For the first time ever, ISTE is crowdsourcing some of the conference presentations. This year you are invited to be a part of that selection process! Dozens of sessions will be selected. Voting is now open! Browse proposals and vote for as many as you like. Deadline is January 28, 2018.
We know you are energized from just finishing your conference. We heard great things about the important work you are doing across your state and we want to help support your efforts with this special offer. Because VSTE is a valued affiliate of ISTE, you can join ISTE or renew your current ISTE membership and enjoy a $35 discount through January 5, 2018!
As an ISTE member you can access some of the most exciting content from the ISTE conference, including keynotes by Jennie Magiera and Reshma Saujani, thought-provoking Ignite sessions and dozens of sessions on the hottest edtech topics. Join any of our Professional Learning Networks at no cost, and learn from experts sharing best practices and solutions about the challenges you face. Extend your reach not just across the state but around the country and world. There are plenty more benefits of ISTE membership. Join or renew today. To receive your $35 discount, apply the code VSTE18 during checkout.
Thanks again for the important work you and your teams are doing to transform learning. We hope to see you soon in our communities or at ISTE 2018!
Please join the 60+ organizations that make up the Title IV-A Coalition for our National Day of Action!
Join the push to fully fund Title IV-A, which houses the edtech provisions in ESSA. Funding for this program is critical!
Sign up for the Thunderclap here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/65448-raisethecaps-for-moretitleiv
Read below for more info and ways you can take action:
Join us on Tuesday December 5th for a National Day of Action to advocate for full funding of the Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program. This grant, part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) will allow schools and districts to support well-rounded programs, safe and healthy schools, and the effective use of technology.
In its first year of funding, Congress only allocated 25% of the authorized funds for Title IV-A, severely limiting the ability of districts and states to support these programs. We need to let lawmakers know that an investment in Title IV-A is an investment in our nation’s schools and students, ultimately preparing them for the workforce.
If you want to add your own throughout the day, here are some sample tweets (Twitter now allows 280 characters!):
- @[Senator], raise the non defense discretionary spending caps and provide #MoreTitleIV of #ESSA, which provides mental health services, access to #STEM, arts, music, PE, & #edtech programs. Our nation’s students deserve the $1.6 billion Congress promised
- @[Senator] #MoreTitleIV funds mean greater flexibility and more meaningful investments for local school districts! #ESSA #RaiseTheCaps
- #MoreTitleIV funding provides Ss the ability to give students a more complete, well rounded education @[Senator] #ESSA #RaiseTheCaps
- All Ss benefit from Title IVA funds, w/o them districts are forced to choose between critical programs. #MoreTitleIV @[Senator] #ESSA #RaiseTheCaps
- Mental health services, access to STEM, arts & music, PE and edtech programs are at risk w/o fully funding Title IV, A grants. #MoreTitleIV @[Senator] #ESSA #RaiseTheCaps
CALL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL OFFICES
Below is a script you can use:
I am a [insert profession or organizational affiliation] and a voter in [insert home state and or congressional district] and I am calling to urge Senator/Representative[insert name here] to raise the non defense discretionary federal spending caps and support full funding of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program under Title IV, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Congress authorized Title IV-A of ESSA at $1.6 Billion to ensure that each school district received funds to support access to a well-rounded education, improve student’s physical and mental health and improve conditions for learning, and to increase the effective use of technology. Unfortunately, the current level of $400 million is wholly inadequate to support the critical services needed in my school.
All of these areas supported by this block grant are critical to ensure all students graduate from high school ready to enter college or the workforce. Underfunding this program seriously undermines my ability as an educator to adequately educate and support the whole child.
I strongly urge you to raise the caps and support the full funding of Title IV-A in FY18.
SHARE YOUR STORY – HOW DO THESE FUNDS IMPACT YOU AND YOUR STUDENTS?
Share Your Story Here: One of the most compelling ways to let Congress know about the importance of funding for this program is to hear directly from you about how these programs benefit your students. In order to help us show Congress the real life value these funds provide to you and your students, we are collecting stories about the benefits and consequences of receiving adequate or inadequate funds for programs including mental health services and professionals, music, arts, AP, STEM, and the effective use of technology.
Do you have a story to tell? Has your school received enough funding for these programs? What differences have these funds made in the lives of your students? What happens if these programs and services go away due to underfunding?
Please take a few minutes to write a paragraph or two using this handy form to share your story with us and to show Congress exactly why funding for these programs matters. We need to let members of Congress know how increased funding for this program could help your students.
This internationally recognized conference will be held June 24 - 27, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois.
Conference registration and the housing bureau open December 1, 2017. Get the best price on this amazing gathering of educators.
Learn more and sign up for updates at the ISTE Conference website.
Part of VSTE's mission is to advocate for education and technology. We are reaching out today to let you know that action and advocacy is critical right now. The Senate Appropriations Committee will be making funding decisions on two programs we care about - Title II-A and Title IV-A - the week of September 7. As you may have heard, the House Appropriations Committee has already voted to eliminate all funding ($2 billion) for Title II-A, which provides states and districts money for effective professional development, and a small increase for Title IV-A, the new block grant that supports education technology. Much is riding on what the Senate decides.
Join the National Thunderclaps: A Thunderclap is a social media tool to amplify a message. To participate in an ISTE-supported Thunderclap, go to the URLs below and use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up. On both National Days of Action, the tool will post an identical message in support of funding for these programs to all of the supporters' accounts, amplifying our message to all of their followers and friends.
Title II-A Day of Action - August 29, 2017: Title II-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides ongoing professional development for teachers and school leaders, including professional development for the effective use of technology. Many ISTE members also use these funds to attend our conference. Unfortunately, both the president and the House of Representatives called for a complete elimination of this funding and it's up to the Senate to restore funding to at least last year's level.
Title IV-A Day of Action - August 31, 2017: Title IV-A of ESSA houses the education technology provisions of the law and is meant to support the effective use of technology, investments in infrastructure and access to digital learning in the classroom and at home. Unfortunately, in its first year of funding, Congress only dedicated $400 million (less than 25 percent of its authorized level) to the program - meaning many districts will receive very little funding to invest in these areas. The House of Representatives included $500 million for the program and it's critical that the Senate hears our support for this program.
Now is the time to raise our voices in support of these programs. ISTE will send an email on the morning of each event with details about other actions you can take throughout the day, so please consider joining the ISTE Advocacy Network. VSTE will post announcements across their social media networks as well. ISTE and VSTE strongly urge you to take action and participate in this important advocacy work!