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."
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