WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 14, 2014): Last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve reforms to the nation’s E-rate program with subsidies now going toward Wi-fi connectivity to ensure broadband access in schools. The Order also addressed the concerns around the current funding formulas for schools and libraries with Chairman Wheeler vowing to review and re-evaluate these thresholds to ensure their accuracy.
MMTC and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition have worked collaboratively on issues that affect the nation’s schools, particularly those institutions that disproportionately serve students of color, and poor and urban populations. Friday’s vote to proceed with significant reforms to a program that has the ability to narrow the resource gaps that exist between poor and wealthy schools is a positive step toward addressing pressing achievement divides. MMTC and Rainbow PUSH applaud the Commission’s increase in the per-square-foot funding for libraries that will particularly benefit smaller, urban libraries.
MMTC and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition also commend FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn for her remarks that we move toward a “needs-based” approach to E-rate funding in the future to ensure that schools with lower student enrollment numbers and the urban libraries that serve those populations are not left behind.
MMTC and Rainbow PUSH look forward to working with the Commission to ensure the E-rate program meets the goals outlined by Chairman Wheeler and that the millions of students for whom the program was designed benefit from 21st century connectivity and online resources.
* * * * *
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a non-partisan, national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.
About Rainbow PUSH:
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through the merging of two organizations he founded – Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). Rainbow PUSH has headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland. The organization’s mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.