WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - October 24, 2016) - SETDA, the principal membership association of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders announced today Congressman Dave Loebsack (Iowa) as the recipient of the SETDA Federal Policy Maker of the Year Award. Congressman Loebsack was honored by SETDA for his leadership and advocacy for rural access to educational technology during the development of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As a former member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Loebsack worked to ensure his proposals were included in ESSA. Loebsack's Schools of the Future Act, which provides resources to rural schools for improving their education technology programs, was included as an amendment that was passed on a bipartisan vote and paved the way for the creation of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program.
"Iowa is primarily a rural state. Even with our significant progress toward connectivity, some areas remain without equitable and/or affordable Internet access in classrooms and/or homes," stated Gwen Nagel, Director of Iowa Learning Online, Iowa Department of Education. "Teachers, students and families in these locations would benefit greatly from the opportunity to access and engage in the wealth of digital content resources and collaborative edtech tools available to their counterparts in Iowa's metro locations."
"Throughout ESSA, educators are encouraged to leverage educational technology to provide high quality teaching and learning experiences. That can only happen if all students, regardless of zip code, have access to high quality broadband, devices, content, and teachers," noted Tracy Weeks, Executive Director of SETDA.
Congressman Loebsack is currently serving his fifth term in the United States House of Representatives. He represents Iowa's Second Congressional District which encompasses much of Eastern and Southern Iowa. In 2015, he began serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over a wide range of issues, including energy policy, healthcare policy, trade policy, telecommunications and the internet, environment and air quality, and consumer affairs and protection. Previously, he served as a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the House Armed Services Committee.
Founded in 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal non-profit membership association representing U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders. Our mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit http://www.setda.org