Author profile

As principal, Sharmila provides leadership on the development and execution of Education Commission of the States’ strategic policy initiatives and fosters internal and external relationships. Sharmila brings more than 15 years of education policy experience to her role, including 10 years at the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association engaging with state and federal policymakers, funders and national associations in pursuit of policy to smooth transitions between education sectors. Sharmila holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University and a master’s and doctorate in human genetics from the University of Michigan.

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Don’t Derail! State Policy Solutions to Keep College Plans on Track

Earlier this summer, we published A State Policymaker’s Guide to Equitable Transitions in the COVID-19 Era, presenting a framework to...

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A Look Back at the 2008 Recession: States That Maintained Education Spending           

As the COVID-19 pandemic moves the U.S. economy into a tumultuous recessionary period, state policymakers are making difficult decisions...

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Federal Initiatives to Support Intensive Special Education Services

The most significant piece of federal legislation supporting special education students is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act....

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How States Support Intensive Special Education Services

Both states and the federal government recognize that the additional services required to adequately support the learning of special...

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Mission Critical: Supporting Military Families in Transition

Imagine you are a military spouse with three school-aged kids. One morning, you get a call from the department of defense telling you that...

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529 Plans Are Not Just for College Anymore

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 significantly expanded the federal definition of qualified expenses for 529 plans (withdrawals free of...

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More Than Awareness: Acceptance and ambition for students with autism

This April, in honor of National Autism Awareness Month, autism support organizations such as the Autism Society and Autism Speaks launched...

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(College) Ready or Not, Here Comes ESSA!

 The latest reauthorization of the ESEA, the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, provides a great deal of testing flexibility to states....

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