With the federal government earmarking $867 million this year for school technology in the newly signed Elementary and Secondary Education Act (see "New ESEA features carrots, cudgels," Front Page), it might seem almost petty to complain that this staggering sum is $5 million less than last year and $133 million less than was agreed to by the House and Senate just months ago. Remember, though, that this congressional agreement came before the 9-11 tragedy and official word of the recession.

To taxpayers in a Boston beanery or the coffee shop in Crawford, Texas, the idea


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