New CoSN Survey: School District Technology Leaders Anticipate Funding Challenges Heading Back-to-School This Fall
Respondents Predict Continued Remote Learning and Highlight the Need for Federal Assistance for At-home Connectivity
CoSN today released the results of its COVID-19 Back-to-School Survey, highlighting the funding challenges that edtech leaders predict will impact their back-to-school plans this fall. The report, sponsored by Juniper Networks, is based on over 225 survey responses, reflecting feedback from CoSN’s Annual Conference attendees and members.
According to the report, a majority of edtech leaders predict that remote learning will continue during the 2020-21 school year in some capacity; almost all respondents believe that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-Rate program should be used to ensure that students have safe, at-home internet access.
“This survey allowed CoSN to hear directly from edtech leaders across the country on their back-to-school and budget concerns in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN. “The federal government must act now so that students and teachers are prepared with equitable and safe internet access this next school year.”
Key findings in CoSN’s COVID-19 Back-to-School Survey Report include:
  • 42 percent of respondents predict a decrease in their school system’s IT budget. In particular, 30 percent anticipate a decrease in professional development spending.
  • In preparing for remote learning this fall, the vast majority of respondents (87 percent) cited off-campus internet connectivity as an urgent problem that must be solved.
  • Very few participants (7 percent) expect their district to return to a pre-pandemic situation this fall, while nearly half (49 percent) expect remote instruction to replace at least a few on-site classes.
  • When districts return to on-site instruction, an overwhelming majority of participants (88 percent) expect their school to follow social distancing; 35 percent believe contact tracing will be required for students and 42 percent believe contract tracing will be required for teachers and staff.
  • An overwhelming majority of participants (90 percent) feel that the FCC’s E-Rate program should support home connectivity for students, with 86 percent highlighting the importance of covering cybersecurity protections.
  • More than half of the districts surveyed (54 percent) plan to tap into existing emergency stimulus funding to support distance learning needs.
“Juniper Networks is proud to support CoSN’s COVID-19 IT survey to help amplify the voices of school districts and their IT leaders as they respond to COVID-19 and chart the course for the new academic year. The survey findings highlight the importance of district information technology, the role IT staff plays in enabling secure digital, distance and remote learning and the persistent gaps in cybersecurity protection and broadband access to homes. As schools reopen globally, keeping students, teachers and staff healthy and safe will create demand in technology solutions for resources such as checking body temperatures and social distancing. Juniper is focused on providing K-12 educators an unmatched wired and wireless network user experience for digital learning and has the only industry solution with high-accuracy BLE and machine-learning based location services that can support school reopening strategies by measuring social-distancing policy effectiveness and compliance on school campuses,” said John Orbe, Senior Director of Global Business Development at Juniper Networks.
Learn more about what CoSN is doing to support school districts and education technology leaders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic at
Heidi Payter,, 202-822-9491
About CoSN
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.