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Four leading education and business organizations -- the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) -- recently applauded President-elect Barack Obama's call to invest in technology for the classroom as part of the forthcoming economic recovery package and urged targeted action by Congress. The groups endorsed the President-elect's goals to "equip tens of thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms . . . [and] provide new computers, new technology, and new training for teachers" to not only prime the nation's economic pump but also allow "students in Chicago and Boston [to] compete with kids in Beijing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future."
CoSN, ISTE, SIIA and SETDA have recommended that Congress agree to disseminate these new classroom technology grant funds through the existing Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT) program in order to ensure that the funds quickly reach the neediest schools and are used for their intended purposes.
"We're very encouraged by the economic stimulus proposal now under consideration," said Don Knezek, CEO of ISTE. "It puts a world-class, future-focused education front and center while also preserving and creating jobs now."
The four groups -- representing more than 100,000 educators and hundreds of high-tech employers -- believe that a major spending infusion on education technology will create jobs within the education, education services and technology sectors, as well as enable innovative instructional practices in America's classrooms to address the needs of today's digital-native students. For example, a federal expenditure of $9.9 billion could ensure that every classroom in economically-disadvantaged Title I schools is technology-rich.
Additionally, the groups noted that further investments in broadband would improve the nation's unemployment picture, citing a recent study by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation that a $10 billion investment in broadband would lead to the creation of nearly one-half million jobs.
For the complete press release, visit ISTE's Web site.
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