WASHINGTON, D.C.— The CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) decried President Bush´s decision to eliminate Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program funds from his proposed Fiscal Year 2008 budget.
"President Bush´s decision to eliminate funding for EETT fails to meet the needs of America´s students, " says Don Knezek, CEO of ISTE. "I simply cannot understand how this decision squares with the Administration´s stated goal of ensuring that our nation´s students can compete globally and effectively in math and science.
"The Administration´s proposal completely ignores the vital role digital technologies play in those disciplines," says Knezek. "Moreover, it turns a blind eye to the importance of exposing all American students to the technology tools and skills they´ll need for future success in school, work, and civic life. I urge Congress to reject President Bush´s budget proposal and fully fund education technology."
Authorized as Title II-D of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), EETT enables schools to increase student achievement and ensure they can compete in a global economy. EETT received appropriations of approximately $700 million for Fiscal Years 2002-2004, but sustained major cuts in FY05 and 06. Last week, the House approved a Joint Resolution on FY07 funding that would provide level funding ($272 million) for EETT for the remainder of this fiscal year.
States distribute EETT funds to school districts with 50 percent allocated by poverty-weighted formula and 50 percent by competition. Schools use EETT funds for professional development, enrichment, and integration purposes aimed at improving student achievement and student technology literacy.
Since FY 04, many states have endured major ETTT cuts, including:
* Iowa — funded at $3 million in FY04 and reduced to $1 million each in FY06 and FY07;
* Pennsylvania — funded at $22 million in FY04 and slashed to $9 million each in FY06 and FY07; and
* Wisconsin — funded at $8 million in FY04 and cut to $3 million each in FY06 and FY07.
These cuts have had significant, detrimental impact on our ability to move our schools and educational system to the 21st century.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the trusted source for professional development, knowledge generation, advocacy, and leadership for innovation. A nonprofit membership association, ISTE provides leadership and service to improve teaching, learning, and school leadership by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), the Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET), and the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), ISTE represents more than 85,000 professionals worldwide. We support our members with information, networking opportunities, and guidance as they face the challenge of transforming education.
Visit www.iste.org or call (800) 336-5191 to learn more about ISTE and its new initiatives — including the next generation of NETS for Students, Teachers, and Administrators.
ISTE is the registered trademark of International Society for Technology in Education.