Washington, DC, June 7, 2007.–In response to a House Subcommittee´s approval of $272.5 million in FY 2008 funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology Program as part of the Subcommittee-passed Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations bill, education technology leaders issued the following statements:
Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking, stated: "The Subcommittee´s support for FY 2008 funding the Enhancing Education Through Technology program (EETT) , coupled with the recent introduction of HR 2449 to reauthorize EETT, shows that congressional leaders are beginning to see the importance of education technology to improving learning. Educators are indebted to the leadership of Chairman David Obey and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard."
Don Knezek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education, stated: "The House Appropriations Subcommittee´s approval of $272.5 million for FY08 spending on the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program is an important step, but only the first one, towards assuring that our nation´s students have the technology skills and knowledge necessary to succeed academically and compete in the global economy. Today´s action is heartening to the thousands of educators who have weighed-in with Congress this year in support of EETT. Moreover, it sends a strong message to the Administration, which has repeatedly sought to eliminate EETT."
Mary Ann Wolf, Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association, stated: "After several years of threatening to eliminate this program, the House today validated the need and importance of education technology to improving schools and meeting the goals of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). However, states districts, and schools recognize that this number–$272 million, which is also our current funding–makes it very difficult to maximize the potential for students and teachers; and as a nation, we cannot afford to miss this opportunity to improve education. We encourage the full committee and the Senate to respond by increasing EETT funding to previous levels so that education, like all industries, can effectively utilize technology to teach math, science, and reading in new ways. It is our responsibility to ensure that our students are work and college ready in the global economy."
Ken Wasch, President of the Software & Information Industry Association, stated: "America´s high-tech industry believes we can not create a skilled and competitive workforce without modernizing our schools and our curriculum through technology. House Subcommittee approval of $272 million for the Enhancing Education Through Technology program represents an important step in meeting that need and restoring this critical federal investment that has seen dramatically reduced funding in recent years. We look forward to working with Congress to further restore program funding as a key component of a national education and competitiveness agenda."
Authorized as Title II-D of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), EETT enables schools to address core teaching and learning needs through technology, including:
- access to courses online otherwise not available to rural and urban students,
- delivering professional development to ensure that teachers are highly qualified and can effectively take advantage of new and emerging technology tools,
- providing students with skills and tools to compete in a highly competitive, technology-driven, global employment market,
- disaggregation and reporting of student adequate yearly progress (AYP) data to enable accountability.
EETT Was funded at about $690 million for its first three years in Fiscal Years 2002-2004, but was reduced to $496 million in FY2005 and to $272 million in FY2006 and FY2007. States distribute funds to school districts with 50% allocated by poverty-weighted formula and 50% by competition. EETT gives schools broad discretion to use program resources on a number of technology acquisition, enrichment and integration purposes to best meet local needs, with at least 25% required for professional development.
About CoSN, ISTE, SETDA and SIIA:
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is the country´s premier voice for education technology leadership, serving K-12 technology leaders who through their strategic use of technology, improve teaching and learning. For further information, visit http://www.cosn.org.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. ISTE is home to the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS), and the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC). For more information visit http://www.iste.org.
Founded in the fall of 2001, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the principal association representing the state directors for educational technology. SETDA´s goal is to improve student achievement through technology. For more information, visit http://www.setda.org.
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 800 leading software and information companies. Many SIIA members develop and deliver educational software, digital curricula and related technologies and services for use in education, while all SIIA members depend on the nation´s schools to provide a skilled, high-tech workforce. Visit www.siia.net.