In a new eSchool News special report, Supporting a Digital Transformation in Schools: How to build a network infrastructure that will have you poised for ed-tech success, the experts at eSchool News highlight an important—and often overlooked—fact. E-rate creates an “unprecedented opportunity for K-12 districts to upgrade their network infrastructure so they can take advantage of the digital revolution. The opportunity is there for the taking… [and] the time [to take advantage] is now.”
We know that nearly $4 billion in E-rate funding is available for Funding Year 2018, and that most schools and libraries are entitled to some support. However, we also understand that E-rate applications—particularly for Category Two funding, which helps pay for managed Wi-Fi, internal connectivity, and basic maintenance—have been on the decline and are down by 29 percent since 2015. (For more interesting facts about E-rate and tips on how to make the most of your E-rate dollars, click here.)
The reasons for this decrease in applications aren’t clear. But if a school or library is reluctant to apply for E-rate because of the program’s complexity, the eSchool News special report can be a helpful source of information. The report discusses the importance of a robust infrastructure to digital transformation and shares insights into how schools and libraries can assess their individual requirements and leverage partnerships to realize the greatest benefit from the E-rate program. The report also provides compelling examples of two schools—Wayne Highland School District in Wayne County, Pa., and El Centro Elementary School District in Calif.—who have used E-rate with great success.
Finally, the report talks about the Cisco Digital Education Platform and the ways Cisco solutions can enable and support a school’s or library’s digital journey. To learn more about E-rate and how Cisco can help, visit www.cisco.com/go/erate.