As schools and districts strive to meet their existing technology needs and prepare for the future, access to federal and state funding, along with other grants, is making a major difference in whether students engage in 21st century learning or are left behind.
And with online assessments now being required in many states, reliable broadband access is also essential so that students’ knowledge and skills are accurately represented, and technology is not a barrier to achievement and its documentation.
During a recent webinar, edtech experts provided an overview of the E-rate program, state matching funds, and ways to obtain grants for technological development. Tapping these funding sources can be a challenge, especially for smaller districts, but there are resources and other types of support available.
Accessing the E-Rate and matching state funds
Sheryl Abshire, Ph.D., an edtech specialist at Abshire Consulting, explained that the E-rate program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission specifically to help schools with connectivity and internet access, and the U.S. Department of Education does not provide funding for this purpose.
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