Interim Executive Director
SETDA Honors New York Congresswoman Grace Meng with 2020 Federal Policy Maker of the Year Award
November 30, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – SETDA, the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders announced at their recent Leadership Summit, Grace Meng, U.S. Congresswoman, New York, as the 2020 recipient of the SETDA Federal Policy Maker of the Year Award. Congresswoman Meng accepted the award via video at the 2020 SETDA Leadership Summit: Inspiring, Celebrating, and Activating Leaders. The Policy Maker Award honors elected and appointed policy makers at both the state and federal levels who have championed access to, and effective use of technology in K-12 education. The award is rooted in SETDA’s long tradition of seeking out exemplary leadership and honors a recognized policy maker who actively supports digital learning opportunities for all students, and who engages with the broader education and policymaking communities to advocate for the role of technology in advancing education.
Earlier this year, Representative Meng introduced the Emergency Educational Connections Act to provide $2 billion for the E-rate program to connect students’ homes to broadband for learning. The Bill was included in two COVID relief measures and the Infrastructure Bill which all passed the House. In addition, Senator Ed Markey (MA) authored a Senate version of the bill.
“I am deeply honored and humbled to receive SETDA’s Federal Policy Maker of the Year Award for my work to ensure students have Internet access during COVID-19,” shared Representative Meng. “The homework gap is a moral issue that is exacerbated by the pandemic. Without Internet access, students aren’t simply missing homework; they’re missing school in its entirety. The long-term negative economic and social impact of this digital divide will only grow exponentially. With the Emergency Educational Connections Act, we have an opportunity to stop this problem in its tracks. I’m proud to lead this effort in the House of Representatives to eliminate the homework gap once and for all. Thank you to SETDA for its steadfast support. This award is a recognition of our shared commitment to fight for students’ technology needs during this unprecedented national health crisis,” said Congresswoman Meng.
“SETDA is dedicated to closing the homework gap, and to providing universal broadband access for all students,” shared Christine Fox, Interim Executive Director of SETDA. “The foundation that Congresswoman Meng’s work created for subsequent action by the full House to provide significant funding for home broadband is why she is the 2020 SETDA Federal Policy Maker of the Year.”
Stan Silverman, co-chair of the New York State Teacher Centers Technology Committee added, “Long before Covid-19 pushed the homework gap into the conversation, Congresswoman Meng has led with legislation, and even more importantly inspiration. She has kept us all focused on the ideal that every student in America deserves access to an education that enables them to reach their dreams fully and completely.”
Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit https://www.setda.org.