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California schools are funded at a per-pupil level that currently places them at somewhere between 46th and 49th out of 50 states. This lack of funding is compounded by the fact that the cost of living in most of California is far above the national average.
During the 2009 recession, California educational spending was drastically reduced and is just beginning to be restored. This fiscal reality has made educational innovation and edtech infusion extremely challenging, and in several areas, access to high-quality professional development and tech infrastructure has become a student equity issue.
Something had to change. And CUE knew it could help lead the charge.
In fall 2018, CUE’s Legislative Advocacy Team worked to support Assembly Concurrent Resolution 268 (ACR 268) to help provide statewide funding, support and direction for public schools to re-establish the resources that were allowed to lapse in 2009.
The intent of ACR 268 was for the California Legislature to encourage the state superintendent of public instruction, the governor and the State Board of Education to move forward with a comprehensive educational technology plan that includes recommended policies, legislation, and sorely needed state and federal funding.
CUE’s Legislative Advocacy Committee and advocacy consultants assembled a coalition of education stakeholders in support of the resolution and worked closely with the original authors, steps that all ISTE affiliates can emulate when supporting important edtech measures.
The measure, which was supported by the California Department of Education and California’s Emerging Technology Fund, Assembly members Tony Thurmond (now state superintendent), Kevin Mullin and Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, Napa County Superintendent of Schools Barbara Nemko and CUE Legislative Consultant John Cradler:
- Establishes education technology as a major priority for California education.
- Recommends a statewide summit representing all K-12 education stakeholders to inform education technology-related needs, goals and resources.
- Suggests development of a California Education Technology Plan.
- Suggests state policy, legislation and funding potentially needed to implement the plan.
Supporting the ISTE Standards and the CUE Legislative Advocacy Platform, ACR 268 identifies 17 critical priorities and needs, ranging from professional development to technology access, to be made available on an equitable basis to all regions of the state.
Addressing the 17 ACR268 priorities will help the California education system to prepare students to thrive in a constantly evolving technological landscape as defined by the ISTE Standards for Students.
Resolution ACR268 references the creation of a new California Educational Technology Plan that will outline the needs and priorities for education that will be clearly improved with technology and telecommunications networking in schools and homes for all students.
CUE is proud to have been a key player in the development of this critical resolution that will benefit all California learners. By creating a coalition, advising on key resolution language and including the ISTE Standards, CUE was able to influence smart education policy – something all ISTE affiliates can replicate!
Jon Corippo is chief learning officer of CUE.