News and Updates from the US DOE

E-Rate Modernization FNPRM
On July 11, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the E-rate Modernization Order and on July 23, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) was released. The FNPRM requests comment on a number of issues crucial to states, including meeting future funding needs, ensuring multi-year contracts are efficient, standardizing the collection of National School Lunch Program (NSLP) data, encouraging consortium participation, and ensuring support for libraries is sufficient. Comments are due to the FCC by September 15 and the reply comment date is September 30. For the official summary of the Order, please see: http://www.fcc.gov/page/summary-e-rate-modernization-order. Click through to our Federal Education Policy discussion group for a series of useful links providing information about up-to-date E-Rate Modernization topics: FCC: Moving Forward with a Data-Driven E-rate Modernization Process.

Student Data Guidance 
In guidance issued by the U.S. Department Of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center, schools and districts are urged to be proactive in communicating how they use student data. Information should be available to answer common questions before they are asked. “Now, more than ever, schools need data to monitor academic progress and develop successful teaching strategies,” the Secretary stated. “At the same time, parents need assurance that their children’s personal information is being used responsibly. This guidance helps schools strike a balance between the two.” To keep the public informed about privacy and the use of student records, the Department’s Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) also announced a companion web site that includes a variety of resources and information regarding the federal laws it administers.

New Requirements When Visiting U.S. Department of Education
In July, the REAL ID Act set in motion the requirement that Federal building visitors from certain states and territories will have an additional identification requirement in entering those buildings, including ED. According to the Act, visitors from certain states/territories will be able to enter ONE TIME ONLY with a state driver’s license, but will need an addition form of ID, such as a passport, for all subsequent entries. The included states/territories are: Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma and Washington. Members, please keep this in mind if you are planning to visit the Department of Education or any other Federal building.

Save the Date: ConnectED – Back to School Webinar
On September 11 at 2pm ET, SETDA will host a ConnectED – Back to School webinar that will include updates from the leading technology companies that have committed $2 billion to date to advance ConnectED goals and offer an opportunity for dialogue and engagement with company representatives. The webinar is a follow-up event to an in-person public event held on June 28 in conjunction with SETDA’s Emerging Technologies Forum where a representative from the U.S. Department of Education and representatives from 8 of the 10 companies making commitments provided presentations about their commitments and answered questions. The webinar is free and open to the public. Be sure to register and to share information about the event and the registration link with state and district colleagues. You will receive an email confirmation with login information for the webinar closer to the event.

For more information about ConnectED, visit the SETDA webpage that summarizes the offerings by company and view the ConnectEd Showcase video archive. You can also read the SETDA Says Blog posts, What Educators Need to Know About ConnectED School Technology Donations to learn more or visit the USDOE Office of Educational Technology at www.tech.ed.gov.

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