Originally published: December 5, 2010
Last updated: December 9, 2010 - 12:09pm
Nearly two years after the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) was passed, two new reports offer varying perspectives on how successful the billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds were in spurring educational technology gains and school reform.
One report, from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), highlights important educational technology gains across many states, while another report takes a more critical look at the effect that federal stimulus funds have had on education and school reform in general. Both reports warn that the future will be less than smooth for cash-strapped districts once the stimulus funds run out. The Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) state block-grant program received $650 million under ARRA. In FY2010, EETT suffered cuts that brought its funding to $100 million, and the Obama administration has proposed eliminating EETT altogether in FY2011, instead making educational technology funding a key part of its school reform and improvement programs. In SETDA’s report, “ARRA Investments in Technology, Innovation, and K-12 Reform: The Digital Education Funding Cliff,” the organization notes that the budget cut of nearly 65 percent to regular EETT funding in FY10, coupled with the administration’s request to eliminate the program in its FY11 budget, “has slowed the pace of [educational technology] implementation” within many states.
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