As of April 4th, 16 Senators have signed the letter originated by Senators Olympia Snowe (Maine) and our own Joe Lieberman
March 30, 2006
The Honorable Arlen Specter Chairman Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education Committee on Appropriations SD – 184
Senator Tom Harkin Ranking Member Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education Committee on Appropriations SD – 184
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Specter and Ranking Member Harkin:
We write to request a $496 million allocation for Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) for Fiscal Year 2007. President Bush’s request for Fiscal Year 2007 recommends zero funding for this program.
Technology has been the driving force behind globalization, accelerating change in economic, social, geopolitical, and culture of the 21st century. Around our country more and more States recognize the importance of technology in the classroom and are in the process of transitioning from traditional methods of teaching to technology-based instruction and management.
At a time when national attention is focused on improving and strengthening our competencies in math, science and engineering, it makes no sense to eliminate one of the few sources of funds for technology programs in our classroom. EETT grants may be used to provide professional development for teachers supporting them as they develop content and learning objectives rooted in the use of classroom technology, for technology acquisition, and for improvements to technology-based curriculum.
One example of technology-based instruction to improve student achievement is personalized education. This computing initiative is catching on in many states around the country. Personalized education in the classroom more and more utilizes technology by implementing one-to-one computing harnessing the digital expertise and interests of our students. Through one-to-one computing or learning each student has full-time access to a fully-functioning computer, the Internet, software, and online research materials to work collaboratively anytime and anywhere. One-to-one learning in schools is one example of how technology can improve student achievement, advance digital equity, enhance teaching and learning and strengthen economic development.
The funding source for many State initiatives in technology comes from Enhancing Education Through Technology which is in Title II, Part D of NCLB. The primary goal of the Ed-Tech (EETT) program is to improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools. It is also designed to assist students in crossing the digital divide by ensuring that every student is technologically literate by the end of eighth grade, and to encourage the effective integration of technology with teacher training and curriculum development to establish successful research-based instructional methods
Funding for EETT in Fiscal Year 2002 was $700 million and has been reduced to $272 million for Fiscal Year 2006. The President’s budget proposed to eliminate Fiscal Year 2007 funding. Funding for Enhancing Education Through Technology should be restored to the Fiscal Year 2005 level of $496 million ensuring our students have the technology skills necessary to succeed and excel in the 21st Century.
Thank you for your consideration of this request and your continued support of education and technology.