Statement of the National School Boards Association by Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, National School Boards Association
Alexandria, Va., (Dec 11, 2014) — The National School Boards Association (NSBA) applauds today’s historic action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize the E-rate program and improve high-speed broadband connectivity for rural and remote schools and libraries across our great nation.
“The clear and compelling voice of America’s public school districts was heard,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, Executive Director, National School Boards Association. “This historic FCC decision in support of a $1.5 billion increase in E-rate program funding levels the playing field by ensuring students in low-income and rural communities gain full access to today’s digital learning environment.”
“Closing the school and library connectivity gap is a major, progressive step in ensuring that America’s school-age students, particularly those in rural and remote communities, gain equitable access to Internet connectivity,” said Lucy Gettman, Deputy Associate Executive Director, Federal Advocacy & Public Policy, National School Boards Association. “Today’s decision marks a major milestone in supporting lifelong and individualized learning in today’s digital age and benefits today’s underserved students, schools, and libraries.”
Prior to today’s decision in support of 21st Century education, E-rate funding had been capped 16 years ago at $2.25 billion a year, meaning that existing funding had not kept pace with inflation. By raising the E-rate cap by $1.5 billion over the next five years, all schools are anticipated to have high-capacity broadband and Wi-Fi access.