During the second week of July, 2022, Let’s Go Learn had the privilege of joining other special education advocates from the private sector to help lobby the U.S. Congress for special education needs during the 2022 Special Education Leadership Summit (SELS). Let’s Go Learn’s CEO Richard Capone and Dr. Kurt Hulett, formerly Let’s Go Learn’s Vice President of Special Education Services, spent the week in Washington D.C. helping provide expert opinion and real-world examples to legislators.
Capone and Hulett were two of over 250 people from 46 states who converged on the Capitol to participate in SELS on behalf of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and its partner the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE). All 250 public advocates were briefed on the issues, introduced to other state peers to practice their legislative points, and then sent up to the Capitol to work with legislators.
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Let’s Go Learn CEO Richard Capone with Barbara Sorter, Ed. D., President of the California CEC, in front of the US Capitol for SELS 2022.
On its website for the event, CEC explained, “SELS is an opportunity for educators from across the country to make a difference by advocating for change with Members of Congress.” Visits to individual legislators in the Capitol took place in person on Tuesday, July 12th, subject to the in-person policies of Congressional offices.
This year, there were 5 key issues on which the advocates focused:
- Full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
- Funding appropriations for States
- Title I, II, III, Funding
- Big Picture Mental Health Funding
- Addressing the educator shortage through federal funding
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Capone noted following the event, “While the vast majority of people were educators or professors in teacher-ed, there were a few people like myself from educational companies. Next year, I’m hoping to send more people from Let’s Go Learn.”
For more information, check out CEC’s website for SELS at:
As part of the California team, it was a bonus to SELS to have Richard and Kurt at the table. They are a wealth of information and insight. Hope to work with them again next year at SELS, and suspect I will be tapping the Lets Go Learn team for consults before then.