FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2011

Contacts:
CoSN: Jennifer Cummings, 202-822-9491, jcummings@cosn.org  
ISTE: Marlene Nesary, 541-302-3789, mnesary@iste.org
NASSP: Bob Farrace, 703-860-7257, farraceb@nassp.org
NEA: Michelle Hudgins, 202-822-7823, mhudgins@nea.org
NSBA: Linda Embrey703-838-6737, lembrey@nsba.org
SETDA: Sara Hall, 410-279-3368, shall@setda.org
SIIA: John Crosby, 202-789-4469, jcrosby@siia.net

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS COMMUNITY APPLAUDS CONGRESSIONAL EFFORTS TO RESTORE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY

Senate Leaders Lend Support to Protect “Necessary” Federal Innovation Investment

WASHINGTON (March 21, 2011) – Recognizing the essential role education technology plays in both strengthening schools and the economy, 14 U.S. Senators called on the Senate Appropriations Committee to restore funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program to the FY 10 level of $100 million. The move follows an ongoing and growing call from the education community to invest in technology-based education innovation through EETT.

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), National Education Association (NEA), National School Board Association (NSBA), Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) have been leading efforts to maintain funding for EETT, an essential program that is helping transform our nation’s schools and is providing educators across the country the support necessary to integrate technology into the classroom.

These groups released the following statement, “We applaud Senate leaders for recognizing what educators in all 50 states have long understood: EETT is an essential component to supporting 21st century education and ensuring a strong, relevant, and meaningful education for all students. While the dollars for EETT may be perceived as relatively small, the impact and ROI for our schools and our children is immeasurable.”

In a letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the subcommittee responsible for the education budget, the 14 Senator signatories urged their colleagues to provide EETT funding of at least $100 million for both FY2011 and FY2012. In making the case, they wrote to their colleagues:

“The strategic use of education technology improves teaching and learning, especially in low- income and rural schools. Many states and schools, however, currently face challenges in meeting the academic needs and expectations of today’s students. We support the Obama Administration’s proposal to infuse education technology throughout federal programs, but recognize that EETT’s dedicated funding stream is as critical as it has ever been.”

The letter continued: “While the appropriation [for EETT] has decreased substantially from $700 million in FY2002 to only $100 million in FY2010, the program continues to provide states with funding vital to education technology and especially the professional development necessary for technology to be effective.”

The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Max Baucus (MT), Jeff Bingaman (NM), Mark Begich (AK), Benjamin L. Cardin (MD), Tim Johnson (SD), Frank Lautenberg (NJ), Pat Leahy (VT), Carl Levin (MI), Barbara Mikulski (MD), John D. Rockefeller IV (WV), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Tom Udall (NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Ron Wyden (OR).
Senators Johnson, Lautenberg, Leahy, and Mikulski are members of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senators Bingaman, Mikulski, and Whitehouse are members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.

The full text of the letter can be found at http://tinyurl.com/4su4ths.

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is the country’s premier voice in education technology leadership, serving K-12 technology leaders who through their strategic use of technology, improve teaching and learning. For further information, visit www.cosn.org.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE ®) is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in advancing excellence in learning and teaching through the innovative and effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home to ISTE’s annual conference and exposition and the widely-adopted NETS, ISTE represents more than 100,000 professionals worldwide. www.iste.org.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 45 countries around the world. The association provides research-based professional development and resources, networking, and advocacy to build the capacity of middle level and high school leaders to continually improve student performance. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development as well, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils. For more information about NASSP, located in Reston, VA, visit www.nassp.org.

The National Education Association (NEA) is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. www.nea.org.

Founded in 1940, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) is a not-for-profit organization representing state associations of school boards and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Working with and through our state associations, NSBA advocates for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. www.nsba.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 500 leading software and information companies. www.siia.net.

The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is the national member association that represents the interests of the educational technology leadership of state and territorial education agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. SETDA members work collectively and in public-private partnerships to ensure that meaningful technology innovations with broad potential for systemic improvements and cost-savings in teaching, learning and leadership are brought to scale. www.setda.org.

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