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Education groups applaud new ed-tech legislation


A new bill advocates for wider technology access and use in education.

Educational technology stakeholders are applauding the U.S. Senate’s introduction of a bill called the Achievement Through Technology and Innovation (ATTAIN) Act and note that, if passed, the legislation will work to bolster technology literacy and will increase access to educational opportunities through online learning.

“The ATTAIN Act recognizes that technology literacy is an essential skill our children need to be college and career ready and prepared to navigate and succeed in the competitive 21st-century environment,” said 11 leading education and ed-tech organizations in a joint statement.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. The measure directs federal funds to train teachers, purchase educational technology hardware and software, and support student technological literacy.  It authorizes up to $1 billion in annual funding for educational technology and teacher training nationwide.

The ed-tech groups said the bill will “foster the expansion of online and blended learning and promote technology initiatives that lead to personalized, rigorous, and relevant learning. The bill also will spur efforts to increase education productivity and reduce costs through the use of technology. By prioritizing funding to enhance technology integration, professional development, and leadership, the legislation supports school districts’ capacity to implement online Common Core assessments in 2014.”

The act would distribute funding based on the entire amount of funding available. If the appropriation is less than $300 million in a given year, the U.S. Department of Education would award competitive grants to consortia of state educational agencies to maximize the impact of available funds.

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