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!