September 09, 2005 08:00 ET

Utah and Virginia Join Several States With Offers to Provide Education Technology Relief to Hurricane Katrina's Displaced Students

Leveraging State Technology to Provide Rich Learning Opportunities Virtually

ARLINGTON, VA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 9, 2005 -- The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) announced today that Utah and Virginia have offered educational technology services to the displaced students from Hurricane Katrina. Utah is offering free access to the classes currently available through Utah's Electronic High School ( Additionally, Utah is providing access for Louisiana and Mississippi teachers to teach online courses to their own students through the Electronic High School, should this help meet the needs of displaced students. Virginia is readying for evacuees coming to Fort Pickett in Virginia by providing technology labs for education services delivery. The new labs will be up and running today and will allow Virginia officials to register and place students as well as providing courses and access to displaced students as needed.

These announcements come amidst SETDA's efforts to support the states' plans and leverage its members' and corporate partners' educational technology infrastructure. SETDA is working with its members and partners across all fifty states to help students and teachers who are Katrina's victims use educational technology to allow as little interruption as possible in their studies. SETDA is also partnering with education technology associations nationwide to form a coalition to organize donations to meet the needs of the affected states.

"I am pleased to see Utah and other states step up to the plate and offer this kind of support to the hurricane victims. The educational technology infrastructure in Utah has been invaluable to our students -- and it is powerful to see it benefiting others in need," said Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.

"These are examples of how technology can be harnessed to help displaced students affected by the Hurricane," said Melinda George, SETDA's Executive Director. "As the states identify needs, SETDA is reaching out to the nation's state level educators to address the specific needs of the Hurricane-ravaged states. This may include portable computer labs, Internet Access in shelters, or a compendium of free courseware donated by other states, companies or Virtual High School organizations."

SETDA partners and members are generously offering their services to tap into the opportunities technology can provide to these students. This collaboration and use of technology underscores the need for support of these educational efforts from the federal government. The Enhancing Education Through Technology Program (EETT - NCLB, Title II, Part D) was proposed for elimination in the president's proposed 2006 Budget. The Senate has proposed $425 million for EETT in the 2006 budget (a 14% cut from the 2005 funding). At minimum the current funding level must be achieved so that states can continue to build this important infrastructure that is serving American students so well. The need to sustain funding for the EETT program has never been more critical.

SETDA is the principal association representing the state directors for educational technology. SETDA promotes national leadership in educational technology to support achievement in lifelong learning, provides professional development for state educational technology directors and builds partnerships to advance learning opportunities and improve student achievement through technology.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Melinda George
    (703) 533-3770