Congress and the FCC Must Expand Home Internet Access Through E-Rate for Students During the COVID-19 Crisis

 

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, school doors have closed around the country, many for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. As districts and educators work tirelessly to provide online learning opportunities, millions of students will face challenges completing new coursework because of inadequate home internet access.  

The Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program currently helps offset the cost of internet access in schools and libraries. The FCC has the power to allow E-Rate to fund home internet access for students in addition to schools and libraries, should they choose to do so. During this time of unprecedented national crisis, making this policy change would dramatically impact educational equity for millions of students. Additionally, as Congress considers additional emergency funding measures to address the crisis, national education groups like NASSP are asking for $4 billion in additional E-Rate funding to provide adequate support for those students.

We have long known that the "homework gap" unfairly hinders the ability of students living in rural areas, students of color, and students from low-income families to fully benefit from many of the educational opportunities made available by modern technology. With the current crisis dramatically shifting our children’s education to remote and online learning, it has never been more imperative to address this inequity.

 

Send an email and tweet to the FCC and Congress now to support home internet access for students using E-Rate.

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Thank you for taking action with NASSP to support expanding the FCC’s E-Rate program during this time of crisis. Please make sure you’ve completed both the campaign actions—email and tweet—to further amplify our message.

You can also share the link to this campaign with your family, friends, and networks and ask them to join us: https://p2a.co/7Mh75nF 

FOLLOW THIS EXAMPLE SCRIPT

Hello, my name is [name] and I am one of [senator]’s constituents from [city/location].

I am calling to urge [senator] to support the Equality Act. As a school leader, I believe that no educator should be fired or discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. This long overdue legislation would finally ensure that the same rights, privileges, and protections are provided to all Americans.

Please tell [senator] that educators in our community support the Equality Act, and we urge [him/her] to support the legislation, as well.

Thank you.