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Sec. 4d-80. Commission for Educational Technology.

      Sec. 4d-80. Commission for Educational Technology. (a) There is established a Commission for Educational Technology within the Department of Administrative Services. The commission shall consist of: (1) The Commissioner of Administrative Services, or the commissioner's designee, the Commissioner of Education and the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, or their designees, the State Librarian, or the State Librarian's designee, the chairperson of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, 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 the 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, 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. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the executive director shall have the option to elect participation in the state employees retirement system, or the alternate retirement program established for eligible employees in higher education or the teachers' retirement system.

      (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 schools, 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, 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 Regents for Higher Education. The report shall include recommendations for adjustments to the funding formula for grants pursuant to section 10-262n 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.

      (P.A. 00-187, S. 33, 75; P.A. 01-173, S. 3, 4, 51, 67; P.A. 11-48, S. 285; 11-51, S. 85; 11-80, S. 1.)

      History: P.A. 00-187 effective July 1, 2000 (Revisor's note: In codifying this section the Revisors deemed an erroneous reference in Subsec. (c)(9) to "section 40 of this act" to be a reference to section 41 of the act since that section provides for information technology grants); P.A. 01-173 amended Subsec. (a) to make technical changes, amended Subsec. (b) to add provisions re executive director retirement options and amended Subsec. (c)(2)(C) to add public schools, effective July 1, 2001; pursuant to P.A. 11-48, "Board of Governors of Higher Education" and "Commissioner of Higher Education" were changed editorially by the Revisors to "Board of Regents for Higher Education" and "president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education", respectively, effective July 1, 2011; P.A. 11-51 amended Subsec. (a) to place commission within Department of Administrative Services and to change "Chief Information Officer of the Department of Information Technology" to "Commissioner of Administrative Services", effective July 1, 2011; pursuant to P.A. 11-80, "Department of Public Utility Control" was changed editorially by the Revisors to "Public Utilities Regulatory Authority" in Subsec. (a)(1), effective July 1, 2011.

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