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EETT Cut From Federal Budget Expected

As federal budget beat writer Alyson Klein reports on the Politics K-12 blog, all $100 million in annual funding for the Enhancing Education Through Technology program will be cut as part of the education cuts announced Wednesday by Congressional lawmakers in the bill to fund the federal government through September.

The impending defunding of EETT had been expected within the ed-tech community for some time, though efforts to raise awareness and change opinions about the program have continued. Even Wednesday, after the cuts were announced, the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training released a report highlighting programs buoyed by EETT investment at a Capitol Hill briefing.

"If we lose this funding stream, I am concerned we risk backtracking on the gains these programs have helped our schools make," Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said at the briefing. The EETT program is the only federal funding stream dedicated exclusively to education technology.

But while budget cutting has become a priority since Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in last fall's election, President Obama's administration first proposed defunding EETT in February of 2010 in favor of creating other pots of funding that could be funneled toward ed-tech projects.

Whether those pots of money materialize remains to be seen. One such proposed alternative is the ARPA-ED program that would be modeled on the military's DARPA research program, but would focus on educational innovations, including those incorporating technology.

A vote on the bill is expected by the end of the week.

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