Emergency funding legislation falls short of measures urgently needed for school and district technology 

WASHINGTON, D.C. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), an education nonprofit that works with the education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation, released the following statement responding to passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The legislation provides emergency funding, including $13.75 billion to public K-12 schools through an Education Stabilization Fund. 

“We appreciate that Congress has moved quickly to provide flexible education funding to states and districts during this unprecedented crisis. However, the $13.75 billion provided to K-12 schools is actually less than a single year of funding for Title I and is unlikely to meet the most pressing needs for educators and students. 

The stimulus package overlooks important funding streams proposed by Speaker Pelosi, which would have included $2 billion in direct funding for remote and distance learning, distributed via the well-established E-Rate program. It’s estimated that as many as 1 in 5 teens don’t have access to the internet or computers at home, reflecting a troubling access gap as schools move to online for the rest of the school year. 

Even more critical, the stimulus also leaves little budget for and provides no guidance around preparing and training teachers for online instruction. 

We urge Congress to prioritize future funding in the anticipated next COVID-19 relief package to ensure that educators have the training and students have the access to succeed in distance learning. It is not too late to get all of America’s students back to learning.”

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About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation. Our worldwide network believes in the potential technology holds to transform teaching and learning.

ISTE sets a bold vision for education transformation through the ISTE Standards, a framework for students, educators, administrators, coaches and computer science educators to rethink education and create innovative learning environments. ISTE hosts the annual ISTE Conference & Expo, one of the world’s most influential edtech events. The organization’s professional learning offerings include online courses, professional networks, year-round academies, peer-reviewed journals and other publications. ISTE is also the leading publisher of books focused on technology in education. For more information or to become an ISTE member, visit iste.org.