CEO Keith Krueger today issued the following statement in support of the Education Stabilization Fund provision of the U.S. COVID-19 stimulus package released by Congress:
“CoSN applauds Congress for recognizing the need to provide general emergency assistance to school districts across the country, as they work to ensure health and safety, while also supporting teaching and learning, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The K-12 Emergency Fund’s allowable investment in online learning is a helpful first step.
“CoSN is disappointed, however, that dedicated funding was not provided to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-Rate program to comprehensively address the nation’s troubling ‘Homework Gap.’ Up to 12 million children in the United States today lack the internet connectivity to complete schoolwork at home. Providing these students with the virtual education that their peers receive during this national crisis is essential. The FCC should use each and every tool within their emergency powers to better connect students and teachers through this program.
“Education Secretary DeVos is now permitted to allow school districts to use a larger portion of the existing Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant (SSAEG) program funding on technology for children. This is an important step, as many lack at-home devices.
“Edtech leaders are also in desperate need of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots to help students and teachers connect online at home. This stimulus package will enable districts to begin to meet this urgent demand for e-learning, but investments in E-Rate, and programmatic flexibility, are needed to complete the job for all learners and their teachers.
“CoSN urges Congress to move swiftly to send this vital legislation to the President’s desk. The teachers and students that are shaping America’s future are counting on them.”
CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. CoSN provides thought leadership resources, community best practices and advocacy tools to help leaders succeed in the digital transformation. CoSN represents over 13 million students in school districts nationwide and continues to grow as a powerful and influential voice in K-12 education. cosn.org