A coalition of education advocacy groups have asked the FCC to allow schools to use federal E-rate funding to strengthen their IT security infrastructure amid an onslaught of cyber attacks targeting the education sector.
A recent report on the nationwide initiative to bring Internet connectivity to schools and libraries found it has been a vital part of modernization, and now it needs to invest in making those connections secure.
The nonprofit’s annual report on how to improve K-12 education in the U.S. includes recommendations to bridge the digital divide, promote education innovations, develop new assessments and recover from learning loss.
Panelists in a session at the ISTELive 22 annual conference emphasized the importance of advocacy groups, and how supporting them can lead to major dollars going to schools and ed tech through legislation.
Visiting Haverhill High School on Monday, Senator Edward Markey, Congresswoman Lori Trahan and other officials discussed the the E-Rate program, American Rescue Plan and other strides toward closing the digital divide.
Launched in June, the Public Education Department’s program has helped 110 school districts, tribal-affiliated and charter schools apply for more than $65 million in federal aid. A new application window starts Sept. 28.
The Massachusetts school district drew from the Emergency Connectivity Fund and other sources to buy 1,200 Chromebooks, 900 laptops, 1,500 broadband hotspots, interactive touchscreens and electronic whiteboards.
Schools in need of Internet access and related equipment for virtual learning have another opportunity to receive money through the Emergency Connectivity Fund, the FCC announced this week.
In light of an ongoing cyber crime epidemic that’s unlikely to end soon, federal agencies must take action to update policy definitions, increase spending caps and partner with school districts to defend their networks.
With the help of matching funds from the federal E-Rate program, the Pennsylvania district is spending more than $180,000 to upgrade its eight-year-old network with 78 wireless access points and 12 switches.