State policies, budgets and regulations have a significant impact on school implementation of educational technology. Since the beginning of the new year, governors across the country have been delivering their State of the State speeches and presenting their budget proposals for the next fiscal year. As outlined in a new SIIA members-only report, education including technology was a key theme for many governors.
Many governors spoke of the importance of literacy and competency by grade 3, and some proposed additional spending for that goal. Common Core transition was less mentioned. There was more funding proposed for scholarship funds than for internal investments in higher education institutions and systems. Performance based funding was also a hot topic amongst the governors, and many proposed shifting of more funds into performance based formulas, especially in higher education. Flexible funding was another topic that many governors focused on and proposed in both speeches and budget proposals.
Specific digital technology funding and initiatives came from the speeches and budget proposals. Both Ohio and Arizona proposed $20 million in funding for 21st century assessments (PARCC & SBAC). Increased IT infrastructure funds were mentioned in budgets by Georgia, Arizona, & Florida. STEM education initiatives were proposed by Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Many governors encouraged in speeches or through funding the continued development of virtual higher education resources.