Ed Tech Associations Call for Classroom Tech Funding Through EETT
Three major education technology advocacy groups and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) issued a call Wednesday urging the United States Congress to invest in technology for the classroom and to use the existing Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT) program as the conduit for the funding. Under the Bush administration, EETT had come under budgetary assault on several occasions, and funding has declined consistently over the years, from $696 million in 2004 down to $267.5 million in FY 2008.
EETT is part of Title II Part D of the No Child Left Behind Act, designed to support the deployment and integration of educational technology into classroom instruction. It provides the sole source of federal funding in NCLB specifically supporting education technologies.
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), and the SIIA are recommending that this program be used to help realize President-Elect Barack Obama's call to improve classroom technology and teacher training.
"Stimulus funding to create technology-rich classrooms and broadband access will help ensure that our students receive a 21st century education, delivering both immediate job creation and preparation of today's students for tomorrow's high-end jobs," stated Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN, in a statement released today by the four groups. "We urge Congress to fully implement President-Elect Obama's bold vision for 21st-century learning."
"After working with the Obama transition, we are extremely optimistic about their commitment to boost classroom instruction into the 21st century through technology, and to achieve that goal through targeted stimulus investment," said Ken Wasch, SIIA President. "Providing meaningful funding for education technology is a win for students, for the economy, and for America's global competitiveness."
"The fact is, America's schools are lagging in the use of technology, and it's hurting our students' ability to learn and compete in the global economy," said Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of SETDA. "Our position as a world leader in innovation can be dramatically enhanced through this extraordinarily cost-effective investment to modernize our curriculum and instructional practices, creating a globally competitive 21st century learning environment."
The four groups also recommended "the inclusion of separate, additional broadband and technology infrastructure support for schools in other school construction and broadband components of the economic recovery package, because an influx of technology in classrooms will give rise to a need for increased bandwidth."