State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will be in Washington, D.C., next week as he continues his push for increased federal assistance to provide broadband access for all students and schools across California.
At issue is the federal Schools and Libraries Program, more commonly known as E-rate, a surcharge on long distance telephone bills established in 1997 that provides discounts to assist schools and libraries in obtaining affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Torlakson has championed efforts to update E-rate to narrow the digital divide. In March 2012, he convened his Education Technology Task Force to bring 21st century tools into California’s classrooms. He has also brought together other state superintendents via the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to work together on this issue.