December 2015 marks an historic change in US federal laws on education. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, replacing No Child Left Behind, was signed into law by President Barack Obama. With this new act, federal involvement in education is scaled back, giving states more control over testing and accountability.
In addition to changes in testing and accountability, under this new law, funding decisions for schools have shifted to state and districts. An article in US News & World Report states that some US states will have “the opportunity to combine and distribute federal, state and local funds through one formula that allocates resources based on student needs.” This “weighted funding” will empower school leaders “to make the best choices for their community. With the autonomy to design programs based on individual contexts, school leaders can best devise instructional and enrichment programs that support their students when school budgets are driven by student need rather than funding for specific programs.”
ESSA means changes in funding for schools
Within ESSA, many programs are laid out with budgets for each. In contrast to No Child Left Behind, several programs have been lumped together, giving educational leaders the ability to allocate funds in the best manner for their student population. Within this program, TITLE IV lays out funding for technology programs and training. See below:
TITLE IV: 21ST CENTURY SCHOOLS
PART A: STUDENT SUPPORT AND ACADEMIC ENHANCEMENT GRANTS
FY 2015 Appropriation: NA AUTHORIZED LEVELS:
FY 2017: $1,650,000
FY 2018: $1,600,000
FY 2019: $1,600,000
FY 2020: $1,600,000 5
Subpart 2—Internet Safety
For a full breakdown of the ESSA budget, see the Committee for Education Funding handout here.
ESSA means technology opportunity for students & teachers
With the changes in funding, it appears that school leaders will have more opportunities to train teachers in new technologies, invest in technology innovations, and fill the gaps in technology accessibility for students. Enthusiasm for this opportunity was recently voiced by Intel’s K-12 Education Strategist, “Intel is pleased to see a renewed emphasis on integrating technology into the classroom through the new Title IV’s emphasis on supporting devices, Internet applications, on-line learning, and technology professional development for America’s classroom educators.” and “With ESSA becoming the law of the land, local school authorities will decide how best to bridge the technology and connectivity gaps and provide many more US students and teachers the digital and collaborative tools they need to complete in the global marketplace.”
With these new laws in place, 2016 is sure to bring new innovations in education and new opportunities for students across the United States. Impero Software is happy to be a part of these new changes.
Impero Education Pro software provides classroom and network management solutions for all digital devices in schools. Call us at 877.883.4370 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today for more information.
Photo courtesy NEAToday