These are my notes from Bruce Ellard’s legislative update presentation at the Alabama Educational Technology Association MidWinter Conference on March 10, 2011. Bruce is the Technology Coordinator at Cullman County Schools, and the Advocacy Chair for AETA. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

If we don’t fight for technology funding, who is going to do it?
– we must be the advocates

We are sustaining massive amounts of technology today on just pennies
– reminds me of Jane Austin’s Sense and Sensibility

Lots of funny math going on in our state, our schools and our legislature

We can’t upgrade licenses and maintain computers for 94¢ on the dollar, so what do we do?

Technology Status in an Alabama District: 2008 - 2011

Currently EETC is completely eliminated
– use ETAN (EdTech Action Network) and write a couple of lines from your heart, the legislators are not going

Our greatest hope for funding is locally
– building bridges to the money
– building relationships, networking
– identifying where the money is and building that relationship to the money

Where is the money?
– public school funds
– federal programs
– transportation
– county commission
– foundations
– others

There is nothing done in any of these categories that we don’t have a hand in

Can you give me a sheet of what you need for technology, so when I go talk to the governor or other policy makers I can show them the impact funding can make
– there are potential funds in property taxes in Alabama

Advocacy is an everyday activity

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