Do You Support Funding for EdTech?

An issue has arisen that may be of interest to educators and parents. According to the EdTech Action Network (ETAN), the 2011 federal budget eliminates funding for Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT). We’d like to ask our readersĀ  if you agree, disagree, or don’t have strong feelings either way.

If you support a separate funding source of at least $500 million for education technology in the schools, you can express your opinion through social media. ISTE Connects has some suggestions for how to get involved.

Support EdTech. Here’s how:

On Wednesday, May 12, send a tweet, write a blog, update your Facebook status or do all three to show you support Enhancing Education Through Technology.

Here’s a sample EdTech tweet:

As a principal/teacher/parent I know our kids need #edtech in the schools. Fund #EETT at $500m

We welcome your comment below — please let us know how you feel about this issue!

EdTech Resources:

Write your representative through ETAN.

Read more about EETT Funding.

Learn more about the ISTE social media campaign.

  • Doug Stein

    1) Pedantic note – the organization is ISTE, not ITSE. The link *is* correct, however.

    2) More seriously, EETT was always meant to be a stopgap to fund exploratory grants. At less than $10 per child per year ($500 million divided by over 57 million K-12 age kids) it’s not enough to be a primary funding mechanism.

    What should parents do? There’s nothing wrong with writing your representative, but individual states have the primary legal responsibility for education – and the bulk of education money comes from a mixture of state capitation (per-student) funding and local property tax overrides.

    Therefore, the place to start to get permanent substantive funding is to convince your local school district that technology (laptops/netbooks, software, training) needs to be part of the *operating* budget – just like the heat and light bills and the pencil and paper budgets. In well-run industries that aren’t primararily tech businesses, at least 3% of the operating budget goes towards technology for “information workers”. In the case of schools, these are the teachers and students.

    Don’t let them do this through bonding. That’s intended for capital investment that last for 10-20 years or more. Computers and software shouldn’t be funded that way any more than you would take out a mortgage for a change of clothes.

    If your school districts spends a total of about $7500 per student, this would provide over $200/student per year for technology. This is 20 times what EETT offers (and everyone is a winner, not just a few grantees).

    Some states are beginning to realize that they have to shift spending. Texas, for example, recently passed a law that lets districts reallocate the state textbook money to “access devices” plus approved electronic materials.

    I encourage all parents and interested citizens to take matters into their own hands at the local and state level and not merely wait for the Federal government. Think about (and ask) about how the money is spent in your district and lead a charge for better spending.


    Doug Stein

  • Sue

    Thanks for the correction Doug. And as always, we appreciate your thoughtful contributions on this (and a wide range of other education topics)! Interesting to see Texas taking the pro-technology stance on this.