R Smith

WASHINGTON, DC - July 14, 2017 - The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is anxiously following Congress as it eyes a slight increase in funding for education technology while also looking to severely curtail investments in quality teaching.

The subcommittee of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee that covers education has marked up the bill dealing with the Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program. SSAE is also known as Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Representatives have recommended an appropriation of $500 million for the fiscal year starting in October, which is $100 million above the current funding level but less than a third of what Congress has authorized. SSAE includes support for the effective use of technology to transform learning, backed by effective professional development for teachers.

Simultaneously, the appropriators are recommending eliminating Title II, Part A funding, which provides teacher training and is similar to President Trump's budget, which scraps the program.

"The Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program is critically important to help students succeed and close the equity gap in learning. It was designed so local schools and districts could leverage federal dollars, and it's good to see more funds moving ahead," " says Richard Culatta, CEO, ISTE. "While this is a positive sign, we remain disappointed the suggested amount is still below what Congress authorized in the past, and it comes as other federal education initiatives face a deep budget cut, including teacher training. This shouldn't be 'either-or'. We are calling on Congress to do the right thing and provide all the resources needed for America's students. We know quality teachers who incorporate technology into their lessons is what every school needs."

About ISTE
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the premier 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.