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ISTE Statement on President Obama's FY12 Budget

by Marlene Nesary | Feb 15, 2011

For Immediate Release: February 15, 2011

Contact: Marlene Nesary, mnesary@iste.org 1.541.302.3789

President Obama’s FY2012 Budget and the Need for Greater Investment in PK-12 Educational Technology

Statement from International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) CEO Don Knezek

“President Obama’s FY2012 budget announcement evokes Groundhog’s Day more than Valentine’s Day,” said ISTE CEO Don Knezek. “Again we hear of the importance of a strong, globally competitive education. Again we hear of increased spending in PK-12 education. But again we see education technology frozen out from this vision of education and its ability to ‘win the future.’

“On behalf of more than 100,000 active ISTE members and affiliates from all 50 states, I am gravely concerned about the Administration’s decision to ‘consolidate’ the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program in the proposed budget. This action, coupled with the House leadership’s plans to cut $100 million from this essential program this year, could have a potentially devastating impact on teacher and instructional quality throughout the United States, particularly in those classrooms that the President seeks to help through other programs.

“President Obama is absolutely correct. The only way we, as a nation, will win the future is by investing in a 21st century education. Central to such an education is education technology. Around the world, education technology is being used to improve instruction and better prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s postsecondary education and careers.  If we are serious about global competitiveness tomorrow, we need to invest in those ed tech programs that are affecting our classrooms today.  EETT is central to a successful P-12 education environment in this new century.

ISTE commends the Obama Administration for its general desire to increase education spending at this critical time in our nation’s history. But we believe the federal government needs to be an effective steward of our taxpayer dollars, ensuring we are spending education funds wisely. Programs such as EETT are central to school improvement and student success. We should not be discarding proven-effective efforts like EETT in the name of consolidation. 
“We are concerned about starting new ‘research agencies’ when we aren’t willing to spend on professional development, training and related efforts. We are concerned about creating an ARPA-ED without ensuring the delivery mechanisms necessary to get research into the hands of teachers in a way that they can apply it in their classrooms.
“Last month, ISTE released its education technology policy recommendations for 2011.  Those recommendations are more important today, in light of the President’s budget. A commitment to education technology is a proven pathway to student success and student improvement. I look forward to working with the Obama Administration and Congress to restore this commitment to the FY2012 budget and ensure our schools and teachers have the tools and skills necessary to ‘win the future.’”
About ISTE
ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in advancing excellence in learning and teaching through innovative and effective uses of technology. With its affiliate network, ISTE represents more than 100,000 education leaders and emerging leaders throughout the world. www.iste.org.
ISTE is the registered trademark of the International Society for Technology in Education.
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