The mismatch between student preparation and employer demands requires the technological transformation supported by ConnectED, President Obama’s plan for connecting all schools to twenty-first-century technology, and e-Rate. More than 20 percent of the nation’s students do not graduate from high school on time, if at all, and by 2020, U.S. companies will have fewer than half the number of qualified applicants for the 123 million high-skill jobs they will need to fill. Although there have been improvements over time, the pace of academic progress must be significantly accelerated. ConnectED and e-Rate will help support the changes needed in today’s classrooms to ensure that the United States maintains its competitive edge in the twenty-first-century global economy.
All4Ed urges the FCC to take swift action in implementing the President’s call to modernize and leverage the existing e-Rate program in order to provide 99 percent of America’s students with high-speed wireless internet access through next-generation broadband in schools and libraries within five years.