Obama Proposes $200M for Edtech

Obama Proposes $200M for Edtech

A BUDGET FOR EDTECH? Fresh off the press from South by Southwest. The Obama administration has submitted the first budget request specifically for education technology since FY2010*. The 2015 budget, which includes $69 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education, earmarks $200M to support professional learning for educators who are transforming their practice through technology. The ConnectEDucators program looks to "provide more resources, including individualized support and opportunities for educators to collaborate around instruction," according to a press release posted on ED.gov.

The EdSurge crew found Director of the Office of Education Technology, Richard Culatta mingling around SXSWedu. Culatta revealed that additional funding is in the works to support a "state edtech chief" who can articulate the instructional goals -- in parallel with infrastructure goals generally supported by CTOs -- for all 50 states. The only question that remains is whether or not Congress, who has failed to pass a proper budget in the last three years, will let this education initiative fall prey to partisan politics.

*Editor's note: A previous version stated this budget request as the first in 12 years. In FY2009, the Administration requested $270 million for educational technology through regular appropriations and another $650 million through the Recovery Act. They also requested $100 million in FY2010. Tip of the hat to SETDA Executive Director, Doug Levin, for setting us straight!

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