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FCC Commissioner and Former Ed. Secretary: We Need a National Policy on Internet Access

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Image — Punnarong/iStock. Article by Jessica Rosenworcel & John B. King Jr.

It’s time for America to modernize the E-rate program

This upcoming school year promises to be unlike any other. Now is the time to get prepared.

Many local officials across the country are balancing the advice of public-health experts against the administration’s reckless demands to open all schools everywhere with in-person instruction, regardless of the threat to the health of students, families, teachers, and staff. Some of the largest school districts across the nation already have announced that their schools will rely on remote instruction or a mix of in-person and distance learning. The simple truth is that remote and hybrid learning will be with us for the foreseeable future, as we continue to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

In that context, denying students access to broadband is tantamount to denying them access to education.

We—as a former U.S. secretary of education and a current member of the Federal Communications Commission—believe this year’s summer assignment is clear and urgent: We must make sure that every student has the home connectivity and devices they need to make the most of learning during the coming school year. […]

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