EETT, once zeroed out, would see new life under proposed legislation

EETT-fundingA new bill proposed in the U.S. Senate would once again fund the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) Act, which ensures that educators and students have access to technology for teaching and learning.

The program, Title II-D under No Child Left Behind, was last funded in 2010 before its funds were incorporated into other programs that supported technology use in the classroom.

The bill was introduced by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, who said the act will help level the playing field and give schools much-needed resources to help students compete in an increasingly global economy.

“Across the globe, students today experience a world that is more connected than ever. Yet in the United Sates, many classrooms, especially those in rural and remote areas, lack the rich technology that can connect them with the outside world,” Baldwin said.

Ed-tech advocacy groups and stakeholders were quick to praise the proposed bill and urge support for EETT funds.

“A new EETT is needed to provide states the opportunity to build capacity to improve and transform instruction, promote digital equity for the nation’s students, and offer support for critically needed professional learning opportunities for the teachers and school leaders who are supporting the digital transition,” said SETDA Interim Executive Director Lan Neugent.

Next page: How the refreshed EETT funding would support ed-tech efforts

“As the Senate HELP Committee continues negotiations on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), it’s critical to remember that Congress established the law 50 years ago to ensure educational equity. Today, that means digital equity,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger.

“With dedicated, sustained federal support for technology and related professional development, our schools will be better equipped to meet the demands of modern teaching and learning. In turn, disadvantaged students will benefit from the innovative instructional opportunities they need to prepare for postsecondary success and career advancement.”

Specifically, the legislation would:

Support teachers, principals, and district administrators in using technology to increase college and career readiness, close achievement gaps, and engage all students:

  • Support teachers, principals, and district leaders to use technology to redesign courses, personalize
    instruction, and increase student engagement
  • Provide teachers with technology-specific professional learning opportunities that are intensive, ongoing, and connected to practice

Help school districts build a technology infrastructure to make sure schools take full advantage of what technology has to offer:

  • Aid in the acquisition of digital tools, devices and content to enhance learning
  • Support state and local technology coordinators’ success in developing the skills and knowledge to
    implement and operate digital learning programs in a continually changing technology world
  • Ensure that rural and remote schools have the technology they need to shrink distances, enhance learning and prepare their students for the global workforce

Promote data driven education while protecting student privacy and ensuring data security:

  • Help teachers and school leaders use real-time data to drive classroom and school practice
  • Promote responsible data use by educators and students
  • Support state and district efforts to ensure network data security
  • Assist districts with privacy and security professional development, curriculum, and instruction

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Laura Ascione

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