You spoke up for what was important to you and they listened. This is not just a victory for a single organization, like ASTE, or even of talented influencers like Hilary Goldmann and Brian Lewis’ team at ISTE; this is a victory for all educators. Today it was announced that the FCC will vote December 11th to raise the annual spending cap of E-Rate.
What this means is that your emails, comments, and even tweets have triggered a real, measurable, gain in educational technology funding! This is not the time to celebrate just yet, though the positivity of this opportunity cannot be understated. We need to force the issue and finish the race stronger than ever.
If passed, says Wheeler (@TomWheelerFCC ), the cap would be increased from $2.4 Billion to $3.9 Billion to “Ensure High-Speed Internet Access in Schools and Libraries within Five Years.” From the release 11/17/14:
- Based on a robust record and analysis by Commission staff, Chairman Wheeler is proposing a permanent increase in the E-rate cap of $1.5 billion along with a series of targeted policy changes to enhance the options available to schools and libraries to purchase affordable high-speed broadband.
- If the FCC reaches the maximum cap recommended, the estimated additional cost to an individual rate payer would be approximately 16 cents a month, about a half a penny per day or about $1.90 a year – less than a medium-sized soda at fast food restaurant or a cup of coffee.
- While the impact on consumers will be small, the impact on children, teachers, local communities and American competiveness will be significant.
Together we can change the way technology funding is dispersed and alter the educational norm at its fundamental levels. I hope I am not exaggerating the importance of the opportunity we have in the next 3 weeks and I hope you will join me in the continued fight to #RaisetheErateCap!
To learn more about E-Rate and recent changes, check out the fantastic infographic and article here. ISTE Advocacy is a wonderful place to catch up on national news and events related to federal funding. I encourage you stay in touch and keep making your voice heard.