Schools and libraries with Wi-Fi in CHARLOTTE TENNESSEE ?
In June 2013, I joined the President in Mooresville, NC, to launch ConnectED an initiative to close the technology gap in our schools and bring high-speed Internet to 99 percent of Americas students within five years. This vision that all students should have access to world-class digital learning is well on its way to becoming a reality.
Thanks to the leadership of the President and the FCC, the resources are in place to meet the Presidents connectivity goal. In addition, various private-sector partners are making over $2 billion worth of resources available to students, teachers, and schools. These include tablets, mobile broadband, software, and online teacher professional development courses from top universities. Fewer than 40 percent of public schools currently have the high-speed Internet needed to support modern digital learning.
But now we have the resources to solve this problem. We just need help from our nations superintendents and school technology chiefs.
Last year, the FCC approved the first major update to the E-Rate program since it was created in 1997. E-Rate (also known as the Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries) makes it more affordable for schools and libraries to connect to high-speed Internet with the goal of making the gigabit speeds we see in cities like Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Chattanooga, Tennessee the norm in schools across the country.
These updates have unlocked funding to support internal Wi-Fi network upgrades in schools and libraries this year for the first time since 2012. Wi-Fi is important because no matter how fast the Internet connection is to a school, students cant take full advantage of it without a robust wireless network within the school.
To secure E-rate support for Wi-Fi, schools and libraries must submit a form describing their project needs to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). USAC then posts the request for competitive bidding. The Department of Education has prepared an Infrastructure Guide to help district leaders navigate the many decisions required to deliver cutting-edge connectivity to students. That said, schools and libraries have the final say when they submit an application to USAC for approval.
Bringing our schools up to speed is a major priority, and E-rate provides an opportunity to make doing so much more affordable. For all of the superintendents and technology officers: If you havent yet done so, get your requests submitted by February 26, 2015, and your applications in before March 26, 2015 (requests must be up for 28 days before a school can choose a vendor). Your students, your community, and your country will thank you for bringing our classrooms into the 21st century.
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The importance of local education funding in CHARLOTTE TENNESSEE
Yesterday, President Obama spoke to the Council of the Great City Schools about the exceptional progress being made within local and state education levels. The work of our administrators and educators has been more impactful than ever, resulting in higher standardized test scores in some of the previously lowest-performing schools and increased resources for students.
In fact, more graduation caps are going airborne as high school students are graduating at the highest rate ever recorded, with the largest improvement among minority and low-income students.
See what President Obama had to say about what we must do to improve access to quality education in America:
This funding is an investment in our nation's future that has been able to give the kind of education our children need and deserve to compete in the 21st century.
President Obama hopes that the upcoming budget plan by the Republican House and Senate will reflect the priorities of educating every child. If their new budget maintains sequester-level funding of the past, we would actually be giving less federal support to America’s schools than we were back in 2000.
Most alarmingly, if their current proposal is not changed, over the next six years, billions of dollars would be cut in education funding. That means we'd be cutting the support given to America's most impoverished schools, the funding that has helped create the progress we're seeing today.
"The notion that we would be going backwards instead of forwards in how we’re devoting resources to educating our kids makes absolutely no sense."
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