With state budget surpluses, a windfall for edtech?

The federal government is cutting education funding but states - flush with cash for the first time since the 90s - may be ready to fund edtech in a big way.

The federal government is cutting education funding but states - flush with cash for the first time since the 90s - may be ready to fund edtech in a big way. Relying on a collection of gubenatorial budget speeches compiled by the National Governors Association, eSchool News notes that several states are ready to fund edtech as part of broad education improvements. Texas has a $4.3b surplus with $1.9 earmarked for education and tax reform. Local tech companies Dell and TI are sure to have some ideas on how to spend those education dollars.

Massachussetts Gov. Mitch Romney wants to spend $54m on 500,000 laptops over two years. (Since Mass. state government is engaged in moving to open standards, would they consider saving a couple a mil by installing Linux instead of Windows?)

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell is also asking for big improvements in education spending, including his "Classrooms of the Future" initiative, which would invest $200 million over the next four years, so that by 2009 "every public high school classroom used to teach the four core subjects will have an internet-equipped laptop computer on every student desk, as well as multimedia technology at the teacher desk."

[T]he most common proposals to improve education this year focus on teacher quality and teacher compensation, [the National Governors Association found.] Most of these plans focus on increasing teacher pay, including several proposals to institute performance-based compensation systems. Also, 58 percent of governors described state initiatives to improve high schools, with most focusing on improving student preparation for college.

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