Florida Partnership with Learning.com Brings Digital Curriculum to Rural Districts
Florida Regional Consortium Program provides content and tools to NEFEC, PAEC and Heartland Educational Consortium members at no cost to districts.
Portland, Ore. and Tallahassee, Fla (Nov. 17, 2014) – A new initiative, designed to help rural districts ensure that teachers and students have access to high-quality digital content, is underway in Florida. The Florida Regional Consortium Program, developed through a partnership with Learning.com and Florida Department of Education (DOE), will provide standards-aligned digital content and tools to a large contingent of rural schools at no cost. Three consortia – North East Florida Educational Consortium (NEFEC), Panhandle Area Educational Consortium (PAEC) and Heartland Educational Consortium – are eligible, and more than 235 schools have already enrolled in the program.
Learning.com will provide consortia members with Curriculum Foundry, a new solution that offers a searchable content repository and tools to build and share digital curriculum that aligns to state standards. Districts also have access to Learning.com’s digital literacy curriculum to ensure their students have the technology skills to succeed in a digital classroom.
“NEFEC is pleased to be able to work with Learning.com to bring this opportunity to the teachers and students in our districts,” said Jim Surrency, executive director of NEFEC, “The award-winning curriculum and user-friendly Web platform provide an easy transition for stakeholders into a more technology-integrated environment.”
Professional development training at the districts will be delivered by Learning.com personnel, by the consortia or in partnership, using resources from both. The partnership encompasses a one-year rollout of services, with an additional year of support to follow. Initially, up to 250 buildings will be offered vouchers to obtain Learning.com tools and content.
“We’re looking forward to building a strong working relationship with the consortia,” said Dr. Cliff Green, vice president of education and customer experience for Learning.com. “This partnership presents an exciting opportunity to provide rural Florida districts with resources to help their teachers and students succeed.”
For more information about the initiative, visit Learning.com/florida.
Learning.com helps districts implement digital learning initiatives with award-winning content, tools and services. By incorporating Learning.com’s curriculum and assessments into core instruction, educators help their students develop 21st century skills. With Learning.com’s digital content management solution, districts can seamlessly access, organize and share digital content to meet their instructional goals. Learning.com also offers industry-leading professional development services to support educators as they integrate technology into the classroom. Founded in 1999, Learning.com currently partners with more than 2,700 districts to help prepare their students for success in college and future career opportunities.
AASA Applauds Chairman Wheeler and FCC on Proposed Increase in E-Rate Funding
Alexandria, Va. – Nov. 17, 2014 – Today, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, announced a proposed increase of $1.5 billion for the E-Rate program. Today’s announcement follows programmatic changes to the E-Rate program this July, and demonstrates both the chairman and the FCC’s unwavering commitment to bolstering school connectivity.
The E-Rate modernization effort spanned more than 18 months, during which AASA, The School Superintendents Association, consistently advocated for a two-pronged approach that combined both programmatic changes and raising the funding cap. AASA is pleased to see its priorities reflected in the FCC’s announcement and commends Chairman Wheeler for not only hearing, but listening to, educators and school system leaders across the country.
“AASA applauds the Chairman’s continued leadership on E-Rate. Today’s proposal to raise the program’s funding cap is a critical complement to the recently adopted program changes,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Together, the changes from July and the provision of sustained, adequate funding through the cap increase represent an unprecedented effort to ensure educational opportunities to our nation’s schools and the students they serve. The FCC’s proposal focuses on broadband connections for schools, especially those in rural communities, and ensures that our nation’s schools remain able to keep pace with ever increasing connectivity needs.”
The additional $1.5 billion equates to an additional 16 cents per month per line, or less than one penny per day or the cost of a cup of coffee per year.
“An investment of this magnitude, with a seemingly small impact on consumers but a huge benefit for children, teachers, local communicates and American competitiveness, is significant and represents strong, sound policy,” said Domenech. “It demonstrates the FCC’s ongoing commitment to the core values of the E-Rate program, including access to 21st century learning opportunities, equity, and supporting—in a sustainable way—the E-Rate program’s transition from mere connectivity to sufficient capacity.”
David Pennington, AASA President; Superintendent, Ponca City Schools, Ponca City, Okla.
“AASA has long-supported a two-pronged approach to E-Rate modernization, both programmatic changes and adequate funding. Today’s announcement by Chairman Wheeler demonstrates that the voice of educators—including AASA members—has been heard. As our nation’s schools work to upgrade broadband infrastructure and expand Wi-Fi access, demand will outpace savings from E-rate modernization and broadband price reductions. Meeting the connectivity goals for all schools will require funding above the current E-rate cap, and today’s announcement reflects that reality.”
Amy Sichel, AASA Past-President; Superintendent, Abington School District, Abington, Pa.
“AASA has an unwavering commitment to equity in education. The unfortunate reality is that access to connectivity is far from equitable among our nation’s schools. In fact, 39 percent of schools in affluent areas currently meet speed targets, but only 14 percent of schools in low-income rural and urban areas meet those targets. Today’s announcement provides the additional sustained funding that is crucial to the continued success of the E-Rate program, including bolstering equity in connectivity.”
David Schuler, AASA President-Elect; Superintendent for Township High School District 214, Arlington Heights, Ill.
“The original E-rate program cap was set at $2.25 billion in 1997, and was unchanged until receiving annual inflation adjustment until late 2010. More than 60 percent of the Chairman’s proposed $1.5 billion cap increase represents simply a “catch up” of the lost inflation adjustment from 1997 to 2010. AASA strongly supports the FCC’s leadership on E-Rate and their unrelenting commitment to connecting the nation’s schools and public libraries.”
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. The mission of AASA is to advocate for the highest quality public education for all students, and develop and support school system leaders. For more information, visitwww.aasa.org.