Socorro Independent School District in El Paso, Texas had a big challenge. They were looking to create an academy focused on specialized student learning, as well as creating a 1:1 learning network for their incoming freshman students. Despite being near the border of Mexico and serving a number of low-income families and at-risk students, they had the focus to provide their students with all the tools possible to set them up for success.

In order for Socorro ISD to deploy devices and computers for their students to have access to updated curriculum, and to turn their focus onto 21st Century Learning (C21), they would have to find budget or alternative funding for a necessary infrastructure upgrade. This would allow Socorro ISD to achieve their goal of having the digital curriculum they desired.

Socorro ISD used E-rate funding and local sources of revenue to help meets its technological needs. They worked to put together a compelling plan to leverage Category Two funding for the needed technologies at each campus.

Cisco stood out among the other solutions. Chief Technology Officer, Hector Reyna said, “Following our testing, we knew Cisco Meraki would be easy to teach to our instructors, and the claims behind the technology lived up to its performance — both on the power side and the support side.” Cisco’s network came with a reputation of reliability, and therefore Reyna and Ben Ross, Network Director, decided to pilot some wireless solutions and quickly found that Cisco was easy to maneuver and competitively priced.

Since its deployment of Cisco Meraki Access Points and Cisco Catalyst Switching, Socorro ISD has experienced large gains in performance — both technically and academically. One of the main reasons Socorro ISD has experienced such success is due to the vision of district Superintendent José Espinoza. Espinoza encouraged the district to work closely with Reyna and the IT department, and vigorously campaigned for more funds to be poured into technology. As a result, Socorro ISD students are confident that they get an equal, even superior, global education. Socorro ISD will continue to leverage E-rate to support their digital learning initiatives.

For more success stories, ideas, and information, please click here to access last week’s blog in our E-rate series, and stay tuned for our final E-rate blog next week. Now is the time to think.. How are you leveraging E-rate to fund your digital learning initiatives?


Hillary Hall

Public Funding Advisor