February 23, 2006 8:39 AM PST

Bush's tech budget favors Homeland Security Dept.

The Department of Homeland Security would receive the biggest boost in technology spending among top-level federal departments under the president's $2.8 trillion budget proposal for 2007.

If Congress ultimately approves the president's request, which he made public earlier this month, the department's slice of the information technology allotment would jump more than 21 percent, to about $4.4 billion. According to a report released Thursday morning by government research firm Input, the additional $772 million proposed for the agency represents nearly half of the overall new IT spending proposed for next year.

The total federal IT budget proposed for government agencies rose by less than 3 percent, to about $64.3 billion for 2007. Spending related to IT security would compose about $5.2 billion of that total.

The Defense Department's allotment remains by far the highest, at some $30.5 billion, though that number represents only about a 3 percent increase from last year. After the Homeland Security Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development would see the second-largest percentage increase in IT spending, at about 15 percent. But at $298 million, its overall share of IT spending would remain only a fraction of the allotments for nearly every other cabinet-level department.

Still, the wide-ranging budget drew praise from the Information Technology Association of America lobbying group. "Today, it makes perfect sense to focus all kinds of investments on defense and homeland security, but we are also pleased to see (that) the president did not leave out crucial civilian IT investments," ITAA President Robert Laurence said in a statement.

But not everyone was so pleased. Five of the 27 agencies included in the budget proposal would experience cuts. They ranged from about 1 percent for the Department of Education to more than 5 percent for NASA.

Congressional Democrats decried several of the tech-related cuts in their latest budget analysis (click for PDF), expressing concern that the elimination of certain technology education programs would undermine America's competitiveness in science in technology.

"The elimination of this funding--which allows all children access to technology and the Internet, helps train teachers how to use and integrate technology into the curriculum, and provides funding and support for core curricular content--runs completely counter to the goals and vision outlined by the president," said Sheryl Abshire, who heads the Consortium for Education Technology, an advocacy group.

Overall, the multitrillion-dollar budget includes a record-high $439.3 billion proposal for defense-related spending and calls for $65 billion in cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare over the next five years.

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IT-spending, allotment, homeland security, proposal, cut

8 comments

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They'll need every penny
It takes a lot of money to maintain all those windows computers that are so easily damaged by a "bumbling computer nerd".

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4715612.stm" target="_newWindow">http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4715612.stm</a>
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's really odd...
I've done some IT work (installing library computers) for the military and the only thing running Windows I found were office workstations otherwise everything else was running different flavors of unix. I guess plugging in any Windows machine into any enviornment (be it MacOS, Linux or otherwise) could allow hackers access to what should have been a highly secured network and it probably was except they overlooked the Windows machines that were connected to this "highly secured" network. If the govt were smart they would start using MacOS for their workstations since Macs have such a small market share and the fact that the latest OS is built on Unix. The chances of this occuring again would be greatly lowered due to the small number of people that use or hack MacOS.
Posted by Laserdisc (79 comments )
Link Flag
Broadband over Powerlines for Security of the power grid
" Transformers have eyes and ears

Security of the power grid is a high priority for us. The communication signal on the lines allows us to place cameras and other monitoring equipment on the electrical grid. All the data is piped into a central location, reducing the time and resources needed to monitor the grid. This frees up manpower to do more important things, like making sure your power keeps flowing."

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.duke-energy.com/news/plc.asp" target="_newWindow">http://www.duke-energy.com/news/plc.asp</a>
Posted by 200mbpsBPL (102 comments )
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At the Cost of Technology in Schools
The story cited the cutback in technology education programs stresses an already maxed out U.S. education system already pressured to "...train 70,000 high school teachers, to lead advanced-placement courses in math and science, bring 30,000 math and science professionals to teach in classrooms, and give early help to students who struggle with math, so they have a better chance at good, high-wage jobs." -- President Bush State of the Union <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/31/sotu.transcript/index.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/01/31/sotu.transcript/index.html</a>

Many of the new budget proposals run in direct opposition to the State of the Union's blindly optimistic marks, with many states unable to hire new teachers. In Washington State, we are 46th. in class size - <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.washingtonea.org/" target="_newWindow">http://www.washingtonea.org/</a>

Can we afford to cut the potential futures of our kids?
Posted by marileev (292 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Technology in schools isn't always the answer.
Maybe we need better management of the money we already spend on education (as well as every other government budget item).

Washington D.C. spends more per child than any other city in America, and scores dead last in academic achievement.

What good is a computer for "Johnny" when he can't read?
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
Sadly
Sadly, it looks like the average school teacher will now need three job's just merely to support him/or herself in the suburban dream!

So there ain't no incentive to become a teacher! at this rate they will be down to $6 an hour, for average school board to fund basic education for the first six years from the cent in the dollar budget(well we are still fighting and losing Nixon's war on drugs(1973) and juniors new war on terrorism(*2000))

Oh well, as nelson would say Ha! Ha!
Posted by heystoopid (691 comments )
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Grand Announcements
That's the Bush administartion style all over! - make the grand
announcement on TV and in the NP headlines that he's gonna
build up and support education, he's such a good old joe, such a
caring guy!
But when the buck stops at his desk, it gets shoved into the
black hole of "security" where there is no accounting for it's use,
secrecy doncha know, and payment to 'security services' that
create nothing and benefit only the companies providing the
service.
Education might create an educated child, but then that child
would be able to think and evaluate Bush administration-like
activities and then VOTE AGAINST them. Now that just wouldn't
do...
Posted by Riphly (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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