WASHINGTON, DC September 6, 2017 - International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) expressed mixed reactions to the education-funding bill that the U.S. Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee approved today. ISTE' 's members benefit from these funds and students will be directly impacted by Congress' funding decisions.
The subcommittee approved an increase of $50 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program under Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which supports the effective use of technology to transform learning and professional development for teachers. The program is authorized at $1.6 billion and is currently only funded at $400 million.
"We must support increased funding in education, period," said ISTE CEO Richard Culatta. "While we recognize and appreciate the increase in funding for Title IV, Part A, we are concerned that the program is still only funded at a fraction of the level approved by Congress only a year ago. This dramatically constrains states from providing support to schools and districts in using technology to transform learning."
In addition, funding for teacher training, also known as Title II, Part A, was approved at the same funding level as last year, $2.05 billion. This funding level is in stark contrast to the complete elimination that the House Appropriations Committee approved and that the president proposed. ISTE greatly appreciates the Senate' 's recognition of the importance of teacher training.
Culatta continued, "In order to prepare our students to thrive in a globally connected world, teachers must have the support they need. When teachers know how to use technology effectively, we see amazing results. Funding Title II, Part A is a step in the right direction, but we must also support leadership in states and districts to turn the potential of technology into a reality of transformed learning for students."
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a membership organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.
Innovative offerings include the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age - as well as the ISTE Conference & Expo -the world's most comprehensive edtech event. The organization's robust suite of professional learning resources feature online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit iste.org. Subscribe to ISTE's YouTube channel and connect with ISTE on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.