Momentum Growing for Federal Investment in Digital Learning
Efforts to expand use of technology in education received several boosts this month, including when President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative. With this initiative, the President called on the FCC to modernize and leverage the existing E-Rate program to connect 99 percent of America’s students through next-generation broadband within the next five years, and add high-speed wireless within, their schools and libraries. The President’s proposal recognizes the need to build on private sector innovation to allow teachers and students to take full advantage of feature-rich educational devices, and high-quality educational software (including applications). Support is also growing in Congress, where Rep. George Miller, Ranking Democrat on the House Education & the Workforce Committee, introduced legislation to support school technology readiness and teacher professional development to ensure all students can access and benefit from technology. And Senate H.E.L.P. Committee Chairman Tom Harkin includes a number of related programs and provisions in his recently marked up legislation to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act. SIIA has long championed such federal investments and calls on the FCC and Congress to advance these and related initiatives needed to ensure all students and educators can realize the educational benefits made possible by technology. Read more on SIIA’s Digital Discourse Blog.
House passes Federal IT Reform
On Friday, the US House of Representatives passed an amendment to the FY 2014 Defense Authorization bill, adding Rep. Issa’s (R-CA) federal IT reform legislation to the bill. The revised version of the bill increases the authority of agency CIOs, promotes increased training of the IT acquisition workforce and expands efforts to optimize the data center infrastructure. The bill now moves to the Senate, where the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) has jurisdiction over federal IT but the issue will have to be addressed jointly by HSGAC and the Senate Armed Services Committee since the language is now part of the must-pass Defense bill. Read more on SIIA’s Digital Discourse Blog.
Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Leahy Staff Discuss Growing Need for Patent Troll Legislation
In case you missed it, on June 4 SIIA hosted House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) for an important and timely discussion about the growing need for legislative action to curtail abusive patent litigation. The Capitol Hill event was the first in SIIA’s new Tech Policy Speaker Series, and it provided Chairman Goodlatte the opportunity to publicly announce his new discussion draft patent reform legislation to reshape the current environment surrounding patent troll-type behavior and abusive patent litigation, along with his perspective on the problem of patent trolls and their impact on the U.S. economy. The event also included a panel discussion with Aaron Cooper, the chief intellectual property counsel for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and other experts. Read more on SIIA’s Digital Discourse Blog.
David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPubPolicy.