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Our Affiliates: ISTE * NEISTE * NHCTO

Advocacy

Advocacy Notes - June 2021

State: Join Reaching Higher NH on Monday, June 7 at 3 p.m. for a webinar examining the proposed state budget. They will walk through the big education-related issues, including the voucher proposal, statewide property tax (SWEPT), school funding, higher education and school building aid. There will be open space for questions and discussion. Webinar is free but you must Register.


On Wednesday, May 26, the Senate Finance Committeevoted 5-2 to include SB 130, theschool voucher bill, in the larger state budget package. The proposal, which isheavily opposed by Granite Staters, would use public taxpayer dollars to fund private and homeschooling expenses through “Education Freedom Accounts,” or vouchers.


Federal: The U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) released afact sheetlast week that aims to provide guidance on federal relief funds for schools. The fact sheet also explains funding for specific subgroups of students, methods for making subgrants, and timelines for distributing and using the funds.


Attended the New Hampshire Education Network meeting last month (May 3rd) representing NHSTE. A legislative update was reviewed and discussed at this meeting that included representatives from educational and business organizations.


Advocacy Notes - May 2021

$315,451,470 to be distributed to NH LEA’s from the ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND (ARPESSER). USDOE Fact sheet on the use of these funds can be located HERE. One of the options on the list is: “purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, connectivity, assistive technology, and adaptive equipment) for students that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including students from low-income families and children with disabilities.”


Two FCC commissioners, Geoffrey Starks and Jessica Rosenworcel, discussed the Homework Gap” where $7.1B will be allocated through the E-Rate fund. We provided input on what should be included and how to distribute it through E-Rate. On May 10th, the FCC will announce how these dollars will be allocated. The CCSSO Report: “Restart & Recovery: Home Digital Access Data Collection: Blueprint for State Education Leaders” was frequently referenced where a set of common elements for collecting data about student home digital access are outlined.

FCC program: Please share with NH families:

The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is aFederal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. As of May 12, 2021, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visitinghttps://getemergencybroadband.org. 


State Report: (Refer to http://reachinghighernh.org/2021/04/26/nh-education-roundup-april-26-2021/)

In a recent report from Reaching Higher NH, SB 130, the statewide school voucher bill, could disproportionately affect rural districts, districts that serve large proportions of low-income students, and districts that have lower capacity to raise revenue through taxes (often referred to as “property-poor” communities). SB 130 would create taxpayer-funded “Education Freedom Accounts” for low- and moderate-income families to use for private school and homeschool expenses. The bill was passed by the Senate last month, then laid on the table with the expectation that it would be included in the state’s 2022-2023 budget “trailer” bill, HB 2. Last chance for public input on that budget is May 4th, 1pm or 6pm. 


New Hampshire Education Network was launched in March by the Reaching Higher NH team. The network is a group of educators, elected officials, parents, community leaders and members of the public who share an interest in public education. Each month they  provide updates and information on key education issues and conduct small-group discussions. Register to be part of the network here.

COVID-19 EDUCATION COALITION MEMBERS PROVIDE GUIDANCE FOR DISTRICT LEADERS

The effects of COVID-19 on students and families require district leaders to collaborate with local stakeholders — including administrators, classroom teachers, school support staff, parents, and students — to plan strategic actions that allow digital learning to effectively and equitably continue into the summer and beyond. 

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Turnaround for Children, the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), and the New Hampshire Society for Technology in Education (NHSTE) — who are members of the broader COVID-19 Education Coalition—  provide three key considerations that districts must keep in mind as they build immediate and long-term plans:equitable infrastructure, active digital learning content, and educator capacity building. See the new resource here


Kathleen McClaskey, NHSTE's Advocacy Chair


NHSTE Advocacy Plan

Broadband Access & Network Connectivity

  • Short Term Goal - Increase the involvement of NHSTE’s technical membership in broadband efforts across the state.
  • Medium Term Goal - Encourage the collaborative development of architecture standards, policies, and protocols resulting in reliable networks that remove “network down/slow” issues from learning environments.
  •  Long Term Goal - Initiate a NH ConnectEd collaborative effort to address broadband needs/solutions. 

Professional Learning

  • Short Term Goal - Define emerging professional learning paradigms through multiple partner collaborations (NHSTE, NHDoE, IHE).
  • Medium Term Goal - Continue to work with institutes of higher education through Bob McLaughlin’s effort to support the development of 21st century teachers emerging from NH teacher preparation programs.

Meta-discipline of STEM

  • Short Term Goal - Provide the Governor’s STEM Task force with existing federal, regional, state, and local initiatives and resources that are aligned with their final recommendations.
  • Short Term Goal - Emphasize and promote the STEM focus at CMTC.
  • Medium Term Goal - Collaborate with NH ConnectED and other organizations (e.g. SERESC) on professional learning opportunities that would support STEM efforts across the state.
  • Long Term Goal - Conduct a review of inclusive STEM efforts to help ensure that students with learning challenges have access to STEM experiences.

 Digital Learning Environments & Strategies

  • Short Term Goal - Monitor state and federal legislation around data security and privacy issues as they impact cloud-based and web-based services, tools, and digital resources.
  • Medium Term Goal - Inform and support schools about new learning environments that include access to digital resources, instructional models. and learner needs/preferences.

NHConnected

This is a collaborative group of state-wide organizations focusing on education and communicating with one another. For more information, please contact Kathleen McClaskey (NHSTE's Advocacy Chair).
Calendar - New Hampshire Educational Events

5 Ways to Advocate Today! (from ISTE)

Do you have . . .

One minute? Tweet! Enter your zip code at tweetcongress.org to find the Twitter handle of your U.S. representative and send him/her a tweet. Be sure to include your city and state and use the hashtag: #edtech


Two minutes? Spread the word. Send a customizable letter or email through the ISTE Take Action webpage and share this website with 5 friends:
www.Iste.org/TakeAction 


Five minutes? Develop an effective elevator speech. Imagine yourself in a situation where you unexpectedly are in contact with someone who could be very effective in raising support for educational technology. You have less than a minute to make a positive impression on this person. Learn how to make a compelling case.

  Fifteen minutes? Educate yourself and join the conversation. Read the latest advocacy news and articles about detect from ISTE. https://www.iste.org/advocacy/news

Sixty minutes or more? Get involved with the advocacy activities for your state’s ISTE Affiliate. Join their Advocacy Committee. If they don’t have one, start one. Set up a meeting with a policy maker or their staff locally. Can’t get to D.C.? That’s okay. Policy makers have offices throughout the state and they or their staff will meet with you. It’s a great way to share your expertise and become the go-to person for advice.

Anyone interested in working on any of the NHSTE Advocacy goals or joining the NHSTE Advocacy Committee, please contact Kathleen McClaskey at khmcclaskey@gmail.com.

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