Contact: Kaylen Tucker, 703-518-6257, ktucker@naesp.org

NAESP Applauds FCC Vote to Raise E-Rate Cap

Alexandria, VA—December 11, 2014—The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) applauds the FCC’s move today to raise the E-Rate annual funding cap by $1.5 billion—action the Association and principals has called for since last summer. Action to make this critical federal investment will help the nation’s schools and libraries not only maintain Internet access, but also provide students with the opportunity to engage in 21st century learning.

“Considering current state budgets and the disparities in school access to broadband, the nation’s pre-K-8 principals salute Chairman Wheeler and the commission for making the right decision. This investment is necessary to address equitably equipping the nation’s schools with sufficient technology, especially those serving high concentrations of disadvantaged students,” said Gail Connelly, NAESP executive director. “The E-Rate program has been and will continue to be successful in helping schools realize their vision to make the digital transition,” she added.

Schools cannot provide a 21st century education in isolation of access to technology. Since its inception, the E-Rate program has worked with great success to ensure that students and educators are connected to the Internet and have access to online communications.. Earlier this year, NAESP conducted a survey of pre-K-8 principals, who overwhelmingly support the E-Rate program and report that their schools or districts have applied for E-Rate funding, but general access remains a big concern, particularly in rural areas. More than 80 percent of principals felt that general access to broadband is most important when identifying technology needs in schools.

The nation’s pre-K-8 principals continue to cite significant needs to access, including access to high-speed connectivity, updating classroom computers, integrating technology in a meaningful manner within each classroom, and additional network drops to meet the needs of online standardized testing requirements. Many schools are also working to provide wireless access throughout buildings and replacing equipment that was often purchased more than a decade ago.

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Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle school principals in the United States and internationally. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy and professional development, advocacy, programs, and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP advances the profession on behalf of all principals, providing specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas including pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and capacity-building educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit www.naesp.org.