Digital Promise applauds the Federal Communications Commission’s vote today to increase the funding cap by $1.5 billion for the federal E-rate program that connects schools and libraries around the country.
Demand for these services far exceeds previous funding levels and approving this increase – which amounts to an additional $2 per year on Americans’ phone bills – will help thousands of schools improve the opportunity to learn for students. We have seen first-hand how important those opportunities are, whether for students in rural Piedmont, Ala., who can take online AP or foreign language courses previously unavailable, or students in Coachella Valley, Calif., who can get online from mobile Wi-Fi hotspots in low-income communities, or teachers in Washington, D.C., that can personalize lessons for students at a variety of learning levels.
We commend the FCC for building upon recent modernization efforts that make this traditionally closed and complex process more transparent and efficient. We encourage the FCC to continue these measures and stay ahead of demand, so schools do not go wanting for such a crucial element to a 21st-century education.