Title 17. Education

Chapter 39. The Children First Act

Part IV. Statewide Development of Instructional Technology


17:3921.2      Statewide Educational Technology Plan


A. The state Department of Education shall develop and implement a statewide educational technology plan that ensures that every public elementary and secondary school and classroom has the infrastructure and capacity necessary to provide a high-quality, digital instructional environment that maximizes the integration of technology into the classroom and enhances and improves student engagement and learning.


B. The plan shall do all of the following:


(1) Establish recommended standards for devices, Internet bandwidth, software applications, and local network capacity.


(2) Establish clear short-term and long-term goals and standards for school technology readiness and develop a realistic strategy, timeline, and cost estimates to meet both minimum and optimal standards.


(3) Ensure that every classroom has reliable, high-speed, wireless, broadband Internet access and connectivity for computers, white boards, smart boards, and other interactive devices.


(4) Consider the technology needs of high poverty and rural areas.


(5) Identify and utilize all available Internet bandwidth assets provided through a request for proposal process through which both public and private entities shall be considered.


(6) Provide for the development and implementation of a strategy to provide training and ongoing professional development to ensure that teachers and other school level staff have the skills necessary to effectively and efficiently use the technology infrastructure, software, data management, and online resources.


(7) Require every school and school system to develop and implement an Internet safety policy that protects students from harmful materials and prevents unauthorized access to content and resources. The policy shall comply with all state and federal student laws, including the Family Educational Rights Privacy Act of 1974 and the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000.


C. In developing the plan, the department shall do both of the following:


(1) Conduct a technology needs assessment of all schools and school systems, including an inventory of existing hardware and software, internal and external networks, servers, workstations, and operating systems.


(2) Evaluate the current technology readiness status of every public elementary and secondary school, including hardware, software, and broadband capacity.


D. The state superintendent of education shall do all of the following:


(1) Identify the costs for upgrading existing software and equipment, acquiring new software and equipment, ongoing maintenance, and technical support and develop a funding strategy, including state contracts to provide for cost savings wherever possible.


(2) Identify and develop funding mechanisms to support implementation of the plan.


(3) Inform schools and school systems of available technology funding sources and applicable timelines and deadlines and encourage local schools and school systems to maximize the use of existing local, state, and federal funding sources for technology purposes.


(4) Conduct and publish a technology readiness assessment of each public school twice a year including a review of devices, Internet bandwidth, school and school system expenditures on technology, and use of state technology contracts.


(5) Provide ongoing guidance and technical assistance to schools and school systems.


(6) Evaluate the statewide school technology plan and update as often as necessary, but not less than once per year, to keep current with technological advances.


E. The Board of Regents shall collaborate and cooperate with the state Department of Education to develop policies and procedures to allow public elementary and secondary schools access to all available Internet assets provided through a request for proposal process through which both public and private entities shall be considered.


F. The state Department of Education shall submit a written report to the Senate Committee on Education and the House Committee on Education, not later than January fifteenth of each year, regarding implementation of the statewide education technology plan and the status of technology readiness of each public school and school system.


Added by Acts 2014, No. 772, § 1. Amended by Acts 2015, No. 297, § 1.