TCEA has been monitoring this situation since this past summer. We met with the staffs of the Lt. Governor’s office, the House and Senate education committee, and the House and Senate appropriations committees in December. The Technology Allotment was at the center of our discussion. They made it obvious that the policy makers were seriously thinking about combining the Instructional Materials (textbook) and Technology Allotment into one fund. We voiced the objections that we would have to combining the two allotments, but also indicated that if that was the only way we could maintain technology funding for schools, we could support it. This may very well be the end game.
TCEA has hired a lobbyist to help guide us through this session. She will help us create a legislative strategy to get our concerns heard. We have also created several coalitions with other lobbyists and associations that can help us with this issue, as well as the fight to maintain the telecommunication discount that most public school districts have received since 1995.
TCEA is in the process of creating a survey that will help ascertain how school districts use the Technology Allotment and what impact the loss of this revenue will have to their districts. We will email you the link to the survey as soon as it is ready. We will also generate an email campaign very soon to let our elected officials know how important technology funding is to the education of the students of Texas. TCEA will work diligently to help ensure that this vital component remains.
The budget writers made it clear that this is just the starting point. That leaves us room to let our elected officials know how important it is to adequately fund technology in our schools and hopefully restore all or partial funding to the Technology Allotment. Please stay involved. You can make a difference. We will call on you throughout this session to contact your representative and senator. Any time you want to reach out to them to register your concerns, please contact their office and ask to speak to whoever handles their education issues. Our student’s success is at stake. Are we going to educate our students for our past or their future?