Walnut Creek, CA - March 9, 2017 | Also known as the “Choices in Education” Act, HR 610 reflects Secretary DeVos’s agenda, ignoring evidence as to what actually works in public education while promoting privatization of education. HR 610 limits federal education spending only to states who agree to comply with private school voucher programs. Studies have shown that voucher programs do not improve education opportunities for the vast majority of America’s students.
This bill repeals the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 and limits the authority of the Department of Education (ED) such that ED is authorized only to award block grants to qualified states. The bill establishes an education voucher program, through which each state shall distribute block grant funds among local educational agencies (LEAs) based on the number of eligible children within each LEA's geographical area. From these amounts, each LEA shall: (1) distribute a portion of funds to parents who elect to enroll their child in a private school or to home-school their child, and (2) do so in a manner that ensures that such payments will be used for appropriate educational expenses.
Repealing ESEA eliminates the following programs:
How is this relevant to Educational Technology?
Applications of the Title I component of ESEA money have been diverse. Recent uses include wide-scale purchasing mobile Internet-enabled devices as electronic textbooks for students in 1:1 initiatives. Along with this, students from low-income families often do not have adequate Internet access from home. Title I funds are used to provide Internet access for students to receive remediation or other instructional content from home. The purpose of 24/7 internet access from home is to close the gap between higher income families where remediation resources are generally more available through parents and additional services and low-income students where such resources are scarce. Educational Technology advocates have long cited 24/7 Internet access as a boon to the education and advancement of at-risk children.
CUE is calling upon its members and those within the broader Educational Technology community to join us in opposition to this bill and stand in support of all students in the United States of America.