Funds For Learning Proposal Supports ConnectED Implementation - Tech Learning

Funds For Learning Proposal Supports ConnectED Implementation

Earlier this month, President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, a plan to connect 99 percent of U.S. students to the Internet within five years via high-speed wireless and broadband. The FCC has been called upon to “modernize and leverage” the E-rate program, including a proposed funding increase. Funds For Learning met with the FCC to submit the firm’s E-rate 2.0 proposal, which provides recommended steps for implementing ConnectED. The proposal would “create an E‑rate program that is future-ready, equitable, predictable and scalable,” said Funds For Learning CEO John D. Harrington.
Author:
Publish date:

Edmond, Okla. (June 24, 2013) – On June 6, 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, a plan to connect 99 percent of U.S. students to the Internet within five years via high-speed wireless and broadband. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been called upon to “modernize and leverage” the E-rate program, including a proposed funding increase. Funds For Learning®, the nation’s largest E-rate compliance services firm, met with the FCC to submit the firm’s E-rate 2.0 proposal, which provides recommended steps for implementing ConnectED.

The proposal would “create an Erate program that is future-ready, equitable, predictable and scalable,” said Funds For Learning CEO John D. Harrington.

“Students are our nation’s most vital resource. High-speed Internet access and new digital resources offer America’s students and teachers an unparalleled opportunity,” said Harrington. “Our country cannot afford to fall behind in today’s new global digital economy. We owe it to our students, families, communities and nation to provide these high-speed connections.”

Demand for Internet access in schools and libraries has nearly tripled in the past 15 years, yet E-rate funding has grown by only 6 percent. President Obama’s ConnectED plan will address this gap, according to Harrington.

Funds For Learning has seen firsthand how the growth in Internet technologies in education is straining the E-rate program. According to Funds For Learning analysis, 95 percent of K-12 students in the U.S. are listed on E-rate applications. But the current E-rate funding level and program rules – based on a 1997 perspective of the Internet – severely limit the program’s ability to help those students.

“We have been listening to the concerns of the education community. A majority of applicants describe their current Internet infrastructure as lagging and not equipped to meet future needs,” said Funds For Learning President Cathy Cruzan. “The E-rate is essential. We agree with President Obama that the FCC should modernize the E-rate system to help ensure our students and library patrons are connected.”

In October 2012, Funds For Learning released the results of a national survey of E-rate applicants. Ninety percent of survey respondents stated that the E-rate program is critical to their success, and a majority expressed concern over the lack of adequate funding for the program. Full survey results are available online here.

“We care deeply about changes to improve and protect Erate funding, and we are grateful that President Obama has demanded better access to technology for our students,” said Brian Stephens, senior technology and regulatory analyst at Funds For Learning. “We support ConnectED and the President’s goal of equipping our students and teachers with competitive access to technology.”

More information about the E-rate 2.0 proposal is online here and here. More information about ConnectED is available here and here.

Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student Internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.

Media Contacts
• Brian Stephens, Funds For Learning, LLC, 405-471-0945, bstephens@fundsforlearning.com
• Emily Embury, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-216-7300 x19, emily@cblohm.com

Featured

Related

Funds For Learning Proposes Plan to Meet E-rate Program Demands

The release of the Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 Proposal comes on the heels of the USAC demand estimate for Funding Year 2013. Total demand is estimated at $4.98 billion, the third highest in the history of the E-rate program. The demand for Priority One services exceeds the funding cap for the entire program, leaving the $2.27 billion requested for Priority Two services in doubt. The Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 Proposal restructures the current program, calling for an increase in available funds while basing amount of monies received on a per-student basis. The plan also enables schools to choose their own priorities for E-rate funds.

Funds For Learning Makes Case for Translating Vision to Action in E-rate Reform

Funds For Learning®, the nation’s largest E-rate compliance services firm, briefed the media this week on President Obama’s ConnectED initiative and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent E-rate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). John D. Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning, explained that while the vision of reform is easy to understand, translating that vision to action is more challenging. Funds For Learning estimates network and connectivity upgrades necessary to adequately connect U.S. schools would cost billions, given current pricing models, but there are a number of ways raising the E-rate funding cap could happen.

Funds For Learning Survey Reveals Priorities of E-rate Applicants

As a follow-up to a survey conducted in 2008-09, Funds For Learning has released results from its national 2012 Survey of E-rate Applicants. The results indicate a continued reliance on E-rate funding, particularly for broadband connectivity. In fact, 42 percent of respondents say Internet access is the most important category of service in the E-rate program. Approximately 90 percent of respondents indicate that E-rate funding is critical to their success, but only 30 percent believe the program is adequately funded. Responses were gathered over two months, and the aggregate results will be shared with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in hopes of positively influencing E-rate policy.

Funds For Learning Reveals Initial Insights to E-rate Program Impact promo image

Funds For Learning Reveals Initial Insights to E-rate Program Impact

Funds For Learning (@FFL), the leading E-rate experts, recently conducted its annual, nationwide survey to get feedback from applicants on the E-rate program. Amidst recent political and FCC changes, the survey found that 87 percent of respondents said the E-rate program remains a vital resource for their schools and libraries. 

Funds For Learning Report Indicates Progress and Pitfalls of E-rate Program promo image

Funds For Learning Report Indicates Progress and Pitfalls of E-rate Program

Edmond, Okla. (Dec. 13, 2017) – The impending decision by the FCC to maintain or repeal Net Neutrality raises questions about how internet regulation could impact connectivity for U.S. schools and libraries. To help educate and support discussions regarding the importance of broadband connection and E-rate funding, Funds For Learning releases its annual 2017 E-rate Trends Report. Based on a survey of approximately 1,100 participants who closely resemble the total population of E-rate applicants, the 2017 E-rate Trends Report analyzes the strengths of the program in supporting connectivity goals and highlights areas for improvement. Results include:    ·      Data and internet services accounted for $2.5 billion of the $4.9 billion in services supported by E-rate.     ·      90 percent of survey respondents expect their school or district’s internet bandwidth to increase over the next three years.    ·      Only 18 percent of survey respondents believe that the current budget cap is sufficient to meet their school’s needs.    ·      55 percent of respondents would change the Eligible Services list to include Voice Services.    ·      73 percent of respondents believe that insufficient off-campus internet access for students or library patrons is a significant issue in their community. ·          ·      44 percent of respondents do not believe that the E-rate application program is fast, simple and efficient.

FCC Reveals Proposed E-rate Program Updates For Funding Year 2015

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today issued a Public Notice revealing E-rate program reform actions under consideration by the agency. Changes are slated for Funding Year 2015. Planning begins this fall, with new changes impacting the flow of funds beginning no earlier than July 1, 2015. The Public Notice requests input from stakeholders, with comments due by April 7, and reply comments due by April 21.

Funds For Learning Shares New Vision for the E-rate Program

Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate compliance services firm, proposes a vision that would enable the E-rate program to have a critical impact for years to come. The firm emphasizes increased funding, simplified processes and a solutions-minded approach to reform. Funds For Learning proposed a new discount budget system, which would allow applicants to foresee the maximum amount of discounts they could request.