AASA, AESA Issue Joint Statement in Reaction to FCC’s Update on Emergency Connectivity Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-774-6953
jminichello@aasa.org

Alexandria, Va. – August 25, 2021 – Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendent Association, and Joan Wade, executive director of the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA), released the following joint statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s update on the Emergency Connectivity Fund. Both executive directors serve on the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Board, the entity that oversees implementation of the Universal Service Fund, which includes the schools and libraries E-Rate program, and ECF.

“Today the FCC announced that in a brief 45-day window that overlapped with summer vacation and the hard work to safely re-open schools to in-person learning, the nation’s schools and libraries submitted more than $5 billion in applications to the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF).

“As part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the ECF will help schools and libraries provide connectivity relief to millions of students, school staff and library patrons, and is the first serious federal response and support for helping to close the homework gap for students who currently lack the internet access or devices necessary for connecting to classrooms. Today’s announcement makes clear there is both an extremely high demand for ensuring access in homes as well as a critical need for the $7.17 billion within the ECF.

“We commend the FCC for announcing a second two-week application window at the end of September, and we are confident that schools and libraries will exhaust the remaining $2 billion in the ECF. Our organizations are steadfast in our support for the E-Rate program. We applaud Congress and the FCC for their leadership and vision in bringing the ECF to life and we support the inclusion of Senator Markey and Representative Meng’s SUCCESS Act within the Budget Reconciliation Act, to maintain ECF funding and ensure that connectivity doesn’t end when the ECF funding is spent.”

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For specific questions, please contact Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA associate executive director, advocacy and governance, at nellerson@aasa.org.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.