New Educational Technology Program (ITECH) Included in Reauthorization Bill
“SETDA, and the state members it serves, are very appreciative of the approval of this bipartisan ITECH amendment. Our members are ready to take a leadership role in implementing provisions of the grant when the final step occurs. We thank Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Hatch (R-UT) for their vision, cooperative approach and understanding of the value of using technology to improve education.”
Lan Neugent, Interim Executive Director, SETDA
On April 16, the Senate HELP Committee, unanimously passed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECAA) bill, in an effort to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – the next step in reauthorization. Included in this bill is the Innovative Technology Expands Technology Expands Children’s Horizons (ITECH), a new educational technology state grants program. This amendment is key to ensuring a strong commitment to providing digital learning experiences for students and includes tremendous support for professional learning and encourages the use of open education resources. ITECH represents important progress toward greater recognition of digital learning in federal education law and policy.
This is just the first step toward Congressional reauthorization of ESEA. The next steps will be an introduction of the bill to the Senate floor, where members will introduce additional amendments and there will be debate. If the bill passes, then it moves to the House, where the process begins again. SETDA will continue to monitor progress of ESEA reauthorization to keep you posted on additional progress. In the meantime, SETDA encourages educators to follow #SETDA, #ECAA, #ESEA and #ITECH via social media and to continue to share positive stories of positive digital learning experiences that best prepare students for college and careers.