Lafayette Parish School System Taps E-rate Program, Funds For Learning to Create 1:1 Device Infrastructure

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In support of its transformational technology rollout, Louisiana district deploys federal funding to achieve reliable, high-speed and equitable internet access

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Education technology leaders across the country strive to provide students with safe, online, interdisciplinary learning experiences that help them thrive, and E-rate funds have been a huge part of that in our schools.

Last year, the federally funded E-rate program helped connect 53.6 million students and 120,000 schools to vital telecommunications services. When Lafayette Parish School System (LPSS) embarked upon an ambitious 1:1 device initiative, the district turned to E-rate experts at Funds For Learning to guide administrators through the funding process. LPSS used the subsequent funding to develop a district-wide infrastructure capable of supporting more than 30,000 end users.

“Education technology leaders across the country strive to provide students with safe, online, interdisciplinary learning experiences that help them thrive, and E-rate funds have been a huge part of that in our schools,” said LaShona Dickerson, director of technology at Lafayette Parish School System. “Working alongside Funds For Learning has enabled us to secure the financial resources necessary to realize our Vision 2020 technology plan.”

Launched during the 2015-16 school year, “Vision 2020, Transformational Change Through Technology,” is a comprehensive plan to achieve future-ready schools by addressing three key areas: infrastructure, integration and digital responsibility. LPSS used E-rate funding to secure 10GB fiber connectivity in all 43 school sites and wireless access points in every classroom.

With this infrastructure in place, LPSS is in the process of delivering more Chromebooks to classrooms and providing educators with professional learning opportunities that help them maximize the positive effects of a 1:1 device environment. By 2020, the goal of LPSS is to provide authentic and personalized learning experiences anytime and anywhere for all students.

“We’re preparing generations of students for a future that we know nothing about, for careers that don’t yet exist,” Dickerson said. “Our program addresses those challenges by creating dynamic learning spaces equipped with future-oriented technology and instruction.”

For Cathy Cruzan, president of Funds For Learning, LPSS serves as a prime example of how school districts can leverage multiple funding sources to power forward-thinking initiatives.

“Ensuring that we equip school leaders with the right tools to implement and support transformational change is paramount as we move into a new generation of learning,” Cruzan said. “We commend Lafayette Parish School System for showing leadership to that effect.”

To follow the progress of LPSS, visit http://www.lpssonline.com/home.

About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit http://www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.

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Lauren West
C.Blohm & Associates
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Brian Stephens