Editor’s Note: E-Rate the Right Way - Tech Learning

Editor’s Note: E-Rate the Right Way

I think we can all agree with FCC Commissioner JessicaRosenworcel when she spoke last month at SXSWedu: “Witha reformed E-Rate—or E-Rate 2.0—we can extend the reachof broadband in our schools.
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I think we can all agree with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel when she spoke last month at SXSWedu: “With a reformed E-Rate—or E-Rate 2.0—we can extend the reach of broadband in our schools. We can expand the range of educational content. We can harness digital and mobile platforms and teach in new and exciting ways. In short, we can seize the good in new technology and prepare all of our children for success in the 21st century.”

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Now for the tricky part—how do we do it the right way? Navigating the bureaucracy, politics, and industry logistics will be daunting. According to a recent survey by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), 43 percent of districts said none of their schools meet the broadband goal of 100Mbps of Internet access per 1,000 students today.

Our special E-Rate supplement starts to lay the groundwork. Read a succinct summary of the government’s plan via Rosenworcel. Then consider the remarks of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which includes this nugget: “Real reform also means empowering parents to check up on what schools are doing with E-Rate funding. Schools and service providers should disclose more clearly and in detail exactly what students are getting with federal funds. All of this information should be collected and made available on a single website that would allow any American to see with specificity how any school in the nation has spent its E-Rate money.”

E-Rate will be funding the largest public infrastructure project of the century. Here’s to hoping it will be managed that way.

— Kevin Hogan
Editorial Director



FCC Boss on E-Rate Reform

In his first blog post, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly recently posted the followingguideposts that he believes must be reflected in E-Rate reform:

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E-Rate Update

A real-time roundup of recent promises and practicalities for the county’s largest edTechinitiative and what it may mean for your school district.

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Editor’s Note: Best Guesses

In what has become an annual Tech&Learning tradition, theeditors asked our esteemed team of advisors to bring outthe crystal ball and try to divine what’s next in edtech.

FCC Testimony Supports E-Rate for Schools

 In testimony before a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) National Broadband Plan Workshop on education, Dr. Sheryl Abshire  highlighted the importance of the E-Rate program, which provides discounts for broadband and other telecommunications services to schools and libraries nationwide.