Learning First Alliance Shares Concerns about Proposed E-rate Program Reforms

Kati Elliott's picture
Alliance supports call for increased E-rate funding and equitable distribution of those funds by the FCC

The Learning First Alliance (LFA), a partnership of leading education organizations representing more than 10 million parents, educators and policymakers, supports a recent letter that a group of 13 education organizations collectively sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  about the Commission’s proposed changes to the E-rate Program.

In the letter, the organizations stated concerns about:

  • The sustainability of the E-rate Program in response to learning of the FCC’s intent to implement a five-year $5 billion plan to invest in Priority II Wi-Fi connections.
  • The FCC’s intent to change the existing funding structure for Priority II to a per-pupil formula allocation for schools and a per square-foot formula for libraries.

To address these concerns, the organizations call for:

  • An equitable distribution of E-rate funds based on need and not by a formula that will water down support for all areas.
  • An increase in the E-rate funding cap.

The letter was issued by the AASA: The School Superintendents Association, American Federation of Teachers, Association of Educational Service Agencies, Council of Great City Schools, International Society for Technology in Education, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Federally Impacted Schools, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Catholic Educational Association, National Education Association, National PTA, National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition, and National Rural Education Association.

“E-rate is critical to supporting school connectivity and ultimately student learning,” said Cheryl S. Williams, executive director of the Learning First Alliance. “The LFA agrees with the concerns posed in this letter regarding the proposed E-rate reforms and supports the call for an increased E-rate funding cap and equitable distribution to ensure the program will be both sustainable and successful.”

To learn more about the LFA, visit www.learningfirst.org.

About The Learning First Alliance

The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of leading education associations with more than 10 million members dedicated to improving student learning in America's public schools. Alliance members include: the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, AASA: The School Superintendents Association,  American Federation of Teachers, American School Counselor Association, International Society for Technology in Education, Learning Forward (formerly National Staff Development Council), National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Education Association, National PTA, National School Boards Association, National School Public Relations Association, Parents for Public Schools and Phi Delta Kappa International. The Alliance maintains www.learningfirst.org, a website that features what’s working in public schools and districts across the country.

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