Budget appropriations may not be a terribly sexy issue to many of us, but the decisions that the 109th Congress takes up this year will have a far-reaching impact on technology in the classroom, according to the International Society for Technology in Education. In their look at Congressional action, ISTE sees:
"Legislation focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be a high priority for both Congress and the Administration. Cybersecurity, intellectual property, and Digital Divide issues may also see movement in Congress this year.
ISTE hopes to see changes to No Child Left Behind:
- effective and appropriate education technology solutions for use in instruction and administration
- relevant and meaningful technological assessment of skills and achievement measures to empower teachers to maximize their use of digital tools and content to enhance their teaching capabilities
- technology strategies to improve parental involvement as appropriate
- accountability for use of public funds for learning technologies.
ISTE also advocates for the integration of technology throughout Title II grants in recognition of technology’s greatly expanded and integral role in teaching.
The E-Rate program, which provides schools and libraries with discounts of 20%-90% for telecommunications services, Internet access and internal connections, is up for a vote for reauthorisation. In the effort to slash into the budget deficit , there are efforts in congress to turn the E-Rate into an “on-budget” program.