As reported by K-12 Dive, on October 19, 2023, by a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved an expansion of the E-rate program to support Wi-Fi on school transportation vehicles. The support will help schools to address inequities for students who lack internet access at home, particularly those who live in rural, tribal or high-poverty neighborhoods. Supporters said that using E-rate funds for school bus Wi-Fi will help close the “homework gap” caused by some students lacking connections to broadband internet at home.
The two “no” voters cited concerns over limited evidence showing that the expansion would support students’ academic success.
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