IECA on Capitol Hill for Its First Advocacy Day
March 29, 2023
IECA members from around the world met with over 40 elected officials and their legislative aides in the US House of Representatives and Senate to advocate on issues of importance to our profession and the students and families we support.
Three priorities guided the legislative meetings. The first priority was introducing IECA as the premier association of educational experts, with the highest ethical standards, as a partner for legislation and policymaking regarding supporting students and protecting families as they make educational transitions and placements.
Our second priority was to advocate for financial aid transparency. IECA supports legislation that provides financial aid clarity. In our work with students and their families, we witness firsthand the difficulty in interpreting financial aid offers. Standardizing financial aid offers is a step towards making informed decisions about the true cost of college and reversing the trend of staggering student debt.
As part of this effort, we met with the sponsors of the “Understanding the True Cost of College Act,” including Young Kim (R-CA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) in the House, and in the Senate, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tina Smith (D-MN). We lobbied for this bill on both sides of the Hill and with representatives of both parties. This act offers a solution that includes requiring standard terminology and a universal format to aid students and their families in the financial decision-making process.
Our third priority was to advocate for adolescents and programs that serve young adults struggling with mental health by supporting legislation on licensure and standards of care for therapeutic programs. While national accrediting bodies exist and most state licensing boards provide supervision, such accreditation or licensing is not consistently true in all states. IECA endorses future legislation that assures the safe and effective operation of therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, and wilderness-based programs while assuring the safety of adolescents needing such care. In this effort we met with legislative leaders for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), including staff representing chairperson Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and the ranking member Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
The meetings were positive, productive, and focused on priorities that will benefit our profession, students, and families. We hope that this event will be the first of an important tradition for the association and that IECA will continue to play a leading role in shaping legislation and policies that support students, protect families, and promote the highest ethical standards in educational consulting.
IECA Advocacy Day 2023 Legislative Priority Flyers
(Provided to members of the House and Senate)