FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SIIA CONTACT: Sharon Burk, (202) 789-4480
SIIA Urges Congress to Pass “Emergency Learning Continuity Fund”
Bill Would Provide Funds for States, School Districts, and Public and Private Colleges
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 26, 2020) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal association for the software, information, digital content, and education technology industries, today sent letters to House and Senate leaders to urge them to consider establishing an Emergency Learning Continuity Fund. The fund would help schools across the country:
- establish infrastructure to offer basic online learning and instruction options;
- develop or procure educational content;
- provide multilingual access and support to teachers and students;
- provide professional development for educators on best practices for teaching online;
- establish interim solutions for students without internet access or devices at home;
- hire outside experts to provide training and professional development to implement strategies for long-term closures;
- provide technical assistance on how to implement virtual instruction to all students;
- ensure school officials have an understanding of student achievement and the magnitude of the learning loss expected to occur.
The letter also highlighted SIIA’s efforts to ease the burden on school districts caused by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) through the establishment of Tech for Learners, a searchable database of education technology solutions designed to assist schools, administrators, and public officials scaling up online learning in the wake of facility-closings and other measures taken due to outbreak of the COVID-19.
SIIA President and CEO, Jeff Joseph, issued the following statement:
“Educational institutions, parents, and students across the nation are challenged with continuity in the face of indefinite school and college closures and wholesale shifts to online learning as a result of the current pandemic. An Emergency Learning Continuity Fund would help institutions build up their online learning capabilities, to ensure that every student in this country – rural, suburban, and urban – has access to educational content and continued instruction for as long as is required.”
SIIA is an umbrella association that represents constituencies from technology, data and media companies. Through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations, SIIA provides a network of resources for its 800+ member companies that drive innovation and growth. For more information, visit www.siia.net.