National and State Education Associations and Technology Leaders Urge Congress to Fund Digital Learning

6/2/2014 12:00:00 AM

FY 2015 Request of $200 Million for Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT) program would support educators in the transition to digital learning

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 30, 2014 The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) and 26 national organizations and technology companies, along with 95 state organizations from 44 states plus the district of Columbia are calling on Congress to appropriate a minimum of $200 million for the Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT) program.

In addition to the funding request, the groups are recommending small but important changes to the program.

In a letter sent to Congress, ISTE and the other education leaders and companies assert that support provided by EETT is necessary for digital learning to become a reality nationwide. They point to a 2012 survey from Project Tomorrow that found “one-third of all educators indicated that the lack of sufficient professional development was a major obstacle to implementing technology in the classroom.”

The signatories argue that the “advent of online assessments makes even more acute the need educators have for professional learning on how to develop and implement digital learning curriculum, incorporate technology into the classroom and use data from online assessments to personalize and strengthen instruction.”

In addition to the $200 million funding request, ISTE and supporting organizations are recommending two changes to the program based on S. 1087 the Enhancing Education Through Technology Act of 2013.

o Increasing the professional learning set-aside from 25 percent to 35 percent.

o Including a 40 percent set-aside for devices, digital resources and other infrastructure needs.

The program has historically provided much needed and desired support for educator professional learning, curriculum development and technology acquisition. Since 2011, when funding for EETT was shut-off, schools and districts have been without any direct federal support to aid the transition to digital learning.

About ISTE

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®) is the premier nonprofit organization serving educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. ISTE serves more than 100,000 education stakeholders throughout the world.

ISTE's innovative offerings include the ISTE Conference and Expo — one of the biggest, most comprehensive ed tech events — as well as the widely adopted ISTE Standards for learning, teaching and leading in the digital age and a robust suite of professional learning resources, including webinars, online courses, consulting services for schools and districts, books, and peer-reviewed journals and publications. For more information, visit iste.org. Connect with ISTE via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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