The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal membership association representing U.S. state and territorial digital learning leaders released the following statement of disappointment regarding the February 3rd actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to rescind the E-rate Modernization Progress Report and revoke Lifeline provider designations.
SETDA has a track record for supporting the infrastructure necessary to ensure digital learning. As noted in SETDA’s publication, The Broadband Imperative II: Equitable Access for Learning: “Access to high-speed broadband in K-12 education is no longer an afterthought; instead it is fundamental for implementing the student-centered learning models critical in preparing all students for college and careers in the digital age. Equity of access includes ensuring access to devices and sufficient high-speed broadband in school, at home, and everywhere in the community to utilize digital instructional materials, complete homework assignments, and to connect with students, educators, and experts throughout the world anytime/ anywhere.”
“As content moves to digital and more states are enacting policies requiring digital instructional materials, as legislators are now recognizing the benefits of digital resources. These policy shifts have direct implications on issues related to device and internet access. Students must have access to broadband and devices outside of school, particularly at home, to be successful.”
SETDA Executive Director, Tracy Weeks, states, “If we are to close the digital divide, a collaboration effort between, federal, state, and local governments along with the private sector is essential. SETDA strongly urges the FCC to reconsider these recent actions and to move forward in continuing to provide leadership in connecting students with access to the infrastructure tools they need for learning.”