Service for World Class Schools
Originally, under guidelines for the federal E-Rate program, school districts must have had an approved technology plan to receive all discounts under the program. Technology plans are no longer required at all for E-Rate; however, TEA still requires technology plans for grants and other types of funding. The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) has authorized the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to approve technology plans for public schools and charter schools in the state.
The Agency, in cooperation with the regional Education Service Centers (ESCs), utilizes a peer review system to approve the plans. Districts submit their plans to their ESC where technology specialists and administrators evaluate the plans according to SLD guidelines. Plans recommended for approval are forwarded to the Agency for final review and approval. ESC personnel will assist districts with plans that do not meet all requirements.
To qualify as an approved technology plan, the plan must meet the following five criteria that are core elements of successful school technology initiatives:
1. The plan must establish clear goals and a realistic strategy for using telecommunications and information technology to improve education or library services.
2. The plan must have a professional development strategy to ensure that staff knows how to use these new technologies to improve education or library services.
3. The plan must include an assessment of the telecommunication services, hardware, software, and other services that will be needed to improve education or library services.
4. The plan must provide for a budget sufficient to acquire and support the non-discounted elements of the plan: the hardware, software, professional development, and other services that will be needed to implement the strategy (include the current year's technology budget with the plan).
5. The plan must include an evaluation process that enables the school or library to monitor progress toward the specified goals and make mid-course corrections in response to new developments and opportunities as they arise.
6. New this year (2017-18), technology plans are also required to align with the District Site Based plan.
You should also organize and file your documents that relate to technology planning. At a minimum, these include:
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