s access to medical care, including services received at school.

School-based Medicaid programs serve as a lifeline to children who can’t access critical health care and health services outside of their school. Many schools use Medicaid to pay for the personnel, services, and equipment required to help students with disabilities. These funds supply wheelchairs, lifts, physical, speech and occupational therapies, and a multitude of other supports necessary to help students with disabilities thrive in the school setting, while meeting the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The projected loss of $880 billion in federal Medicaid dollars will compel states to ration health care for children. School-based health services are required by IDEA and do not cease simply because Medicaid funds are capped by the AHCA. In other words, the cost of providing those services will be shifted to every school district in the country, in some cases requiring school districts to eliminate other programs and/or raising local taxes.

Our nation’s vulnerable youth deserve better. We urge the Senate to reject these harmful proposals in the AHCA and preserve the availability of comprehensive Medicaid services, including those provided at school.


January 20, 2017: For the past two years, NASDSE’s Board of Directors, with NASDSE member input, has been working on a set of principles for the reauthorization of IDEA. The Principles are now final. Please click here to review them. Your feedback is welcome – please send your comments to


APRIL 14, 2015: NASDSE submitted a letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today as the Committee begins to debate the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Click here to read the letter.


APRIL 3, 2014: NASDSE has written a letter to Rep. Kline, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives' Education and the Workforce Committee and Rep. George Miller, the ranking member of the Committee, in support of new, bipartisan charter school legislation introduced on April 1st. NASDSE is particularly pleased that this bill calls on charter schools to work to both enroll and retain students with disabilities. This legislation represents a bipartisan commitment to this issue. For a copy of the letter, click here.


FEBRUARY 5, 2014: At its January 30-31 Board of Directors Meeting, the NASDSE Board adopted a Government Relations Agenda for 2014. View the Agenda here.


OCTOBER 22, 2013: NASDSE recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Education on two important issues:

(1)  The Department's proposed rescission of the use of and alternate assessment based on modified academic achievement standards (the '2%' assessment) and

(2)  The Department's proposed strategic plan.

To view the letters, click here.


JULY 16, 2013: NASDSE's Letter Opposing H.R.5, the Student Success Act: NASDSE has written to all members of the House of Representatives opposing, H.R.5, the Student Success Act. Read our letter here.


JUNE 2011: With Congress beginning work on the reauthorization on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), NASDSE and the National Title 1 Association (NASTID) jointly released Recommendations for Improved Coordination Between Title 1 and IDEA. Congress has not completed its work ESEA and our document is still very relevant. Click here to download the document





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