DLA Archives

Support Program

This Legislator Support Program provides updated information on progress of multiple state-level digital learning initiatives.



DLA's Mission (slide)

DLA's "Core Competencies"

  • Statewide Digital Learning Initiatives
    • Full Statewide Deployment Model
    • Individual Content, Software, and Device Initiatives
    • LEA & Enterprise Infrastructure Models
  • Legislative Initiatives
    • Legislation "Best Practices"
    • Collaborative Legislation Components
    • Digital Learning Outcomes
    • Funding Models
    • Governance
  • Economic Development “Return on Education” (ROE)
    • State Economic Goals and Metrics
    • Skilled Workforce Development and Employer Alignment
    • Public and Higher Ed "Market Driven" Curriculum
    • Existing Workforce Education Focus
  • Digital Learning Technologies
    • Curriculum, Content, and Professional Development Solutions
    • Infrastructure Technologies (Device, Broadband, Cloud, etc.)
    • State-Level Enterprise Infrastructure

US Economic Challenges and Priorities

It's the Economy!!!

DLA Value Proposition:  Increase your Gross State Product (GSP)

As a state legislator, you have a responsibility to increase your state’s GSP.   When state growth declines, a downward spiral begins. Increasingly, state leaders are recognizing that their state’s economy is fragile and there is a potential economic decline rooted in a huge misalignment between employer needs and available skilled workers.

Lower state revenues begin a downward spiral that reduces education and public service funding, produces less qualified graduates, lowers per-capita incomes, increases tax burdens, and eventually forces an industry exodus from your state.

When industry leaves, so do skilled workers, and vice versa.

But your state can reverse its slide on its downward path. Learn more about

National Economic Challenges

The nation's continuous decline in international education rankings is leading to a dangerous shortage in the qualified skilled workforce we need for the future.

  • In 2020, there may be:
    • 3 jobs for every 1 qualified skilled candidate
    • 1 job for every 3 unskilled candidates, including college grads

Negative Trends:

  • Declining student outcomes in public ed, higher ed, and adult education
  • 90% of future workforce need some level of IT skills and student capabilities will fall far short by 2020
  • Higher education continues to drive for 4 year degrees in "non-skilled" majors . . .  . . "degrees to nowhere"
  • High tech jobs will increasingly move overseas.  China has more English-speaking engineers that the US.
  • College graduates with wrong degrees will compete for the low skills/low paying jobs

DLA Team has the successful state economic development model (View slide)

  • DLA Economic Development Success in Utah (1988-Present)

  • Focus on skilled workforce, quality education, and university R & D technology transfer

  • Utah is highest rated state in digital learning

  • DLA is transferring the Utah "Digital State" economic model to other states


DLA Economic Development Solution

The "Top 3" Drivers of Economic Development: (slide)

  1. Skilled workforce development with employer needs alignment.  DLA calls  this "Market-Driven Education"
  2. Quality public and higher education
  3. University research and development (R & D) and technology transfer 

What is missed by virtually all our political leaders is that  . . . .

 . . . . .ALL 3 Criteria are EDUCATION!  

Investing in solutions that accomplish these 3 are the ONLY solutions and digital learning is key.

The Solution: DLA "Golden Tread" Business Model 

  1. GSP-Gross State Product needs to be the ultimate goal and measurement
  2. Economic Development's #1 requirement is building a highly qualified skilled workforce aligning with employers needs
  3. Skilled workforce depends on improving public and higher ed student outcomes and career alignment
  4. Successful digital learning in public, higher ed, and existing workforce is the fastest and most effective path to resolving these challenges
  5. Effective digital learning expansion MUST be initiated,  funded, and governed by state legislatures


DLA’s 7-Step Road Map

. . . . A proven model that will help legislators across America improve their state’s economy.

The model you can use for your state’s success comes from a 1990 plan developed by Utah leaders Rep. Dick Bradford, Dane Goodfellow, and Mary Sucher. This plan began the push for improved education outcomes and workforce alignment in order to advance economic development.

Value Proposition

DLA believes that by utilizing the 7-Step Legislative Road Map, developed over the last 20 years, nationwide legislation will be managed from beginning to end. DLA needs legislators that are passionate about making significant change and can build coalitions with key stakeholders in their state.

Your Guide to the Key Issues

DLA focuses on over thirty issues spanning public education, higher education, and workforce development. "When you fix your educational issues, you fix your workforce. When you fix your workforce, your state’s economy significantly improves."


The Proven 7-Step DLA Legislative Road Map

7-Step Legislative Road Map to help legislators from coast-to-coast turn around their state economy. 

  1. DLA Support Engagement
  2. State Legislative Priorities
  3. Education Issue and Policy Selection
  4. Recruit Sponsors and Initiate Legislation
  5. Manage and Track Legislation
  6. On-going Oversight and Transparency
  7. Expand Based on Outcomes and ROI (Return on Investment)


2015 DLA Policy Platform (slides)



DLA Policy:  College and Career Preparation and Student/Employer Alignment Model


DLA Statewide Digital Learning Models

DLA Goal-Overcome the unsuccessful 1-to-1 initiatives . . . .

                                  . . . .“It’s not about the device!”

Utah study shows academic outcomes decline in virtually all areas with "device-centric" 1-on-1 deployment model

The Smart School Technology Project, as defined by legislation initiated during the 2012 Legislative Session in the form of SB 248 the Smart School Technology Act provides funding to develop technology solutions related to economic and workforce development, in this case the use of mobile devices in Utah’s public schools.  Study results show negative student outcomes.

View:  Complete Smart School Technology Project Report                                                                                  Statewide “Magna Carta” Implementation Model




DLA (3) levels of statewide initiatives

  1. Device or curriculum level (example:  math software of all K-6 students in state)
  2. District level deployment (funding individual LEAs universally or with grant model)
  3. Complete state model: 
    • Both 1 & 2
    • Matching funding grant model
    • Complete school implementation model
    • State-level infrastructure:  broadband, shared services, database integration, standards, security and privacy, cloud services, reporting, etc.

Incremental Deployment (Levels 1 and 2)

  • Technology or Device Initiatives (1-on-1)

  • Curriculum Level (IE: math software for all students)

Statewide Full Implementation (Level 3):

  • All students, teachers, and administration

  • All grades, curriculum, and subject areas

  • 24/7 mobile

  • District and state longitudinal systems

  • All technologies-broadband, management systems, content, software, devices, professional development

  • Full technical support staffs

National Digital Learning Research

Project Red:  Research and Recommendations on 1-on-1 School, District, and State Deployments

Digital Promise

Digital Promise is an independent, bipartisan nonprofit, authorized by Congress in 2008 as the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technologies through Section 802 of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush. With an initial Board of Directors recommended by Members of Congress and appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama formally launched Digital Promise in September 2011. Digital Promise’s longest standing initiative is the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of 57 school districts and education agencies in 27 states, collectively serving more than 3.2 million students. Through the League, Digital Promise brings together member superintendents with entrepreneurs, researchers, developers, and thought leaders to collectively solve the challenges facing our K-12 public education system. Ultimately, we are working to empower school districts and district leaders to become better consumers of innovative approaches to teaching and learning – and making sure that the most efective practices are broadly shared so they may scale

NASBE-National Association of State Boards of Education

Born in Another Time Report-The Report of the NASBE Study Group on the Role of Technology in Schools and Communities



DLA 2015/16 State Legislative Outreach Program

  • Legislator Support Model
  • 2015/6 Key States Collaboration 
  • DLA Legislators and Legislative Tracking

State Legislature Information

National Legislative Organizations

2015/16 Legislative Collaboration Model

Major Statewide  Initiatives (2015/16)

  • North Carolina
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • Alabama
  • Nevada
  • Georgia
  • Texas
  • Illinois 
  • Oklahoma
  • Other individual state initiatives

North Carolina 

The NC legislature is proposing a multi-year digital learning funding model to be coordinated by the Friday Institute.

2015 NC Legislation

  • HB35 Education Innovation Task Force
  • HB 660 Transition to Personalized Digital Learning                                                                                    
  • HB Executive Summary
    •  SECTION 1. Intent. – The intent of this act is to create programs that advance and accelerate the statewide transition to and effective implementation of digital learning by supporting statewide technology infrastructure, exemplary implementation models, ancillary services and programs, and leadership capacity in all K-12 public schools in the State. The  transition to using digital tools in the education system to fully harness the power of modern technology will impact all aspects of education, including course content, teaching methods, where and when learning takes place, what resources are required, and how success is defined and measured.
    • SECTION 2. Expand School Connectivity Initiative.
    • SECTION 3. Establish Collaborative Procurement.
    • SECTION 4. Expand Access to Digital Learning Resources.
    • SECTION 5. Provide Professional Development for Education Leaders.
    • SECTION 6. Support Model Digital Learning Innovations. – (Grant Program)
    • SECTION 7 (a) Establish the North Carolina Digital Learning Initiative (NCDLI).
    • SECTION 7 (b) NCDLI Reporting-annually to the State Board of Education, including the Special Committee on Digital Learning
    • SECTION 8. The provisions of this act are subject to the availability of funds for these purposes.
    • SECTION 9. This act is effective when it becomes law
  • HB 660 Bill Text, 4/23/15 version
  • HB 660 Status
  • PRC15 v48: LEA funds allotment for digital learning content and professional development. 
    • Potential of $36 M in 2015. Estimates for all 995 LEAs.  
    • FAQs 
  • Friday Institute:  NC Digital Learning Research & Planning

NC Digital Learning Research & Planning


Utah initially planned on full funding and implementation in 2015. The legislature split the full state initiative into 2 years-planning (2015) and potential initial state implementation (2016).


Arizona is initiating the Digital Teaching and Learning Model by passing 2015 legislation to implement a legislative planning committee.  Also, Arizona is leading the country in implementing a single education system for all Arizona districts- Arizona Education Learning & Accountability System (AELAS).

2015 Legislation and Funding:

Arizona Contact Information:

Key Technology Initiatives


Alabama will be the first state to go to tablets Statewide.  The Alabama State Senate passed the Alabama Ahead Act, SB1, which was sponsored by State Senator Gerald Dial (R). SB 1 will allow implementation of a law the legislature originally passed in 2012. The legislation improves upon current law by allowing touch-based devices, removing the phase-in period, adding all grades, and authorizing a bond issue to pay for getting the tablets to the children.  According to Sen. Dial, SB1 will save the State up to $25 million per year, versus purchasing the old-fashioned textbooks most of us remember lugging around.  “Our students live in a digital world, and today the Alabama Senate took one giant step forward toward creating a 21st century learning environment. Digital textbooks have been proven to reduce costs, increase student participation and reduce behavior problems.” 


  • Senate Bill 515-Ensures sufficient funding for K-12 public education for the 2015-2017 biennium  
    • $23.2 million in each fiscal year to implement Nevada Ready 21 Technology Grant Program. This program is a One-to-One Program and 6-year program, whereby Middle School will be the focus for the first three years and High School will follow. Funding will be distributed via the Commission on Educational Technology in order to build whole-school capacity for instructional technology. The Commission’s Nevada Ready 21 plan calls for every student to have access to the two most important educational opportunities available: (1) skilled educators who value connected, personalized, student-centered learning, and (2) continuous access to a personal, portable device that is connected wirelessly to the Internet. There is additional funding for Wide Area Network incentives and staffing to manage the program. 
  • $4.0 million in each fiscal year to augment existing budget line item from Agency Request to GOVREC. The funding will be utilized to expand programs identified by workforce sector councils. COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS GRANTS $8 MILLION State General Fund of $8 million over the biennium for College and Career Readiness Grants. The Department will create a new category of school aid for high schools to offer innovative programs targeted to improve the graduation rate and readiness upon exit. This expands existing work (e.g., access to dual credit courses) and is tied to the administration of the new 11th grade College and Career Readiness assessment (ACT) that will give schools information on students' readiness for post-secondary education or employment. Competitive grants would be awarded to the school districts and charter schools.
  • The Department’s request includes $1.2 million over the biennium to expand student participation in Advanced Placement courses through additional teacher preparation and targeted grants to improve participation and passage rates among key population groups.

Goals for Success 2009 ‐ 2014:

  • Robust infrastructure and connectivity supporting digital‐age learning and teaching
  • Professional growth for educators to improve student learning with technology
  • Instructional technology integration across the curriculum to engage digital learners.

These goals will be achieved in a culture of collaboration among all stakeholders to ensure students across the State master 21st Century skills including the Nevada Educational Technology Standards for Students.  The rationale justifying each of these goals, and the anticipated learning benefits, are included in the text of this plan.


  • New Funding in 2015 Fiscal Year 
    • $10 million in the development of more rigorous exams connected to the new Georgia Common Core Performance Standards in math and English language arts. The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement will use 
    • $5 million to establish a new competitive grant program to foster innovation. Technology will get a much-needed boost with 
    • $25 million going to the OneGeorgia Authority to create a new competitive grant program to increase districts’ network bandwidth and Internet connectivity.4
    • $1 million in new funds will enable the Department of Education to provide more technology training and support to school districts. Fourteen million dollars in bond funding is proposed to upgrade the districts’ technology infrastructure. Amendments to the 2014 budget propose to add 
    • $1.4 million for the university system to expand PeachNet, its statewide information technology system, to all 180 school districts.
  • SB 89-Digital Classroom Act of 2015 
    • State's goal is to have, by July 1, 2020, all instructional content purchased by local school boards to be in an electronic format and all local school systems to provide a wireless computer device to each of their students as the principal source of reading or accessing instructional content. Part of that money, $34 million, is designed to upgrade the district's technology and meet that 2020 digital deadline.
  • Georgia 2014-2015 "Connections for Classrooms"  $65 M (Includes E-Rate)

Connections for Classrooms is a grant program joining multiple state agencies around the common goal of ensuring Georgia schools and classrooms have the high-speed broadband access required for digital and blended learning. The program combines more than $65 million from the following two fund sources.







Special Events

1st Annual Deer Valley Conference 

  • April 5-8, 2016 in Park City, Utah at Deer Valley Ski Resort
  • For legislators and industry leaders
  • Conference Overview
  • Tentative Agenda