Gov. Pat McCrory’s senior education adviser, Eric Guckian, has sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler urging the FCC to act now to expand E-Learning opportunities for North Carolina students.
In June, Gov. McCrory joined with governors from Oregon, Virginia, Mississippi and Maryland in calling for federal action on Wi-Fi access for all students. The bipartisan group of governors called for the modernization of the FCC’s E-Rate program.
“As you know, in today’s global economy, it is crucial that our students are prepared for success in a competitive workforce,” Guckian wrote. “The best way to do this is to promote personalized education systems and supports that enable learning to take place anytime, anywhere.”
Guckian described the chairman’s proposal as addressing a “pressing need,” one that should be resolved in the coming school year.
Seventy-eight percent of North Carolina’s schools do not have the internal Wi-Fi connections that are now required to support digital learning. The national rate is approximately 60 percent. The E-Rate program has not kept pace with technology and provides no funding for Wi-Fi access.
State Chief Information Officer Chris Estes and Gov. McCrory met with the Federal Communications Commission in June to ask that North Carolina share in funding that would help the state extend Wi-Fi access to every K-12 classroom.
Gov. McCrory has made support for innovative learning a hallmark of his administration, whether it be through rewarding forward-thinking teachers, as in the Governor’s Teacher Network, or by signing legislation that brings technology into the classroom and promotes sharing resources among educators.
Read a copy of the senior education adviser’s letter here.