The Federal Communications Commission recently extended E-Rate funding to cover WiFi on school buses, but some Republicans say this will raise fees on telecommunications providers and not improve learning outcomes.
Plus, the Biden administration works to make it easier for people with disabilities to access public services online; the FCC rolls out more Emergency Connectivity funding for schools; and more.
The proposal would create a new pilot program, allotting up to $200 million over three years, for schools and libraries to assess effective cybersecurity methods and implement advanced firewalls, among other needs.
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.