Tag: EETT

Education Stimulus Bill

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The final $787 billion stimulus bill that President Obama is expected to sign today contains $105.9 billion for education, including $650 million for the federal Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program.
Although encouraged by an increase of more than double its current funding level, ed-tech advocates said they were disappointed EETT did not receive the $1 billion it was slated to receive in earlier drafts of the package. In past years, EETT has been repeatedly targeted for cuts.
“The funding provides a much-needed down payment toward meeting President Obama’s vision that all students receive the benefits of 21st-century learning environments, but the final level of investment falls short of funding in the House and Senate bills, and far short of what is needed by our students to compete in today’s digital age,” read a statement from the International Society for Technology in Education and the Consortium for School Networking.
The two groups noted President Obama’s commitment to education, and urged Congress to increase ed-tech funding levels in FY09 and FY10. An estimated $9.9 billion total investment is needed to ensure that all Title I schools have effective, technology-rich classrooms, according to the groups.
The EETT funding in the stimulus bill “will provide critical support to states, districts, and schools to respond to warnings from the business community that students are not being prepared for the intellectual demands of the modern workplace,” said Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association.
“Schools are ready, willing, and able to make technology a critical component of education, so that education focuses on what students need to learn and how students need to learn to compete in the modern workforce… For a wireless nation that relies on technology for ordinary tasks and extraordinary achievements, it is time for technology to occupy a prominent place in education operations.”
The stimulus package will help essential funding find its way to schools in the midst of budget deficits and “will help cash-strapped school districts avoid program cuts, prevent teacher layoffs, invest in school modernization and increase funding for Title I, special education, and other important programs,” said a statement from the American Association of School Administrators.
Acknowledging that the bill does lack some key funding areas that educators enthusiastically supported, the administrators’ group said that while the bill “does not include the level of funding for school construction included in the House version of the bill,” it is still a solid step in the right direction.
“This is a solid recognition by Congress that the road to economic recovery runs through our classrooms,” National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel said in a Feb. 13 statement. eSchool News- Education snags $105.9B in stimulus package


Obama Calls for Investment in Classroom Technology

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President-elect Barack Obama shed more light on his economic recovery plan in a Jan. 8 speech at Virginia’s George Mason University–and for education, the news is encouraging. Equipping classrooms with modern technology to better prepare students for the jobs of the future is a key component of Obama’s stimulus plan. And though the proposed dollar amount for this portion of the plan remains unclear, a leading educational technology advocacy group says the funding to support it could be disbursed through the federal Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) block-grant program.  

                  science furniture worthington direct                                  In the interest of making America "strong and competitive in the 21st century," Obama laid out his goals of doubling the production of alternative energy over three years, updating most federal buildings to improve their energy efficiency, making medical records electronic, expanding broadband networks, and modernizing schools and universities. "To give our children the chance to live out their dreams in a world that’s never been more competitive, we will equip tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st-century classrooms, labs, and libraries.

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We’ll provide new computers, new technology, and new training for teachers so that students in Chicago and Boston can compete with kids in Beijing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future," Obama said. "To build an economy that can lead this future, we will begin to rebuild America. Yes, we’ll put people to work repairing crumbling roads, bridges, and schools by eliminating the backlog of well-planned, worthy, and needed infrastructure projects. But we’ll also do more to retrofit America for a global economy. "That means updating the way we get our electricity by starting to build a new smart grid that will save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack, and deliver clean, alternative forms of energy to every corner of our nation.

It means expanding broadband lines across America, so that a small business in a rural town can connect and compete with its counterparts anywhere in the world. And it means investing in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries."

library furniture, worthington directIn his remarks, Obama did not say how much funding the stimulus package would include, but in an interview with CNBC on Jan. 7, the president-elect suggested that the total package could be between $800 billion and $1 trillion. (Tax cuts for the middle class are expected to account for some $300 billion of the total.)

Educational technology advocacy groups said they were pleased to hear the substance of Obama’s speech, and its reference to 21st-century classrooms in particular. "We are excited to see modernizing schools and supporting world-class, future-focused education taking a prominent and immediate role in the new administration’s economic agenda," said Don Knezek, chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology in Education. "Focusing on schools and student-centered learning to ensure a competitive workforce … shows a sophisticated understanding by top federal leadership that we have desperately missed in recent years." Top News – Obama urges action on stimulus plan


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