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Alabama House Unanimously Passes Bill to Help In-Need Schools Increase Wireless Networks

Alabama House Unanimously Passes Bill to Help In-Need Schools Increase Wireless Networks

Alabama is being proactive in helping its poor and rural schools provide students with increased access to Internet.

In a unanimous vote, the state’s House of Representative voted to use $12 million of state funds to help schools in need.

Lawmakers voted 105-0 for the bill, often called the Wired Act, that aims to fix a convoluted problem that, [the bill’s sponsor Rep. Donnie] Chesteen says, has held some schools back where information technology is concerned,” said eSchoolNews.

According to the article, a big problem concerning the state’s in-need schools has to do with the E-rate money that the federal government provides for local schools to buy computers.

"For years, the federal government has helped local schools buy computers through E-rate, the money it collects through a service fee charged to telecommunications companies. To get E-rate money, though, local systems have to pitch in matching funds,” the article said.

"Small and low-income districts often don’t have the money for those matching funds, Chesteen said, and 91 districts are poised to miss out on a large E-rate payout if they don’t make a mid-March deadline. Chesteen’s bill would take $12 million from a state fund for school technology to pay for the match.”

The bill could soon be passed into law after it moves onto the Senate for a vote.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/25/2016

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