March 3, 2010
CoSN: Jennifer Cummings (202) 822-9491 firstname.lastname@example.org
ISTE: Marlene Nesary, (541) 302-3789, email@example.com
SETDA: Sara Hall (410) 279-3368, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIIA: Mark Schneiderman, (202) 289-7442, email@example.com
Education, Technology Leaders Press Policymakers to Reinvigorate Federal Role in Ed Tech Policy:
Washington Summit Stimulates Dialogue on Role of Technology in Schools
Washington, DC – Today nearly 200 educators representing 25 states and every region of the country participated in a series of meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to urge the restoration of federal education technology funding, which the Obama Administration has proposed to eliminate in FY 2011. The educators, who were in town for the Washington Education Technology Summit, stressed the importance of federal investments in policy initiatives aimed at equipping students with the tools needed for success in the 21st century and teachers with the professional development resources necessary to harness the power of technology.
The Summit was hosted by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA). “The message we delivered today is that technology is critical to meeting our collective goals for education,” said Doug Levin, Executive Director of SETDA. “Now is the time to make smart investments to drive innovation in our nation’s schools through technology, provide our students with a rich education, and give our educators the professional development resources and training they need to enhance the learning experience.”
During the daylong Summit, education leaders listened intently to keynote addresses from Roberto Rodríguez, Special Assistant to President Obama for Education on the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “As a former teacher, I understand firsthand the importance of providing students with innovative tools and resources necessary to help expand the learning experience and impart the skills needed for success in the workforce,” said Senator Shaheen. “We have to improve, modernize and invest in our schools to make certain that our children have the opportunity to fully realize their potential.”
Before meetings with members of Congress and their staffs, education and technology leaders participated in a panel discussion with Congressional staff who provided insight on the 2010 agenda for education and the role of technology. “We are encouraged by today’s meetings with policymakers and by our shared vision for American schools that are more relevant, engaging, and globally competitive,” said ISTE CEO Don Knezek. “We look forward to continuing our work with the Administration and Congress to restore adequate federal funding for education technology programs.” Top on the minds of many leaders attending the Summit was the President’s FY 2011 proposed budget, which included a zeroing out of the only federal education technology program – the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program. Similarly, the proposal for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) also eliminates EETT.
“It is our hope that together in working with policymakers we can find ways to restore funding for EETT through the appropriations process. We also hope to build support during ESEA reauthorization for the ATTAIN Act, which would significantly enhance the current EETT program,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “To ensure our students’ success in the future, we must make investments today to boost the use of technology in our schools and provide proper training to educators.”
“Technology has historically driven American innovation and leadership in the global economy, and will continue to do so in the future. For our students to be competitive in this environment, we must effectively leverage technology in education,” said Mark Schneiderman, SIIA Senior Director of Education Policy.