The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal membership association representing U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders released the following statement expressing serious concern about the Senate Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee’s decision to limit funding for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant Program (SSAEG – Title IV-A) to just $300 million for fiscal year 2017. The program, established by the Every Student Succeeds Act, intended to provide critical resources for state and local education technology investments, including supporting essential professional learning opportunities for both educators and school leaders.
“The subcommittee’s proposed SSAEG funding level falls well below the investment required to help states meet the technology needs of digital-age administrators, educators and students. This approach walks away from ESSA’s call for leveraging technology to better support the nation’s students, especially learners in our poorest communities.” stated SETDA’s Executive Director, Dr. Tracy Weeks. “We do hope the Appropriations Committee will address this shortfall, before sending the bill to the full Senate to avoid leaving gaps in support for digital learning.”
SETDA will continue to advocate for increased funding levels for the SSAEG as the appropriations process continues.