Despite tough economic circumstances and sequestration, federal investment in education technology "can't wait," according to United States Representative George Miller, who addressed education leaders Monday at the CoSN 2013 conference in San Diego, CA. Miller, senior Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, has introduced legislation that would bring back funding specifically targeted toward technology in education, funding that has dried up with the end of Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The legislation, Transforming Education Through Technology (PDF), would authorize $750 million in fiscal year 2014 "and such sums as may be necessary for each of the succeeding 4 years" to provide for the purchase of hardware, software, and services and to provide professional development for educators and administrators. Included in the total is $500 million in state grants (like EETT) and $250 million dedicated to the "Technology for Tomorrow Fund," a competitive education partnership grant aimed at programs that "improve student achievement, academic growth, and college-and-career readiness through the use of technology and digital learning."
"These are tough economic times," Miller told THE Journal in an interview at the CoSN conference. "We have sequestration. But it's becoming clearer and clearer from more and more economic studies that this investment can't wait, if we really want the results that we need — we need — as a nation from our educational systems.... We, the federal government, have been standing on the sidelines, and we've got to get back into the game. That's the purpose of this legislation."