October 20, 2011 - Senate ESEA Reauthorization Movement/ATTAIN
The Senate is currently considering a comprehensive bill to reauthorize ESEA. While the bill reflects a degree of bi-partisanship, during yesterday's markup it became evident just how large some differences remain about a way forward for federal education policy. In addition, many mainstream education and civil rights groups have publicly come out in opposition to major components of the bill. The bill, as introduced, does not include a categorical program for technology; however, an amendment will be introduced by Senator Bingaman to incorporate the ATTAIN program therein. In addition, there are efforts to infuse educational technology priorities in existing programs, including Title I, Title IIA, and State Assessment Development Grants.
September 29, 2011 - ESEA Reauthorization/ATTAIN
The release of the NCLB waiver package occurs as there is growing frustration that a new ESEA may still be some years off. At this point, the House has either acted or passed a number of smaller bills, while the Senate has not taken up any legislation (despite earlier stated goals to have a bill by Easter). Recently, Senate Republicans introduced a series of three bills, and the Senate HELP Committee just announced an ESEA markup for next month. The ATTAIN Act, which has been introduced in the Senate, has not yet been introduced in the House. The good news is that pressure on getting an ESEA reauthorization done continues; the bad news may be getting to concensus, especially in a time when federal support is on the decline and the Presidential election looms.
July 29, 2011 - ESEA Reauthorization/NCLB Waivers
While the debt limit debate has overtaken much other business in Congress, both chambers continue conversations about ESEA reauthorization. The House is pursuing passage of a number of smaller bills, primarily focused on increasing flexibility and consolidating federal education programs. The Senate is still at work on a comprehensive bi-partisan reauthorization and the HELP committee staff is now hoping for the availability of a bill by the Fall. Nonetheless, barring unforeseen circumstances, it will be the unveiling of the U.S. Department of Education's state accountability waiver process under NCLB in the coming weeks that will focus policymakers' attention. Members of Congress from across the aisle have already expressed concerns and/or questions about the approach that Secretary Duncan will take, and it will be interesting to see what the availability of waivers will do to the already lukewarm momentum for reauthorization.
January 13, 2011
Before Congress adjourned for the holidays December 2010, they passed a continuing resolution for FY11 federal funding that expires on March 4, 2011. The resolution holds FY11 funding constant at FY10 levels: EETT would remain at $100 million. By March 4, Congress will need to act again – and hopefully, finally – on the FY11 budget. Nonetheless, many in the new Congress campaigned on reducing the overall level of federal spending. According to the Committee for Education Funding, the worst case scenario would entail an additional 13.6% or $9.42 billion cut from the FY11 education budget. If such a circumstance comes to pass, EETT – and every other federal education program – is at substantial risk of further reductions.
April 1, 2010 - SETDA is proud to share the product of the advocacy efforts in which we were recently engaged to make ESEA recommendations to the House and Senate Education and Labor Committee. Fifty educational technology organizations joined to represent the largest coalition assembled for a letter such as this one. SETDA worked collaboratively with SIIA, ISTE, and CoSN to draft the letter and obtain the signatures. The letter was sent to members of the Education and Labor Committees providing recommendations for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and specifically for the role of technology and e-learning.