Geoff Fletcher, Deputy Executive Director
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SETDA Honors U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine with Federal Policymaker Award

October 30, 2012 (Washington, D.C.) – The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) honored Senator Olympia Snowe (ME) as its Federal Policymaker of the Year at the 2012 SETDA Leadership Summit: “Advancing Education in the Digital Age.” Selected by the SETDA Board of Directors, the federal policymaker award is given annually to a federal legislative leader who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the future of education by supporting policy and funding for the effective use of technology for learning. Past winners have included U.S. Senators and Representatives who have worked across the political aisle to do what is best for students.

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Snowe established the successful E-Rate program with Senator Jay Rockefeller (WV) in 1996 when only 14 percent of schools were connected to the Internet. Snowe and Rockefeller gained the inclusion of their E-Rate provision in the telecommunications reform bill by a single vote in the Senate Commerce Committee; successfully fought back an effort on the Senate floor to remove the provision from the bill; and defended the E-Rate program during the two and one-half year implementation process at the Federal Communications Commission while ensuring it was implemented in a manner consistent with the language of the law and intent of the authors. Her steadfast support for the program and the cause of educational technology in the midst of budget constraints at both the state and federal level since that time reflects her commitment to ensuring access to the Internet and technology for effective teaching and learning.

“Senator Snowe has provided vision and steadfast leadership in ensuring that all students and teachers have the connectivity, resources and tools they need to prepare students for success in college and 21st century careers,” stated Douglas Levin, Executive Director of SETDA. “We appreciate her history of bipartisan leadership and intend to honor her legacy by continuing to advocate for the core purposes of the E-Rate program.”

Jeff Mao, chair of the SETDA Board of Directors and Maine Learning Technology Policy Director, noted, “The E-Rate program has been the single most successful federal educational technology program in history. Senator Snowe’s leadership was instrumental in the program’s establishment and effective implementation. For this reason, SETDA is pleased to honor her contributions and legacy in the U.S. Senate as the SETDA Federal Policymaker of the Year.”

About the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA)
Founded in 2001, SETDA is the national non-profit association representing the interests of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leadership. SETDA’s mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit

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