At the conclusion of this week’s FCC Open Meeting, FCC Commissioner Clyburn announced she will be stepping down over the next several weeks. Ms. Clyburn has served as Commissioner since 2009 and has been a tireless advocate for the E-rate program. 
 
“Setting aside all the rhetoric, this item is fundamentally about the educational forest surrounding our children and their communities. It is about ensuring that our youth have the tools needed to be the leaders of tomorrow; it is about providing our country with the means to be an enabler of excellence; it is about breaking down barriers of poverty and demographic differences through our schools and libraries by making sure they have access to world-class broadband and WiFi. This is why we have E-rate…” 
FCC Commissioner Clyburn, July 14, 2014, FCC Open Meeting to discuss E-rate Modernization
 
We owe a debt of gratitude to Commissioner Clyburn. The education and library communities, and anyone who has school aged children, understands that to succeed in today’s economic environment, our nation’s schools must have affordable high-speed broadband connections.  
 
During the December 2014 FCC Open Meeting where further steps were taken by the FCC to enhance our schools and libraries ability to get faster Internet connections and WiFi equipment, Commissioner Clyburn explained her passion for education. Commissioner Clyburn stated, “…The reasons I have been an unwavering supporter of this item, which I proudly launched by circulating a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for my colleagues’ consideration in July of last year, can be summed up in two ways. I grew up in a household, where everyone except me, spent some or all of their careers as teachers, either in a classroom or in a library. My parents, both sisters, my Aunts and a host of relatives, viewed education as the best tool for upward mobility, so much so that they made commitments and, at times, economic sacrifices to help shape and mold young minds….
 
Even as recently as April 12, 2018 as Commissioner Clyburn spoke at the American Library Association, she opened her remarks by stating that she is a proud “daughter of a retired librarian.” The FCC can honor Commissioner Clyburn’s legacy by continuing to improve the administration and efficiency of the E-rate program which she had fought for since she began her tenure in 2009.