Last-minute funding for education jobs looks grim

A bill that could have saved thousands of teachers' jobs failed to pass in Congress.
A bill that could have saved thousands of teachers' jobs failed to pass in Congress.

The fate of additional funding that might save thousands of teachers’ jobs remains uncertain after a $10 billion education jobs bill failed to pass in Congress, leaving many schools in the lurch as districts determine how many teaching positions their recession-riddled budgets can support. But advocates of education technology are pleased that a Senate subcommittee has added $100 million in ed-tech funding to the Senate version of the 2011 education appropriations bill.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a war spending bill on July 1 that included $10 billion for teachers’ jobs, which supporters said would help prevent thousands of layoffs across the nation, as well as $5 billion to cover a shortfall in requests for Pell Grant loans for low-income college students.

The measure had trouble passing in the U.S. Senate, however, and the $15 billion for education ultimately was dropped from the bill.…Read More

Education groups rally support for EETT

Many say Congress should continue funding ed-tech through its own dedicated funding stream.
Many say Congress should continue funding ed-tech through its own dedicated funding stream.

Alarmed at what they see as a potential setback in federal support for education technology, several dozen state and national education groups and high-tech companies have sent letters to House and Senate lawmakers, urging them to continue funding the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) block-grant program in fiscal 2011.

The letters expressed concerns about President Obama’s budget proposal, which would fold EETT—the largest single source of federal funding for school technology equipment, support, and professional development—into a new competitive grant program that aims to promote effective teaching and learning.

According to federal officials, this new initiative would “include a focus on integrating technology into instruction and using technology to drive improvements in teaching and learning” throughout all subject areas. (Read “Nation’s ed-tech chief reacts to budget concerns”)…Read More

ISTE urges tech training for future teachers

Ed tech advocates are pushing for funding of a federal tech-training program for future teachers
Ed tech advocates are pushing for funding of a federal tech-training program for future teachers

Educational technology advocates are hoping that Congress amends the fiscal 2010 budget to include funding for a grant program that focuses on improving new teachers’ abilities to use technology in the classroom.

Lawmakers created the Preparing Teachers for Digital Age Learners (PTDAL) program last year when they reauthorized the Higher Education Act. The program awards three-year grants to colleges of education to make sure they are equipping pre-service teachers with the skills they’ll need to integrate technology effectively into K-12 classrooms. Congress did not specify a dollar amount in creating the program, however. Instead, it authorized “such sums as necessary.”

The Obama administration’s proposed FY10 budget did not provide any funding for PTDAL. As the budget progresses through Congress, members have the opportunity to propose amendments that include funding for the program. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is requesting that Congress provide $50 million to fund PTDAL.…Read More