Stakeholders decry EETT elimination

Domenech said AASA will call on the Obama administration and Congress to provide a funding stream dedicated to educational technology and to helping the U.S. education system remain globally competitive.

Fears of losing international education footing were echoed by most stakeholders.

“The chasm between the vision of out-educating and out-innovating our global [competition] and the reality of de-funding education technology is stark and deeply disturbing,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking.

Krueger said ed-tech advocates are urging Congress to rethink its “misguided short-term decision and start investing in building education leadership capacity with technology.”

In fact, losing critical EETT funding puts the U.S. “on a backward path,” said Don Knezek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education. Knezek acknowledged that federal funds must be spent wisely, but added that if the nation is serious in its attempt to compete with other top countries such as China and Finland, it must “invest in ed tech programs affecting the classroom today. EETT is central to 21st century learning, teaching and professional development.”

“Ensuring today’s students have access to learning technologies in the classroom is a key education and workforce development issue,” said Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association. “By denying students access to these tools – and well-trained and supported teachers – we are asking schools to win the future with one hand tied behind their backs.”

And while the FY11 budget legislation has passed, a new round of negotiations began on April 15 as the House of Representatives passed a Republican budget proposal that would curtail spending with deep cuts on programs such as food stamps and Medicaid. While the plan is nonbinding, it would cut $6 trillion from the budget over the next decade.

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