October 4th, 2022

September Policy News Round-Up

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the RISE Act, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution, NAEP scores show pandemic declines, and organizations commented on proposed Title IX regulations. See how NCLD worked on behalf of students with disabilities this month.

The RISE Act Passes the House as Part of the Mental Health Matters Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Respond, Innovate, Succeed, and Empower (RISE) Act, which was included in H.R. 7780, the Mental Health Matters Act, last week.

NCLD has championed the RISE Act (H.R.4786 as a stand-alone bill) from the first time it was introduced in 2015. Advocates have spent the last 7 years paving the way towards this achievement. Countless parents, young adults, school leaders, and more find the process for getting accommodations in college too burdensome, arcane, and unclear. The RISE Act addresses this problem by requiring that colleges accept a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 plan, or prior evaluation as sufficient proof of their disability when seeking accommodations at their college or university. The bill is a bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation endorsed by over 40 education groups and civil and disability rights organizations. 

See NCLD’s press release here

Congress Passes a Continuing Resolution to Avoid Government Shutdown

On September 30th, President Biden signed a short-term funding bill to keep the government running for the next few months, narrowly avoiding a shutdown just hours until the midnight deadline. The measure will allow the government to remain funded at the current spending levels through December 16th. NCLD will continue to advocate for increasing funding for critical programs that support students with disabilities, their families, and their educators. 

NAEP Long-Term Trends from 2020 to 2022 Show Pandemic’s Impact

This year, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) administered the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for reading and math for aged 9 students. 92% of the same schools were sampled for the 2022 and 2020 assessment, allowing for a more direct comparison. A few takeaways: 

  • The decline was the largest average score decline in reading since 1990 and the first-ever decline in mathematics. 
  • Average reading scores for students with disabilities declined by 7 points (compared to 5 points for students without disabilities) 
  • Math scores of the bottom 10 percent of students declined by 12 points, compared to 8 points at the 50th percentile and 3 points at the 90th percentile
  • Higher performing students overall were more confident in their remote learning abilities. 

See the full results and read more here.

NCLD and Disability Organizations Submitted Comments on Proposed Title IX Regulations 

This summer, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) released proposed changes to Title IX regulations to help schools implement legislation that protects individuals from discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. The proposed changes were open for public comment for 60 days. NCLD and 19 other disability organizations’ recommendations focused on ensuring this law supports every student with a disability attending a K-12 school or enrolled in a postsecondary institution. NCLD also supports proposed changes, such as the explicit listing of anti-LGBTQI+ discrimination, offering supports to individuals, and grievance procedures. Read the full letter here.

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month!

In October, NCLD is recognizing LD Awareness Month by focusing on the intersection of learning disabilities and mental health. Prompted by our young adult community who has brought these issues to the forefront, we will be highlighting what we do and don’t know about mental health for people with learning disabilities. Check out NCLD’s website to learn more throughout the month and participate in the call-in day.

In Case You Missed It

  • NCLD launched a new resource hub specifically for students with disabilities, who are of “transition-age” (high school, college, or early in their careers), their families, and educators. 
  • The U.S. Department of Education highlighted young adults from NCLD’s Young Adult Leadership Council and Eye to Eye National’s programs in a short video during their back-to-school bus tour. 

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