State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces $11.9 Million in Microsoft Settlement Technology Funds Available for California Schools
SACRAMENTO—More than 8,000 California public schools and districts are eligible to share $11.9 million in the latest round of Education Technology K–12 Voucher Program funding, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today. Funds are available through a 2003 antitrust settlement agreement between Microsoft Corporation and California consumers and businesses.
The list of eligible and potentially eligible schools and districts is available on the California Department of Education K-12 Voucher Program: Funding Web page. Today’s announcement is the fifth distribution of the Microsoft settlement funds. The first four distributions, in 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2015, totaled more than $470 million.
“These funds have improved our students’ education by allowing California to wire our classrooms, modernize instruction, successfully give online tests to 3.1 million students, and make progress in closing the digital divide,” Torlakson said. “I encourage all eligible schools and districts to apply for these technology funds.”
Under the terms of the settlement, these funds are to be used to assist K–12 districts to acquire and support education technology that improves teaching and student achievement.
Several factors make schools eligible for these funds:
If they were previously eligible for the Education Technology K–12 Voucher Program, which provides money to schools and districts to purchase qualified education technology, including computer hardware and software, and provide training in the use of technology in the classroom.
All public K–12 schools, county offices of education, direct-funded charter schools, and State Special Schools in which at least 40 percent of the certified 2015–16 enrollment qualified for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program.
All public high schools in California that serve students from public elementary, middle, and junior high schools in California in which at least 40 percent of the certified 2015–16 enrollment qualified for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program.
An education technology plan is no longer required for eligibility. However, schools and districts are strongly encouraged to develop and use technology plans. An online Technology Plan Builder is freely available to all K–12 schools.
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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100