Friday, October 18, 2019
National Association of State Directors of Special Education
Government Relations

Government Relations


NASDSE has written or endorsed a number of letters to Congress on behalf of the state directors of special education in 2018. They are listed below. This list will be updated on a regular basis.


Sign-on letter from Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) expressing concern regarding the withdrawal of guidance and technical assistance documents concerning the American with Disabilities (ADA) Act.


CCD sign-on letter supporting protection of access to complex rehabilitation manual wheelchair accessories for people with disabilities.


Sign-on letter supporting a request for Senate hearings on the education and health crises in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from hurricanes.


CCD sign-on letter thanking legislators for passing Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act.


Sign-on letter from the Mental Health Liaison Group (MHLG) supporting the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.


Child Care & Early Learning Coalition sign-on letter supporting an increase in funding for the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in the FY18 budget.


NASDSE letter regarding the possible delay of the significant disproportionality regulation.


Statement from the National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE) expressing concern with the Administration’s budget request to expand and create new privatization programs, rather than to strengthen public schools.


Sign-on letter supporting the recommendations for reauthorization of the intellectual disability provisions in the Higher Education Act developed by the Inclusive Higher Education Committee.


Sign-on letter from the Title IVA coalition supporting an increased appropriation for Title IVA of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


CCD sign-on letter sharing principles and recommendations for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.


NASDSE letter sharing principles and recommendations for reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.


Statement supporting recommendations to prevent gun violence developed by the Interdisciplinary group on Preventing School and Community Violence.


UDL Task Force sign-on letter promoting the use of UDL in reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.


Joint statement in support of public education for National Public Schools Week.


NASDSE letter supporting the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.


Sign-on letter supporting a funding increase for IDEA.


Sign-on letter supporting funding for the Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant Program authorized under Title II of Higher Education Act.


CCD sign-on letter opposing the Americans with Disabilities Act Education and Reform Act of 2017.


Child Care and Early Learning Coalition thank you letter for supporting the increase for the CCDBG.


Sign-on letter supporting full funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


NCPE sign-on letter expressing concern with the Military Education Savings Account Act of 2018 which would turn Impact Aid into a voucher program for military connected families. (House).


NCPE sign-on letter expressing concern with the Military Education Savings Account Act of 2018 which would turn Impact Aid into a voucher program for military connected families. (Senate)


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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