HISD receives approval for more than $70.6 million in E-Rate funding

We received some good news this week that is expected to allow us to upgrade technology at 210 schools. HISD received approval for more than $70.6 million in E-Rate funding. The money can be used to establish wireless and hardwired connections that provide service to classrooms, labs, and other instructional areas that don't currently have access to the internet and the HISD network. Many of our schools have gone without major technology improvements since 2007. Principals and teachers have been asking for these upgrades and we expect 154,000 students will benefit from the E-Rate allocation.

Federal E-Rate funding can be used to support the technology infrastructure in school districts and is prioritized based on the number of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch. By using E-Rate dollars to cover the cost of improvements at those campuses, we can free up more district funds to pay for upgrades to our overall network. Students and staff across the district would benefit from those upgrades. We would have more bandwidth and faster access, which could ultimately lead to new opportunities such as the use of video conferencing for distance learning and professional development.

HISD's new Chief Technology Officer Arnold Viramontes is leading the effort to strengthen our infrastructure. Last week, he received national recognition from the Council of the Great City Schools for his exemplary work in the field of information technology. I am proud to have Arnie on our team and I am excited about what the technology upgrades will mean for our students.