7 strong facts that support school broadband

Broadband access is more important than ever, and the public agrees

broadband-internetU.S. public opinion isn’t too positive when it comes to technology in the nation’s schools.

Feb. 4 poll results from the bipartisan Leading Education by Advancing Digital (LEAD) Commission reveal that voters–both parents and nonparents–gave a “C” grade to the state of technology in U.S. schools.

“Parents and nonparents prove to be pretty intensely concerned about where classroom technology is in America today,” said Joel Benenson, president of the Benenson Strategy Group, which led the survey.

(Next page: 7 survey results that bolster support for broadband)

A number of poll results show overwhelming support for expanding broadband access in U.S. schools.

“Americans don’t see this just as an education issue–they see this advance in technology as an economic issue,” Benenson said. In fact, he added, a high level of voters indicated that they are concerned the U.S. is not doing enough to train the next generation of innovators.

1. In fact, more than 80 percent of the 800 registered voters surveyed said they are “very concerned” about the lack of resources and technology, including high-speed internet connections, and the implications for students’ ability to compete in a global workforce.

2. Eighty-three percent said they support making high-speed internet available in U.S. schools within 5 years.

3. When faced with a proposal to add a $4 fee to every cell phone user’s bill for three years to fund a high-speed internet program for U.S. public schools, support for such a program still remains in the majority, at 69 percent.

4. Forty percent of survey participants also gave a “C” grade to the job schools are doing to prepare students for 21st century jobs.

5. Six in 10 voters said they believe that empowering and enabling teachers to incorporate technology in their instruction and teach students the skills they’ll need for 21st century jobs is a key reason to expand broadband access.

6. Ninety percent of respondents said that high-speed internet improves the quality of each child’s education because it gives them access to new learning resources, online tools, foreign language instruction, college prep tools, and distance learning opportunities.

7. Broadband access in school provides critical resources to the vast number of children living without internet at home and without high-speed internet access in school.

“We understand that all American students and teachers need resources to compete in the 21st century,” said LEAD Commissioner and Co-Founder of TPG Capital Jim Coulter. “Building high-speed internet access in all American public schools offers students the keys to succeed–regardless of zip code. The LEAD Commission remains committed to the administration’s efforts to strengthen the critical infrastructure that is required to shape a successful digital learning system for our students and country.”

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Laura Ascione

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