News

Innovative district expands access like never before using E-rate

By Laura Devaney, Director of News, @eSN_Laura
November 23rd, 2016

Reforms and modernization to the E-rate, including Category 2 funding, made an unprecedented infrastructure refresh possible.

e-rate

Thanks to a major funding refresh, one district found that it’s now possible to support its one-to-one initiative without scaling back access for other services or devices. Could your district do the same?

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) historic E-rate modernization in 2014 paved the way for districts to expand their high-speed broadband and wi-fi and increase digital learning opportunities for students.

Before the modernization, Category 2 services were called Priority 2 services and were funded only after all requests for Priority 1 services (telecommunications services and internet access) were funded–but that meant most schools had no leftover E-rate funding for wi-fi equipment and other internal connections.

And now, school districts across the nation are able to improve digital learning opportunities and expand wi-fi for teachers and students.

In Louisiana’s Lafayette Parish Schools, LaShona Dickerson, the district’s director of technology, has leveraged Category 2 funding to update her district’s infrastructure to support a one-to-one rollout.

Working with Funds for Learning regarding E-rate processes, Dickerson and her team have updated the district’s phone system, implemented a student information system, improved financial payroll processes, and incorporated tools and resources that empower teaching and learning.

“We were able to do a lot of this because of E-rate funding,” Dickerson said. “We work on a limited budget–everything we do has to be planned and strategic, and always has to be a collaborative effort.”

(Next page: An infrastructure upgrade paves the way for unprecedented access)


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