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H.R. 521 (113th): Transforming Education through Technology Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 6, 2013.

Transforming Education through Technology Act - Directs the Secretary of Education to award matching grants to states and, through them, subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to strengthen state and local technological infrastructure and professional development that supports digital learning.

Allocates grant funds among states in proportion to each state's share of school improvement funds under part A of title I of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965.

Requires states to use at least 90% of their grant to award subgrants to LEAs.

Requires LEAs to use: (1) at least 40% of those funds to support the acquisition of technology that addresses their technology infrastructure and access needs, and (2) at least 35% of those funds for professional development for digital learning.

Allows states to form purchasing consortia with other states, and allows LEAs to form purchasing consortia with other LEAs, to carry out grant and subgrant activities, including the purchase of technology.

Technology for Tomorrow Fund - Directs the Secretary to award renewable, competitive grants to eligible partnerships to improve student achievement, academic growth, and college-and-career readiness through the use of technology and digital learning.

Defines an "eligible partnership" as a partnership that includes at least one state or LEA and at least one LEA or educational service agency, institution of higher education, nonprofit or community-based organization, or business or for-profit organization.

Requires partnerships to use their grants to carry out activities that utilize technology and digital learning to promote: (1) personalized, individualized instruction; (2) improvements in teacher and school leader preparation, professional development, knowledge, skills, practice, and professional capacity; (3) students' equitable access to high-quality curriculum, instruction, assessments, technology, and digital learning; and (4) educational efficiency and productivity.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish partnership performance measures, (2) contract with an outside entity to evaluate the grant program and identify effective practices for improving student outcomes, (3) disseminate and provide technical assistance to LEAs and states on best practices in utilizing technology and digital learning for student advancement, and (4) ensure that the Department of Education applies those best practices to other innovation fund programs.