Public Act 00-187 An Act Conerning Education Aid
(Full text available online at: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2000/act/pa/2000PA-00187-R00HB-05737-PA.htm)
Section 33 -- Establishing the Commission for Educational Technology:
Sec. 33 (a) There is established a Commission for Educational Technology, within the Department of Information Technology, for administrative purposes only. The commission shall consist of: (1) The Chief Information Officer of the Department of Information Technology, or the Chief Information Officer's designee, the Commissioners of Education and Higher Education, or their designees, the State Librarian, or the State Librarian's designee, the chairperson of the Department of Public Utility Control, or the chairperson's designee, the chief executive officers of the constituent units of the state system of higher education, or their designees, (2) one member each representing the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Educators Computer Association, and the Connecticut Library Association, (3) a secondary school teacher designated by Connecticut Education Association and an elementary school teacher designated by the Connecticut Federation of Educational and Professional Employees, and (4) four members who represent business and have expertise in information technology, one each appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate. The Lieutenant Governor shall convene the first meeting of the commission on or before September 1, 2000.
(b) The commission shall elect a chairperson from among its members. Subject to the provisions of chapter 67 of the general statutes, and within available appropriations, the commission may appoint an executive director and such other employees as may be necessary for the discharge of the duties of the commission.
(c) The commission shall:
(1) Be the principal educational technology policy advisor for state government;
(2) Develop, oversee and direct the attainment of state-wide technology goals including:
(A) Connecting all institutions of higher education, libraries, public elementary and secondary schools, regional educational service centers and other parties through a state-wide high speed, flexible network that will allow for video, voice and data transmission.
(B) Wiring all school classrooms and connecting them to the Internet and to the state-wide high speed network through wired, wireless, or any other digital transmission technology providing high speed connectivity.
(C) Providing access for all public libraries and libraries at institutions of higher education to a core set of on-line full text resources and to the ability to purchase collaboratively for other collections in order to maximize buying power.
(D) Ensuring, in cooperation with the State Board of Education, competency in computing skills by the sixth grade for all students.
(E) Ensuring competency in specific computing skills and the integration of technology into the curriculum for all public school teachers.
(F) Ensuring that institutions of higher education offer a wide range of course and degree programs via the Internet and through other synchronous and asynchronous methods.
(3) Coordinate the activities of all state agencies, educational institutions and other parties involved in the creation and management of a reliable and secure network that will offer connectivity and allow for the transmission of video, voice and data transmission to every library, school, regional educational service center and institution of higher education;
(4) Be the liaison between the Governor and the General Assembly and local, state and federal organizations and entities with respect to educational technology matters;
(5) Develop and maintain a long-range plan and make related recommendations for the coordination of educational technology. The plan shall (A) establish clear goals and a strategy for using telecommunications and information technology to improve education, (B) include a professional development strategy to ensure that teachers and faculty know how to use the new technologies to improve education, (C) include an assessment of the telecommunications, hardware, software and other services that will be needed to improve education, and (D) include an evaluation process that monitors progress towards the specified goals;
(6) Measure the availability and usage of Internet access sites available to the public, including, but not limited to, those maintained by state and local government agencies, libraries, schools, institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, businesses and other organizations and recommend strategies for reducing the disparities in Internet accessibility and usage across the state and among all potential users;
(7) Establish methods and procedures to ensure the maximum involvement of members of the public, educators, librarians, representatives of higher education, the legislature and local officials in educational technology matters and organize, as necessary, advisory boards consisting of individuals with expertise in a particular discipline significant to the work of the commission;
(8) On or before January 1, 2001, and annually thereafter, the commission shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, on its activities, progress made in the attainment of the state-wide technology goals as outlined in the long-range plan and any recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies, the State Board of Education, and the Board of Governors of Higher Education. The report shall include recommendations for adjustments to the funding formula for grants pursuant to section 40 of this act if there are school districts that are at a disadvantage in terms of wiring their schools and the use of technology in their schools;
(9) Enter into such contractual agreements, in accordance with established procedures, as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section;
(10) Take any other action necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
(d) The Commission for Educational Technology may request any office, department, board, commission or other agency of the state to supply such reports, information and assistance as may be necessary or appropriate in order to carry out its duties and requirements.
(e) For purposes of this section, educational technology shall include, but not be limited to: (1) Computer-assisted instruction; (2) information retrieval and data transfer; (3) telecommunications related to voice, data and video transmission of instruction related materials and courses; (4) the development and acquisition of educational software; and (5) the instructional uses of the Internet and other technologies.
Sec. 34. There is established an Educational Technology Fund. The Commission on Educational Technology shall deposit in said fund any private donation, bequest or devise made to it to assist in the attainment of the state-wide technology goals established pursuant to subdivision (2) of subsection (c) of section 33 of this act. Said fund is intended to be in addition to those resources that are appropriated by the state for technology purposes. The commission shall use the resources of the fund for activities related to the attainment of such goals.
Sec. 35. (NEW) (a) The Commission for Educational Technology shall develop, with the advice and assistance of the State Board of Education, the Board of Governors of Higher Education and the Department of Information Technology, a five-year plan for the implementation of the Connecticut Education Network to provide state-of-the-art, high-speed, reliable Internet access and video, voice and data transmissions that electronically link all educational institutions in the state, including public and independent institutions of higher education, the state's libraries and all elementary, middle and secondary schools and other institutions including businesses, job centers and community organizations. The plan shall include the establishment of a Connecticut Digital Library as a component of the Connecticut Education Network to ensure on-line access by all students and citizens to essential library and information resources. The State Library, in conjunction with the Department of Higher Education, shall administer the Connecticut Digital Library. The Connecticut Digital Library shall provide access to available on-line electronic full-text databases, a state-wide electronic catalog and interlibrary loan system and the electronic and physical delivery of library resources. The Connecticut Digital Library shall include elements specifically designed to meet the educational and research needs of the general public, higher education students and faculty and elementary and secondary school students and teachers.
(b) The commission shall oversee the preparation and submission of a state-wide application to the federal Universal Service Fund to enhance connectivity to the Connecticut Education Network, maximize participation and grant attainment rates, and reduce overly burdensome administrative requirements which discourage local involvement. The commission shall prepare a feasibility report which sets forth (1) a review of how and under what circumstances other states have successfully submitted state-wide applications to the Universal Service Fund, (2) an analysis of what should specifically be incorporated into this state's application, and (3) an outline of necessary actions to be taken by the commission for completion of a state-wide Universal Service Fund application. The commission shall work, in consultation with the Departments of Education, Higher Education and the regional educational service centers on the feasibility report. No later than March 31, 2001, and for every subsequent universal service funding cycle, the commission shall submit a state-wide application for universal service funds