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California Department of Education News Release
Release: #13-62
June 6, 2013
Contact: Tina Jung
E-mail: communications@cde.ca.gov
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Praises President Obama's
Plan to Overhaul Federal Program to Help Schools Buy Technology

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent Tom Torlakson today hailed President Obama's call to give more schools broadband Internet access and wireless network capacity.

Torlakson has long called for modernizing the federal Schools and Libraries Program, more commonly known as E-rate, a surcharge on telephone bills that provides discounts to assist schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.

"Connecting our classrooms to the Internet gives students and teachers access to the world's great storehouse of knowledge and information," Torlakson said. "The President's proposal to modernize E-rate represents a huge step in the right direction, and would help connect more of our students to the technology they need to prepare them for careers and a college education. I thank the President for making E-rate a priority and I urge the FCC to act quickly on the President's proposal."

Torlakson has championed efforts to update E-rate to narrow the digital divide, particularly among the nation's low-income, rural, and insular communities. In March 2012, he convened his Education Technology Task Force to bring 21st Century tools into California classrooms. He has also urged other education leaders to convene a group of education and technology stakeholders to examine the E-rate program and make recommendations to Congress to ensure the program's long-term financial viability. For information, visit the California Department of Education's E-rate Web page.

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

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