Efforts to Restore Funding for EETT Garner Broad Support as Congress Makes Difficult Appropriation Decisions
Arlington, Virginia (July 13, 2006) – A broad array of leaders from both sides of the aisle is taking strong measures to restore the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) funding – an NCLB program (Title II, Part D) proposed for elimination in President Bush’s 2007 Budget and zeroed-out in the stalled House Labor, HHS & Education Subcommittee Appropriations Bill.
Policy makers are realizing what superintendents, principals and teachers already know - that EETT serves as a catalyst for innovation and school reform within states. “Our EETT grant has revolutionized the way our teachers teach and how our students learn,” said Beverly Ciricosta, Principal at Fairmount Elementary School in Canton, Ohio.
Restoration of EETT funding has documented support through a petition signed by more than 7,000 stakeholders that calls for restoration of funds to the 2005 appropriation of $496 million, more than 20 separate state superintendent letters, as well as Dear Colleague letters signed by more than 80 Senators and Representatives combined. Some other examples of the broad support for EETT include:
Senator Joseph Lieberman (CT) – “Technology is the driving force behind globalization. An education today that doesn’t include technology would be like teaching from an old turn of the century science textbook that didn’t include relativity or quantum mechanics or biotechnology. To eliminate this program would be an enormous mistake.”
Senator John Ensign (NV) – “It is important to maintain the funding for this innovative program, and I’m very proud to be part of the effort to do so.”
Senator Orrin Hatch (UT) – “Eliminating EETT funds would inhibit the country’s ability to implement NCLB and also would hinder efforts to prepare every student to succeed in the highly competitive, technologically demanding workforce of the 21st Century.”
Senator Olympia Snowe (ME) – “Increasing the EETT funding is in keeping with our national goal of improving and strengthening our competencies in math, science and engineering.”
Representative Thaddeus McCotter (MI) – “EETT is not only a great equalizer, but it is a great elevator that helps students maximize their God given talents.”
Representative Ron Kind (WI) – “It amazes me every day how technology savvy our children are today. It is our responsibility to help schools keep up with students’ changing educational needs.”
Representative Kay Granger (TX) – “The program is working. As a former teacher, I realize the importance of technology in education. This funding is assisting students in crossing the digital divide and will ensure the US remains competitive in a global marketplace.”
“We urge Congress to recognize the broad reach the EETT program has in leveraging technology to improve teaching and learning through distance learning, professional development, and innovative instructional approaches,” said Mary Ann Wolf, PhD, SETDA Executive Director. “Funding at the 2005 level of $496 million will provide to students and teachers the 21st century tools they need to succeed.”