Advocacy

Education Technology and E-Rate

Young girl working on a computer with assistance from another student

Houston ISD/Dave Einsel: http://www.houstonisd.org

NSBA Supports E-Rate 2.0 and ConnectED to Increase Broadband Internet Access for Public Schools and Libraries

The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, commonly known as E-Rate, provides discounts of up to 90 percent to help eligible U.S. schools and libraries afford telecommunications and internet access.

E-Rate, a $2.25 billion annual program, helps schools and libraries build technology infrastructure and provide telecommunications and Internet services for students in low-income and rural areas.

In June 2013, the Administration proposed ConnectED, which would increase broadband and wireless Internet access to 99 percent of U.S. schools and modernize the E-Rate program. NSBA supports this initiative because high-speed connectivity is vital for preparing students and communities for success in a competitive global economy.

Please read our latest issue brief for more about education technology and NSBA’s position on E-Rate.

Talking Points for Local School Board Members

Use these points to communicate the key issues supporting technology infrastructure and Internet connectivity for low-income and rural schools:

  • The E-Rate program is a vital source of assistance in maintaining Internet connectivity, bringing new learning opportunities to special education students, and enhancing distance learning in rural areas.
  • Current E-Rate funding levels meet only about half the amounts being sought by eligible schools and libraries, which is $4.9 billion.
  • More funding is needed to ensure that schools can match the technology tools in today’s workplace, so that students can be prepared for success in life after school.
  • High-speed Internet connectivity is important for schools in low-income and rural areas, to provide distance learning that they would otherwise be unable to access.
  • Teachers and school staff need enhanced technology and Internet connectivity for professional development to ensure that they are well-versed in the instructional use of technology.

NSBA’s Position

NSBA supports E-Rate 2.0 to increase the quality and speed of Internet access in schools and address remaining technology gaps. Read More

Background

E-Rate, the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, was first authorized in 1996 to help high-need schools and libraries get Internet access. Read More

NSBA’s Actions

Read about NSBA’s actions in support of E-Rate: letters to the Administration and federal agencies, comments, and grassroots calls to action. Read More

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