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Statement on Obama's FY13 Budget by Don Knezek, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education

by User Not Found | Feb 15, 2012
Although we’re pleased with the strong focus on educational jobs, we’re disappointed that once again the Administration’s rhetoric on digital learning does not match its funding priorities.

We support the strong focus on education jobs in President Obama’s FY13 budget proposal, especially the provision of $30 billion to modernize schools and $30 billion to help states and localities retain and hire teachers and first responders. ISTE is also interested in the opportunities for learning and teaching in the new broadband initiative.

However, we’re disappointed that once again the Administration’s rhetoric on digital learning does not match its funding priorities. On February 1, Digital Learning Day, President Obama said, “By harnessing the power of technology in the classroom, we equip our educators with the tools they need to prepare our next generation of doers and thinkers for the jobs of tomorrow.”  Barely two weeks later Obama’s FY13 budget fails to provide any direct program funding, such as the Enhancing Education Through Technology, or EETT, program, that would help realize that vision.

The Obama Administration has embraced the notion that schools are transitioning from print to digital, and that students need digital skills to succeed in college and career. But this budget doesn’t help them get there. The Federal government must lead by providing financial support so that students have access to digital tools and resources and teachers have the professional development to effectively integrate them into classroom learning.

We are pleased to join with the US Department of Education, UNESCO, and other national and international partners in a new USAID-led education technology alliance to explore mobile devices for learning and teaching in countries around the world. As President Obama says, investing in such “game-changing science and technology” can “help spark historic leaps in development.”

ISTE will continue to promote our policy priorities for the coming year:
• Great teachers and principals.
• An education that provides true college and career readiness.
• Access to broadband, both at school and at home.

ISTE encourages all education technology advocates to participate in the Washington Education Technology Policy Summit on March 8, in Washington DC. Learn more about ISTE’s resources for education technology advocacy and how to make your voice heard.