Articles in the Rural Schools category

NSBA provides FCC with recommendations to improve E-Rate

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel issued the following comments on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Public Notice on the Wireline Competition Bureau Seeks Focused Comment on E-rate Modernization to provide key recommendations to modernize the E-rate program and increase the quality and speed of Internet connectivity in our nation’s schools and libraries.  NSBA applauds the FCC’s proactive efforts to ensure efficient operation and integrity of E-rate; increase the quality and speed of connectivity in our nation’s schools; and address the technology gaps that remain.

Gentzel’s full comment are available and an excerpt of the recommendations are below:

“For nearly twenty years, NSBA has supported the goals of the E-rate program to increase Internet connectivity and provide digital learning opportunities to underserved students, schools and libraries. NSBA is steadfast in its support for the ConnectED initiative and applauds the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) focus on broadband deployment in education, so that students are prepared to be competitive and successful in the global marketplace.

“To successfully usher in a new future for E-rate, NSBA urges the FCC to ground modernization of E-Rate in the individual circumstances of the nation’s 14,000 school districts and 98,000 public schools. Put eloquently by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association: School entities across the nation are diverse in their composition and their needs. Local decision-making and local flexibility should be maximized in implementation of the E-rate program.

“Further, NSBA’s recommendations are predicated on the need for additional resources in the E-rate program. Simply repurposing or rearranging priorities for the $2.5 billion E-rate program is not sufficient to achieve the ambitious goals of the ConnectED initiative, and could impact school district finances and operations in ways that make it even more difficult for low-income and rural schools and libraries to meet the instructional needs of their students. Therefore, in addition to NSBA’s filings of September 16, 2013 and November 8, 2013, we recommend the following:

“1. Focus $2 billion in one-time funding for E-rate on Priority 2 services for broadband deployment, and assure that additional schools and libraries have access to the funds. The onetime funding described in paragraph 7 is best suited for initial and one-time investments in broadband deployment such as internal connections, as opposed to ongoing operating costs. Further, there has been a dearth of funding for Priority 2 in recent years, so that only a small number of schools benefit. NSBA recommends that affirmative steps be taken to assure that a one-time infusion of Priority 2 funds is disseminated to schools and libraries that have not had access to such funds in the last five years.

“2. Voice and other legacy services – Establish a menu of options for schools and libraries making transitions to broadband. NSBA supports refocusing E-rate on broadband connectivity, but cautions against eliminating eligible uses of E-rate funds without support for school districts during the transition. An across-the-board approach to elimination or phase down of support for legacy services as described in paragraphs 40 – 46 is not responsive to school districts, whose current equipment, hardware, connectivity, access to broadband, contracting obligations, and other circumstances will vary. NSBA recommends a case-by-case approach and flexible timeframes for transitioning E-rate eligibility to broadband.

“3. Demonstration and pilot programs – Eliminate demonstration programs, pilots, or other carve outs from E-Rate 2.0 unless they are resourced by other Universal Service or alternative funds. While there is great potential in the innovations described in paragraphs 55 – 61 to streamline E-rate and make the program more efficient and effective at meeting the needs of schools and libraries, they should not come at the expense of the School and Libraries Fund itself, which is severely oversubscribed.”

View NSBA’s Issue Brief on E-rate.

 

Alexis Rice|April 4th, 2014|Categories: Educational Technology, Federal Advocacy, Rural Schools, School Boards, School Buildings|Tags: , , , |

NSBA encouraging school districts to weigh in EPA fluorescent lighting proposed regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering requiring school districts to remove a group of harmful chemicals—Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)—from facilities. PCBs are commonly found in old fluorescent lighting fixtures in public buildings built before 1980, including schools. This proposed regulation could pose significant financial and operational challenges to schools, which would be responsible to identify, inspect and upgrade light fixtures that were installed prior to 1980 to ensure PCBs are eliminated.

The National School Boards Association; AASA, the School Superintendents Association; and the Association of School Business Officials International are collaborating to make sure that the full impact of this proposed regulation is recorded as part of the discussion; we kindly request your assistance. Please take this short survey about district facilities and PCBs by March 17, 2014. Results of the survey will be forwarded to EPA for their consideration.

Alexis Rice|March 7th, 2014|Categories: Policy Formation, Rural Schools, School Buildings, Urban Schools|Tags: , , , , , |

NSBA and other major education organizations call for increase to E-Rate funding cap

The Learning First Alliance (LFA), a partnership of 15 leading education associations representing more than 10 million parents, educators, and policymakers which the National School Boards Association is a part of, applauds recent initiatives to modernize the E-Rate program, including the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) approval of the E-Rate Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on July 19, 2013.

E-Rate has played a critical role in supporting school connectivity and student learning since it was initially enacted in 1996. However, given advances in telecommunications and education technology that have occurred since its inception, the need for E-Rate has grown significantly. Currently, the program receives requests for assistance that more than double the resources available for it.

As the FCC moves forward with the rulemaking process, LFA urges the Commission to approve a significant and permanent increase to the E-Rate funding cap. This increased funding will ensure that our nation’s students gain access to high speed broadband and digital learning opportunities that will help them acquire the skills necessary for success in the global community.

LFA also recommends careful consideration of the goals and other aspects of E-Rate in the context of the changes in the telecommunications landscape that have occurred since the initial enactment of the program.

LFA urges interested parties to provide feedback on the NPRM. Comments will be accepted until September 16, 2013.

In July, NSBA applauded the recent initiatives to strengthen the E-Rate program.

“E-Rate is a vital source of assistance for high-need schools in maintaining Internet connectivity, enhancing digital learning opportunities and helping school districts set and meet 21st Century technology goals,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “NSBA welcomes this opportunity to energize the process of updating E-Rate and meeting the needs of students and schools. To assure that E-Rate is successful, it is important to provide adequate resources to schools. Requests for assistance by high need schools and libraries are more than double the current resources in the E-rate program. NSBA supports efforts to ensure efficient operation and integrity of E-Rate, increase the quality and speed of connectivity in our nation’s schools, and address the technology gaps that remain.”

Alexis Rice|August 14th, 2013|Categories: Educational Technology, Federal Advocacy, Rural Schools, Technology Leadership Network|Tags: , , |

Education Talk Radio previews NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference

Kanisha Williams-Jones, Director of Leadership & Governance Services at the National School Boards Association (NSBA), was a guest today on Education Talk Radio providing a preview of NSBA’s 2013 Annual Conference. Thousands of school board members, administrators, and other educators will be coming to San Diego to take part in the April 13-15 event.

Listen to the broadcast:

Listen to internet radio with EduTalk on Blog Talk Radio

The conference will feature more than 200 sessions on timely education topics, including federal legislation and funding, managing schools with tight budgets, the legal implications of recent court cases, new research and best practices in school governance, and the Common Core State Standards. A series of sessions will focus on school safety and security.

Expanded education technology programming will include site visits to the University of San Diego and Qualcomm’s Mobile Learning Center to explore its research laboratory on mobile learning; Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography to examine the technology in science education and STEM; Encinitas Union School District to view its One-to-One Digital Learning Program; and the San Diego Zoo to learn about the cutting-edge learning tools used to teach at-risk students. U.S. Navy SEALs will show leadership and team building skills during another workshop.

The meeting also includes one of the largest K-12 educational expositions, with some 300 companies showcasing their innovative products and services for school districts.

General Session speakers include Academy Award winning speaker Geena Davis, who will be speaking about her work off-screen as founder of the non-profit Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Davis works with film and television creators to reduce gender stereotyping and increase the number of female characters in media targeted for children 11 and under. She will explain how media plays a key role in children’s development, and how her organization is making a difference.

Television star Neil deGrasse Tyson, one of the world’s most engaging and passionate science advocates, will headline Sunday’s General Session. From PBS to NASA to Presidential Commissions, organizations have depended on Tyson’s down-to-earth approach to astrophysics. He has been a frequent guest on “The Daily Show”, “The Colbert Report”, R”eal Time with Bill Maher”, and “Jeopardy!”. Tyson hopes to reach “all the people who never knew how much they’d love learning about space and science.”

Monday’s General Session features acclaimed researcher and author Diane Ravitch, who has become one of the most passionate voices for public schools. Her most recent book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, makes the case that public education today is in peril and offers a clear prescription for improving public schools.

Learn more about the common core standards, new research on differentiated learning styles, and teaching “unteachable” children at the Focus On lecture series. Learn about new technologies for your classrooms as part of the Technology + Learning programs.

It’s not too late to register, visit the Annual Conference website for  more information.

NSBA in the News: “Should children have to compete for their education?”

Mary Fertakis, a member of the Tukwila, Wash., school board and president-elect of the Washington State School Directors’ Association, wrote a column for the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog this week discussing competitive federal grant programs and the disadvantages many students and school districts face.

Fertakis posed the question, “Should children have to compete for their education?” to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at NSBA’s 2011 Federal Relations Network conference in February. Read the column and be sure to leave your comments.


Joetta Sack-Min|August 18th, 2011|Categories: Educational Finance, FRN Conference 2011, Race to the Top (RTTT), Rural Schools, School Reform|Tags: , , |

NA webinar: Population shifts dramatically impact schools

In a recent webinar for National Affiliates, a leading researcher showed how school districts can use the 2010 U.S. Census data to project enrollment trends in their areas.

Ron Crouch, director of research and statistics for the office of employment and training for the Kentucky Workforce Development Cabinet, showed how the data could be used to identify the ages of different areas and how those demographics could impact school enrollments.

Nationally, the data showed an uptick in the nation’s population in the past decade, particularly among Hispanic and Asian residents, but regional differences varied widely.

For instance, when looking at population trends through a map of the United States, Michigan was the only state to lose population from 2000 to 2010. Many southern and southwestern states saw population increases of 5 to 15 percent or more.

But when the data was analyzed by looking at counties, it was clear that many areas were losing residents, even in the states with increasing populations. Many of those areas were rural.

Crouch used demographic data to show how some counties have younger populations—for instance, the Seattle area has had a boom in residents age 25 to 34 who haven’t yet had children. In other areas, there are growing numbers of young workers who are having children, and race and ethnicity made a big difference in the number of children getting ready to start school.

“All the growth that’s really going on in this country is the Hispanic population,” Crouch noted. Many Hispanics tend to have larger families; and while the Asian population is also increasing at significant rates, Asians tend to have fewer children, he said.

The Asian population, for instance, tends to be more concentrated in areas on East and West Coast, while the Hispanic population is more widespread. And while there was still a great concentration of Hispanics in California and the Southwest, some are now moving into other regions, particularly the South.

In addition, more children are being identified as being of two or more races, he added. Demographic data showed that the vast majority of residents identified as two or more races was concentrated in young children and teenagers categories.

The webinar will be archived for National Affiliates at www.nsba.org/nawebinars. Crouch will also be presenting at NSBA’s 72nd Annual Conference, held April 21 to 23, 2012, in Boston.

A searchable analysis of the county-by-county Census data is available at the New York Times website.

 

Joetta Sack-Min|August 5th, 2011|Categories: Immigrants, Rural Schools, School Board News|Tags: , |

Watch live the Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration

Leaders from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) and state school boards associations are participating in the Conference on Labor-Management Collaboration, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, taking place in Denver today and tomorrow. At this first-of-its-kind conference, national and local school leaders will hear from other superintendents, school boards, and teacher union leaders who are working together to redefine the labor-management relationship in their communities.

Earl C. Rickman III, President of NSBA, and Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director of NSBA, will represent NSBA at this conference. Rickman also represents Michigan’s Mount Clemens Community School District Board of Education, which he serves as board president. Mount Clemens is one of the 150 school districts from across the country participating in the conference.

Bryant will be part of the session tomorrow on “Leading a Movement to Advance Student Achievement Through Labor-Management Collaboration” which will be featured below live from 2:15 – 3:15 PM EST.

Several leaders from state school boards associations will be represented at the conference, including Ken Delay, Executive Director, Colorado Association of School Boards; Randy Black, Director of Member Relations, Colorado Association of School Boards; Kelly B. Moyher, Senior Staff Attorney, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education; C. Ed Massey, Board Member, Boone County Board of Education in Kentucky and Secretary-Treasurer, NSBA; Carl Smith, Executive Director, Maryland Association of Boards of Education; Andy Sever, Director of Personal Services, Montana School Boards Association; Patrick Duncan, Senior Consultant/Negotiator Labor Relations, New Jersey School Boards Association; Van Keating, Director of Management Services, Ohio School Boards Association; and Timothy Duffy, Executive Director, Rhode Island Association of School Committees.

NSBA joins the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service as partners in this conference.

View live video streaming of the main sessions.

Schedule of Sessions Being Live Streamed:

February 15 4 – 4:30 pm EST
Welcome, Framing, and Overview
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

February 15 4:30 – 5:30 pm EST
The Principles in Action: Structuring Labor-Management Collaboration for Student Success
The plenary will feature the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, the president of the Hillsborough (Florida) Classroom Teachers Association and the president of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Board of Education.

February 16 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST
The Difference You Can Make: The Positive Impact of Reform From the Perspective of Students, Parents, Teachers and Principals
The plenary will feature participants from Denver and Douglas County (Colorado) Public Schools.

February 16 2:15 – 3:15 PM EST
Leading a Movement to Advance Student Achievement Through Labor-Management Collaboration
Participants:
Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director, National School Boards Association
Michael Casserly, Executive Director, Council of the Great City Schools
George H. Cohen, Director, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators
Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers

Note: Video will only appear during the time of the live sessions.

Free Videos by Ustream.TV

Alexis Rice|February 15th, 2011|Categories: Conferences and Events, Federal Programs, Multimedia and Webinars, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, Rural Schools, School Boards, Teachers, Urban Schools|

Fixing NCLB in our rural schools

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan joined with Director of the National Rural Education Association, John Hill, for a conference call with journalists who cover rural schools.

Duncan and Hill discussed the need to rethink federal mandates in No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for rural schools and  unique challenges rural schools have to comply with NCLB.

> Listen to a recording of this call
> Read the transcript

Alexis Rice|January 28th, 2011|Categories: Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Federal Programs, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, Rural Schools|

Rural school gets national attention for their innovative learning techniques and high test scores

The U.S. Department of Education is currently filming a new documentary focusing on public school success at the Walton 21st Century Rural Life Center school in Walton, Kan. The school has high test scores and innovate learning techniques where students even care for the goats and cows housed on the school’s campus.

Tim Tuten who coordinates Special Projects for the Department of Education and is producing this documentary calls the school an “absolute gem.”

“There are great schools in this country that are unacknowledged and doing great things,” said Tuten to KSN about the Kansas school.

The documentary will be out next year, in the meantime check out KSN’s video news clip about the filming.

Alexis Rice|November 10th, 2010|Categories: Federal Programs, Multimedia and Webinars, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, Rural Schools|

Technology is helping rural schools says Duncan

Yesterday, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said during a visit to a rural high school in North Dakota, “I think technology can be a huge vehicle, a huge strategy to leveling the playing field and giving children access to higher level classes and college level classes that I think are so important.”

BoardBuzz agrees and issues concerning how technology is advancing rural education will be discussed at this year’s T+L Conference that will be held in Phoenix from October 19-22.

Alexis Rice|October 13th, 2010|Categories: Conferences and Events, Educational Technology, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, Rural Schools|
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