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FCC Proposed $3.9 Billion for School Tech Programs

FCC Proposed $3.9 Billion for School Technology Programs

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed an increase in funds in order to provide supporting technology to schools and libraries.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called for a permanent $1.5 billion increase, up from the current $2.4 billion, that would pay for technology in schools, said an article on THEJournal.com.

E-rate, the article said, is the “FCC program administered by the Universal Service Administrative Co. that supports schools and libraries with subsidies for networking and telecommunications equipment and services — including broadband Internet access and internal WiFi connections — as well as maintenance.”

The funds, THEJournal continued, “can subsidize as much as 90 percent of the cost of equipment and services.”

The announcement, the article said, was met with immediate support from education advocacy groups.

"The proposal is a meaningful, critical commitment and long-term investment in America's students and educators,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). “By promoting digital equity and strengthening the nation's education broadband infrastructure, the objectives identified expand the digital capacity in our schools and directly pay dividends for decades."

Brian Lewis, CEO for the International Society for Technology in Education said this is “an investment in education is an investment in our country's future.”

"This visionary E-rate proposal by Chairman Wheeler, the centerpiece of which is the first major funding increase for the program in 15 years, sets it on the path to sound financial footing for many years to come. We're grateful to the Chairman and his fellow commissioners for their leadership in seeking this critical funding increase, as well as the changes necessary to modernize the E-Rate program."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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