As Phil indicated, with the passage of ESEA by the Senate earlier this week,
federal technology funding will be a reality once agian. But it will take a
pretty different form than in the past. In this next round of funding, 50%
of the technology funds will be distributed to local districts directly as
block grants according to the Title I distribution formula. In othere words
if your school received .35% of the state Title I allocation, your school
will receive the same percentage of half of Vermont's total technology
distribution. The other 50% of the federal money will be distributed through
competitive grants.

As in the past, the program is weighted toward schools most in need.

We are awaiting the details of this distribution program because of a couple
of unknowns. For example, at one point there was discussion of a "minimum"
distribution level for the block grant. It appeared as if there was going to
be a "small state" exemption to this requirement because states with many
small schools (such as Vermont) would have a large number of schools pegged
to receive less than the minimum cutoff. I don't know where this stands
right now, but will find out.

As the rules for distribution are developed we'll let you know. To hear
first-hand as many of the details as possible, you might consider trying to
get to the presentation on Federal and State Technology Funding that VISMT
and DOE are sponsoring on January 18th. At that session Phil and I will
bring you all that we have regarding this program at that time. Final
details are being determined, but the session will probably be at Windsor
High School and will run from 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM.

Bill Romond

Educational Technology Coordinator
Vermont Dept. of Education
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501
V: 802-828-0064
F: 802-828-3140

-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Duncan McCutchan
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 2:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Prospects for federal tech funds in Vermont

Hearing about LCs as the sole classroom computer is pretty tough.  Sounds
like futility.

What are the prospects for the return of the Technology Learning Challenge
and other federal grant funds which met the real needs of classroom needs
under-equipped districts.  That program (TLC) was an incredibly important
boost to our programs in Springfield and began to give our kids, teachers,
administrators, board members, parents and community members a vision of
how important information/communication technology is.  That is the point
that people begin to see that the local budget needs to provide and
sustain these new tools. Does this funding come to the State in a block
grant to be divided up locally?  Will there be new Vermont programs and
initiatives or will it be earmarked for the VLN?

My perspective on this is that we need to reinstate programs which serve
K-8 classrooms -- where the fundamentals are established and put to work.
VLN is an important idea too, but it doesn't hold much promise outside of
our high school -- and it isn't here yet.

Does that make sense?

Duncan McCutchan
District Technology Coordinator
Springfield VT Public Schools
Springfield, Vermont