A technology setback for Pennsylvania schools?

Over the last three years, Pennsylvania’s Classrooms for the Future program has provided $155 million to the state’s public schools for laptops and interactive teaching tools. Now, as teachers continue to train on how to use the new technology, the money is drying up, reports the Morning Call. Classrooms for the Future, Gov. Ed Rendell’s much-touted effort to put laptop computers on the desks of every high school student, is slated to be cut in the governor’s most recent plan to shave $212 million in education spending from the budget. ‘Programs like Classrooms for the Future, though valuable, simply cannot be accommodated in a tough budget year when we are trying to fully fund basic education,’ said Michael Race, a spokesman for the Department of Education, who expects federal stimulus funds to help support technology needs. Classrooms for the Future is a three-year investment to provide laptop computers, high-speed internet access, and software to schools. It also enabled 90 percent of the state’s districts to replace traditional blackboards in some classrooms with interactive whiteboards. Mark Wescott, director for education services for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said cash-strapped school districts that just received their equipment this year may be ‘left in the lurch…’

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