NEA: Schools need $53.7 billion in technology
- By Daniel Keegan
- May 05, 2000
Equipping the nation's public schools with modern technology will cost $53.7
billion, according to a National Education Association report.
The total needed to modernize public schools is $321.9 billion, the
report says, though that figure includes non-technology needs such as building
The School Modernization Needs Assessment collected and analyzed data
from research literature, research databases, an annual NEA survey of state
school finance legislation and a questionnaire sent to NEA affiliates in
50 states. However because only three states had exact figures for their
technology needs, the NEA used other data to estimate costs for the other
The report says the number is higher than a previous U.S. General Accounting
Office report (School Facilities: The Condition of America's Schools), which
estimated the total as $112 billion, because the GAO's research did not
have enough data to estimate the need for all 50 states.
The top five states with the most unmet funding for technology represent
more than 40 percent of the total. California represents 20 percent of the
total with $10.9 billion in unmet funding, followed by Texas ($4.2 billion),
New York ($3 billion), Florida ($2.2 billion), and Illinois ($2.1 billion).
The state with the least amount of unmet funding is Wyoming, with $103.5
The report makes four recommendations:
* Some states can use current budget surpluses to fix the problems,
but for a full, long-term solution, a permanent funding structure must be
* The federal government must expand its funding to cover modernization.
* Funding for professional development and technical support are critical
to allowing teachers and administrators to make use of new technologies.
* Each states must assess its schools' needs and draft a plan of action
that includes cost estimates.