Posts Under: Education Policy

35 awards given for education industry innovation and excellence | Congrats 2017 CODiE Award Winners!

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, yesterday announced the winners of the 2017 CODiE Awards in education technology. The announcement was made during an awards celebration at the Education Impact Symposium in San Francisco to an audience of over 200 attendees. 35 awards were given for products and services deployed specifically for the education technology market. The program was also streamed to a global web audience. 


Budget Blast: House Budget Adds but Taketh Away

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor-HHS-Education passed their appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18). The proposed bill would cut the federal education budget down to $66B – a reduction of $2.4B from FY17. While certainly better than President Trump’s $9.2B proposed cut, the FY18 House Proposal would make some dramatic changes. Not included in this proposal is the President’s $1B public school choice program (FOCUS) or the $250M in state grants for private school choice. In fact, the Education and Innovation Research program which was the vehicle for the private school choice grants is eliminated entirely.  The bulk of the cut comes from the elimination of ESSA’s Title II program. A $2B program, Title II provides funding support for educator professional development, class size reduction, and educator recruitment and mentoring. This chart from the NEA shows the state-by-state impact of Title II elimination.  Ano ...


SIIA Supports Fully Funding IDEA

In 1975, Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which mandated that schools provide special education services to students with disabilities. In exchange for requiring the provision of these services, the federal government committed to footing 40 percent of the costs. Since IDEA’s implementation though, the federal government has yet to fully fund this commitment. SIIA joined with 40 other national organizations in supporting legislation to commit Congress to closing the IDEA funding gap. more

Budget Blast: Official Trump Education Budget Leaves Students in the Rearview

The President’s official budget proposal for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 was officially released yesterday. The proposal closely matches with an earlier version leaked to the Washington Post last week and provides all the details missing from the March “skinny budget.” While education stakeholders have been preparing for deep cuts since the release of the skinny budget and last week’s sneak peak, the official release was still staggering. Education Department funding under the proposal would be slashed by $9.2B, or 13.5 percent, overall for FY18. The recent spending agreement for FY17 has the Education Department funded at $68.2B. Cuts of this magnitude will be devastating for students, families, and schools who rely on a strong public education system to prepare children to be successful citizens and participants in the next generation workforce. For all of the focus and priority given to job training and economic development by President Trump, this proposal s ...


Budget Blast: Trump FY18 Budget Proposal Would Gut Education & Skills Training

On Wednesday, the Washington Post obtained a leaked version of President Trump’s fiscal year (FY) 2018 education budget proposal. Set to be officially released next week, the proposal would, among other items, significantly reduce investments in skills training and adult basic literacy and eliminate ed tech investments under ESSA’s Title IV. The proposal would shift some of those funds to new investments in school choice, including expanding charting schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. more

Budget Blast: Shutdown Averted but Congress Skimps on Ed Tech

A government shutdown has been averted and the resulting agreement to fund the government through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017 was nowhere close to President Trump’s proposal for FY2018. Title I will receive a net increase in funding by $100M and state grants for special education will go up $90M. Disappointingly, the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program under Title IV of ESSA received a staggeringly low appropriation of only $400M. In addition, the agreement would allow the funds to be distributed in a competitive manner from states to local districts. Established as a formula grant program of $1.6B when the law was passed, the low appropriation would be impractical to distribute entirely as a formula. Further provisions set the minimum competitive grant size at $10,000 and allow districts to use up to 25 percent for infrastructure activities – including hardware and software – which is an increase from the law’s 15 percent threshold. ...


Budget Blast: Trump’s Education Budget – Is it Real?


Since President Trump released his “skinny budget,” which would slash $9.2B from the Education Department’s budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, I’ve heard from many SIIA members wondering what the impact is going to be on schools. In short, the impact of the Trump budget on schools is nada. Nothing. This is a budget proposal and not an actual appropriations bill. Every year, the President puts out a budget proposal and every year it is ignored by appropriators in Congress as they develop the actual federal budget and appropriations levels.

We have already heard from leaders in Congress that President Trump’s proposal would have a steep climb on both sides of the aisle if it were ever to be seriously considered. Additionally, outside stakeholders on all sides of education have weighed in with varying levels of concern.

The proposal does however provide the most detailed window into the Trump Administration’s education priorities that we have had to date. So, what does it propose in order to reach $9.2B? more

Infrastructure Blueprint A Great Start for Digital Learning & Connected Communities

One of the marquee promises of President Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House was a not insignificant $1 trillion investment to revitalize America’s infrastructure. Since taking office, the President has been mum on details and timing for an infrastructure push. In the void, Senate Democrats this week announced their vision for an infrastructure investment plan, the “Blueprint to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure.” What does this blueprint get right? Most importantly, the blueprint takes a broader interpretation of the term infrastructure by including broadband investments. Moving beyond concrete, glass and steel to include fiber is essential to ensuring schools, libraries and whole communities are connected to economic opportunities. Just as commerce increasingly occurs in the online marketplace, classrooms and schools around the country have begun to harness the benefits of digital learning. Over the last few years, the nation has made signif ...


Continued Misunderstandings of the Student Privacy Pledge

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has filed suit against Google for violation of the K-12 School Service Provider Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy.  The suit will work its way through the legal system and a judgement made based on its merit, but it is important to point out that the suit contains some important misunderstandings about the student privacy pledge. The complaint alleges that Google violated the student privacy pledge because it collected information about students who are using general purpose services. The pledge, however, only applies to applications, services, or web sites “designed and marketed for use in United States elementary and secondary educational institutions.” In addition, the complaint suggests that the pledge is violated because Google uses layered privacy policies (for its general purpose services and a more restrictive policy for its educational services) and educational websites related to its privacy policies ( ...