Thursday, March 03, 2011

Florida Schools Need EETT!

EETT (Enhancing Education Through Technology) is a program that began under No Child Left Behind and provides grants to states directly funding educational technology.  Its funding was initially supposed to be $1 billion per year, although it has never actually been funded at more than $700 million per year. It’s been cut steadily since 2002 and has not been reauthorized for next year.  This year, its funding is down $100 million, but now even that is endangered.  EETT is axed completely under the U.S. House’s continuing resolution for the remainder of the fiscal year.  

In Florida, EETT has been used for everything from laptop programs to digital literacy and content creation initiatives (the type of thing 21st century students need more, not less, of). The funds have been disbursed to districts through a combination of entitlement grants (using the Title 1 formula) and competitive grants.

Under Governor Rick Scott’s budget, overall education cuts will be around $3.3 billion. Hardware, software, professional development-- all of these require funding which, as Florida educators, students, and parents are aware, is in increasingly short supply for school districts. EETT has been vital in funding ed tech projects in Florida, and those funds are highly unlikely to be replaced by the state if EETT goes away.  

Florida schools need to stay relevant and competitive, and we need EETT to do that. E-mail, tweet, or call your representatives and senators. (An easy way to e-mail your reps:  visit the Ed Tech Action Network's home page and type your zip code in the upper right corner. Read over and personalize the letter, add your contact information, and send.)