June 24, 2016


AASA Advocacy Blogging Round Up

This blog is a collection of quick bits of information we want to flag for you.

House Releases Draft Language for Perkins Career Tech: Today, the House Education and the Workforce Committee released its draft reauthorization proposal for the Perkins Career/Technical Education program. AASA’s Sasha Pudelski is reviewing the language and we will be providing summary and analysis.

ESSA Oversight Hearing: AASA President David Schuler testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee as part of its most recent ESSA oversight hearing, Next Steps in K-12 Education: Examining Recent Efforts to Implement the Every Student Succeeds Act. You can access David’s testimony here, and read our related press release.

AASA’s Summary and Initial Response to Proposed ESSA Accountability Regulations: Formal comments to the Department’s proposed ESSA regulations will be filed by August 1. You can read AASA’s summary of and initial response to the proposed accountability regulations here, and it is posted in AASA’s ESSA Resource Library.

Foster Child Guidance from USED: The Departments of Education and Health and Human Services released guidance to states, school districts, and child welfare agencies on new provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for supporting children and youth in foster care. (See letter on guidance). The guidance, which is non-binding, touches upon: educational stability requirements; procedures for jointly determining which school is in a child’s best interest; procedures for jointly determining transportation to maintain children in their original schools; transfer of relevant records; and protecting student data and privacy (blog post). The foster youth provisions in the ESSA take effect December 10, 2016 (letter on timelines). This guidance is the first in a series of ESSA guidance packages. The Department of Education plans on releasing guidance for early learners; homeless children and youth; English Learners (Title III); recruiting, preparing, and training teachers and principals (Title II); and student support and academic enrichment (Title IV). The agency is also still reviewing feedback from the field to determine what, if any, additional guidance is a priority for full implementation of the law in the 2017-18 school year.

Perkins Career Tech Guidance: USED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) released a Dear Colleague Letter emphasizing all students -- regardless of their sex -- must have equal access to the range of career and technical (CTE) programs offered. The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act requires states to meet targets for participation and completion rates of males and females in programs that are non-traditional for their sex.

June 24, 2016


Reversing the Bandwidth Crunch: Helping School Systems to Accelerate Connectivity with Fiber

This guest blog post comes from our friends at CoSN and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

Like never before, large and small schools are taking advantage of technology tools to blend and personalize the learning experience. This encouraging growth in demand, however, is increasing their connectivity needs—and schools are feeling a bandwidth crunch.

How big of a crunch? 

According to a recent CoSN survey, 68 percent of district technology officers believe their school systems do not have the bandwidth to meet their district’s connectivity demands in the next 18 months. K-12 broadband demands, meanwhile, are growing at an annual rate of more than 50 percent

Fortunately, K-12 schools last year received a big (and modern!) boost from the federal E-Rate program. Nearly $4 billion in federal funding is now available through the program to better connect schools and libraries—funding that will directly support the expenses for receiving high-quality connectivity. 

To give school system leaders the guidance to leverage the E-Rate program’s expanded offerings and accelerate their high-quality fiber connectivity, CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University have produced a new toolkit. 

Maximizing K-12 Fiber Connectivity Through E-Rate: An Overview includes three parts for school leaders:


  • Part One, which provides an overview of the E-Rate program and the types of fiber eligible through the program. Through case studies, it also shares how three school systems managed their fiber connectivity challenges.
  • Part Two, which describes important considerations for schools to assess their options. It also includes an additional case study that details how a school district’s E-Rate reimbursement for a fiber “self-build” could support wider fiber build-out.
  • Part Three, which issues a call to action for school systems to begin taking measurable steps toward deciding on and making effective use of today’s fiber connectivity options.

We encourage you to learn more about this modern resource for modern connectivity at: CoSN.org/SEND.


CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. To learn more, visit: cosn.org.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is dedicated to exploring, understanding, and shaping the development of the digitally-networked environment. To learn more, visit: cyber.law.harvard.edu.