06 Jan Conn. Education Department awards $10 million for school tech
The Connecticut State Department of Education is taking a hands-on role in the development of the state's technology workforce by promoting IT training in schools. Most recently, the Department announced the second round of a funding program to furnish schools with computers and expand their bandwidth. As part of this second round, $10 million will be distributed throughout the state.
The funding is related to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in Connecticut, which features periodical computer-adapted tests to keep close track of students' progress in English and math over the course of their school years. Connecticut is a member of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, whose exams replace the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) for grades 3–8 and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT) for grade 10 in the 2014–15 school year.
The program kicked off in July 2013 with $24 million, which was awarded to 128 schools. Interested districts can apply until February 13, and funding will be distributed to qualified applicants according to town wealth.
The Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) has stressed the importance of education in order to ensure that the state can compete on a national and even a global scale. According to a CTC survey, demand for IT workers will exceed supply in 2015, and there is concern that this could drive companies to move to states with more available qualified employees.
Connecticut will need more initiatives like this one to continue developing its tech workforce and become a hub for software developing companies in its own right. Local managed IT services providers can help companies keep pace with the latest technological innovations to drive their business goals forward.