2017 CAN Updates

The New Congress and CEC & KYCEC Updates


The New Congress

With the new and diverse Congress sworn in, as of January 3rd, it's possible you have a new member of Congress! This session of Congress is already making history, being the most racially diverse Congress Washington has seen.

Check out some facts about the 115th Congress:

Composition of the House:

  1. Parties: Republican (241), Democrat (194), Independent (0)

  2. Minorities: Woman (83), Black (46), Hispanic (34), Asian (12)

Composition of the Senate:

  1. Parties: Republican (52), Democrat (46), Independent (2)

  2. Minorities: Woman (21), Black (3), Hispanic (4), Asian (3)

Notable statistics:

  1. A record number of women in the Senate (21).

  2. A record number of Hispanic members will serve in the House (34) and the Senate (4).

  3. A record number of Asian American members in the House (12) and the Senate (3).

  4. A record total number of Black members of Congress (49).

*These numbers are from TheHill.com. Total numbers may change due to future reporting.

Whether you have new members or not, now is a great time to review the positions of your Representatives and Senators, so that you can plan your approach to advocacy for the coming session! Check out your Representatives' and Senators' websites and familiarize yourself with their platforms, their positions on education issues, and if they are incumbents, their previous voting record. A great resource to learn the basics of the new members is the CQ Roll Call 2016 Guide to the New Congress!

The next step is, to reach out to your members of Congress. If your members are returning from the 114th Congress, now is a great opportunity to reaffirm those connections. Reach out to your Representative and your Senators and remind them of previous conversations and the legislative goals of CEC! 

If your Representative and/or Senators are new, the very beginning of their term is the perfect time to introduce yourself as a member of CEC, a professional in the field of special/gifted education and a constituent. To help assist you in this process we're providing some resources, which you can use to give your new members of Congress perspective on special education policy. 


CEC makes getting in touch with your members of Congress simple through the Legislative Action Center (LAC). As many of you have become familiar with, the LAC allows you to find your elected official in several ways: entering your zip code, the last name of your legislator, or simply by clicking your state on the interactive map provided.

Once you find your congressional representatives, click their name to receive information including: biography, contact information for their Washington Office and Home Office, committees they serve on, social media accounts, and bills they support. The contact information will provide you with the best way to be in touch with your representatives.  

All CEC Professional Policies and Positions can be found on the CEC website. You can use this webpage as a resource for future education focused conversations you may have with your Representative and Senators.

After you have introduced yourself to your members of Congress- it is important to continue this relationship throughout all of 2017 and beyond!


Please contact your KY CAN Coordinator with any questions:
Erica C. Cutright

From National CEC:

On Tuesday, February 7th, the U.S. Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos as the 11th education secretary after a controversial confirmation process. The 50-50 tie vote in the Senate led Vice President Mike Pence to cast the 51st "yea" vote.

The votes were cast along party lines with the exception of two "no" votes from republican Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. The vote to confirm came after a 24-hour democratic "talkathon" on the floor of the Senate in opposition of DeVos.

Betsy DeVos was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence at 5:30 PM yesterday and will address staff at the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday at 2:00 PM, according to the White House.

During the confirmation process CEC advocates sent 27,751 letters to the Hill asking their Senators to ensure the nominee for U.S. Secretary of Education would uphold and enforce IDEA, not divert the use of public IDEA dollars to support private schools, and to guarantee the civil rights of all children and youth with disabilities and their families. CEC thanks the many advocates who supported children and youth with disabilities and their families and the delivery of special education and early intervention in public schools and programs across the nation.

In a statement released by CEC President Mikki Garcia she states, "Now is not the time to turn back the clock on over 6.7 million children and youth with disabilities.  CEC will hold the U.S. Department of Education accountable to ensure that all children and youth are guaranteed a free appropriate public education."

Thank you to all the teachers, parents, and advocates who contacted your Senators. We want to thank every one of you for your support of education and, most importantly, our children.

Please continue to contact your Senators to express your views on education. Also, contact Erica Cutright, our KYCEC Can Coordinator, to find out how you can become more involved, e.c.cutright@gmail.com.