FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2012
Education Technology Summit Participants Call for Renewed Federal Commitment to Ed Tech
Washington, DC – The nation’s leading education technology associations – the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) – yesterday hosted the ninth annual Washington Education Technology Summit. Bringing together educators representing 23 states and nearly every region of the country, the summit provided participants with an opportunity to stress to Congress the increasingly urgent need to restore federal support for education technology, particularly in the face of across the board budget cuts and in advance of online assessments to measure Common Core standards in 2014.
Prior to their Hill visits, participants heard remarks from Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), as well as Congressional staffers from the offices of Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee; Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
“Preparing our high school students for the 21st century workforce must be of the highest priority. Essential to that preparation is bringing high speed broadband and innovative technology to our classrooms to allow our kids to excel,” said Sen. Begich. “By modernizing our infrastructure and providing the range of STEM instruction from a young age, we prepare them to fill the jobs of the future and ensure that America stays competitive on a global playing field.” “As Congress reshapes our federal education laws, we have many opportunities to strengthen online learning and technology in classrooms. I will be working hard to make these innovative changes that will support positive student achievement outcomes,” said Rep. Polis. Following those remarks, summit attendees held meetings with Members and House and Senate staff. “Our message to policymakers is that at a time when governments around the world are making strategic investments in education technology and ensuring their students receive a 21st century education, we cannot afford to let up,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. “U.S. competitiveness and innovation leadership are at stake, so we must find ways to make fiscally responsible investments in our schools’ technology infrastructure and in the tools and resources our educators and students need to compete and succeed.” Summit participants urged Members of Congress to restore funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program to at least $100 million in FY13 appropriations. In addition, they pressed for the inclusion of theAchievement Through Technology and Innovation Act (S. 1178 and H.R. 3614), which would revamp EETT, in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as well as the meaningful infusion of education technology into all pertinent federal education programs. Participants also advocated for the passage of legislation that would permanently exempt from the Anti-Deficiency Act all universal service programs and the E-Rate. “We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and watch federal funding for education technology disappear program by program,” said Don Knezek, CEO of ISTE. “Our message is that these investments are critical, particularly as online assessments are only two years away. In the more than 70 meetings we participated in on Thursday with policymakers, summit participants were encouraged that Congressional Members were beginning to grasp the value of EETT and E-Rate to enhancing education in their districts.”
“We look forward to keeping the momentum of our advocacy efforts going,” said Doug Levin, Executive Director of SETDA. “We are committed to continuing the dialogue with policymakers both on the Hill and in the Administration to ensure that federal support for key programs is maintained and funding for the EETT program is restored to the necessary level to ensure its success.”
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About CoSN, ISTE, and SETDA
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. www.cosn.org
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE ®) 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, the ISTE leadership conference, and the widely-adopted NETS, ISTE represents more than 100,000 professionals worldwide. http://www.iste.org
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.