I recently read and wrote a review of Disrupting Class, by Clayton Christenson. The author’s basic premise is that the Internet is about to reshape education in America. In the hands of capable teachers, I believe that the Internet does, indeed, hold the promise of positively impacting student lives. (It is no coincidence that MIT today announced a new online learning initiative.)
Therefore it should come as no surprise to any of us that the demand for Internet access in our nation’s schools is climbing. Unfortunately, this is happening at a time when school budgets, like the rest of the economy, are struggling. It is ironic that at the very time students, parents and teachers are relying on the Internet more than ever, our schools are finding it harder and harder to provide the access that is so desperately needed.
The E-rate funding program plays a significant role in addressing this need. The E-rate is a steady source of funding that supports Internet access in our schools. However, the demand for E-rate funds outpaces available funding nearly 2:1. Without an increase, the E-rate will be more and more limited in its ability to help schools.
Fortunately, there is an option that can increase support for the E-rate program without raising taxes or increasing user fees. A request has been submitted to the FCC to allocate funding from the Connect America Fund to help support our schools and libraries. To date, over 1,200 people have joined in this effort. You can play a part, too. Find out more below: