July 9, 2019
AESA Advocacy Staff and Texas Delegation
Advocating to FCC
In late June, education service agency administrators from Texas were in Washington D.C. to meet with staff in three different offices at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to a petition for rule making related to E-Rate. For now, this is a narrow lane of advocacy for a Texas-specific issue but could have broader federal implications.

The meetings were focused on highlighting how the E-Rate applications under question were fully compliant with E-Rate and state/local procurement requirements, were responding to policy incentives built into the 2014 modernization, built on the long-standing premise of competition and market forces and pricing, and that the petitioners (providers) making the motion are looking to use federal policy as a "Band-aid," a remedy for them not receiving federal funds for an RFP to which they did not respond/receive a bid.

As follow up to those meetings, AASA partnered with AESA to file a detailed response to the petition for rule making, providing a thorough overview of the E-Rate applications from the ESCs, their compliance with E-Rate and state/local procurement requirements, and focusing on how the petitioners are looking to use federal policy to fix a problem
that doesn't exist, to establish monopolistic protections for incumbent providers, and to ensure a protected path for access to federal funding (without having applied in the first place).

Texas ESA leaders in Washington D.C. from left to right:
Ginnie Harwood,Director of E-Rate Consulting, Region 12 ESC, Waco, TX: Mike Wetzel, Consultant for Technology Consortium, Region 14 ESC, Abilene, TX; Casey Callahan, Executive Director, Region 15 ESC, San Angelo, TX; Gordon Taylor, Executive Director, Region 10 ESC, Richardson (Dallas) TX; Randon Lance, Director of Network Services, Region 15 ESC, San Angelo, TX; Shane Fields, Executive Director, Region 14 ESC, Abilene, TX
AESA Working for You
Speaking of the FCC . . . E-Rate Update
A recent proposal from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai (Republican), would place limits on the amount of money the E-Rate program could make available to support school and library efforts to improve Internet access.

Unlike previous proposals we have responded to at the FCC - which have been narrow in scope and focused on E-Rate - this latest proposal targets the broader umbrella program, the Universal Service Fund (USF) and that includes three other sister programs (Rural Healthcare, the Connect America Fund and Lifeline). Currently each of the four USF programs operate under their own cap. The E-Rate cap currently sits at just over $4 billion, a cap established in the 2014 E-Rate modernization.

The FCC's proposal would set a cap for the overall USF. The proposed cap is nearly $2 billion above current levels. Specific to E-Rate, the proposal would pair E-Rate with Rural Healthcare under a single cap. This is of particular concern to us because while E-Rate is currently undersubscribed, school and library demand will only continue to grow, and even if these connectivity prices continue to fall, the reality of increasing demand and skyrocketing costs with rural healthcare create a scenario where one USF program is pitted against another, with rural schools competing with rural healthcare for connectivity needs. This should not be an either/or funding approach; the USF program was designed to address four distinct connectivity needs, a core tenet this proposal blatantly disregards.

The proposal will follow the normal comment period.

As an initial reply, AESA partnered with our EdLiNC coalition to request an extension on the filing deadline. You can read the letter here. 

Big takeaways? Moving forward, know that this is the top advocacy priority for the summer. We will be utilizing a full member press to ensure the FCC hears loud and clear about the importance of the E-Rate program, how the proposed partner cap creates an arbitrary competition between complementary programs, and threatens to undermine the viability of the overarching program. Our efforts will focus on the FCC, as this is where the proposal originated and where the decision will be made, but we will also exert messaging effort on Capitol Hill, as Congress oversees the FCC and the Telecommunications Act, the authorizing statute under the overall USF program.
Join the Microsoft Webinar on July 23
AESA and Microsoft have teamed up
to provide FREE Webinars for AESA members.

July 23, 2019 @ 2 pm EST
Streamlined Collaboration and Professional Learning Communities
Presenters: Cathy Cavanagh and Justin Chando

As educators take on the role of active change agent in schools and communities, their work has become more complex and dynamic. Continuous embedded collaborative professional learning is now part of the role of many teachers. This session showcases ways in which schools around the world are using collaborative digital learning environments for professional learning communities (PLCs) and networked improvement communities (NICs) for professional development and school improvement.

Visit our web page for more information
Dates to Remember

Summer Leadership Conference
July 15-18, 2019
Make An Impact: ESAs Leading the Way for Stronger Communities
Come learn how you can make an impact in your community!

Microsoft Webinar Series

July 23, 2019, 2 pm Eastern Time
Streamlined Collaboration and Professional Learning Communities
Presenters: Cathy Cavanagh and Justin Chando
This session showcases ways in which schools around the world are using collaborative digital learning environments for professional learning communities (PLCs) and networked improvement communities (NICs) for professional development and school improvement. Free and open to all AESA members (including all staff of ESAs.)

Educators' Call to Action Conference
September 18-20, 2019, Washington D.C.
This event features federal legislative updates relevant to educational service agencies and the regional schools they serve. It is an important way to become or stay informed! Plus, all attendees are encouraged to visit with their local legislators during their visit.

Annual Conference
December 4-7, 2019, Phoenix, AZ
20/20: The Vision Ahead
This multi-day event features presentations on education topics of national importance; break-out sessions featuring ESAs and experts from around the country; and an exhibit hall.  
AESA Is Your Professional Network:
We Connect ESAs to ESAs!
Have you visited the AESA Marketplace lately?
Here are a few of the services you'll find there.
AESA is proud to support the work of member ESAs and to encourage
ESA-to-ESA business. Below please find a current list of marketplace
opportunities available from other ESAs in the United States.

EDUCATOR SUCCESS APP
This gamified approach to learning adds an element of fun and meets the needs of the new generation of educators.

Offered by
Butler County Educational Service Center, Hamilton, Ohio

First launched in March 2018, the Educator Success App creates a mobile learning environment for educators to access relevant resources 24/7 that will support their continued professional development. In addition to making professional development more accessible, it allows districts to custom tailor content to meet their needs and determine which articles, videos and activities are most relevant for their staff. Users have the ability to collaborate with mentors and peers both inside and outside their district networks. 

Each activity within the app is associated with a level, and users can see the points they have earned through a system of digital badging.

Schools can set goals for their teachers around the number of points needed for each school year.

Electronic Professional Development Connections (ePDC)
Florida's one-stop location where educators can participate in high quality pd and view their professional learning transcript over time.

Offered by Panhandle Area Educational Consortium, Chipley, Florida

PAEC’s electronic Professional Development Connections (ePDC) enables teachers to enhance skills while acquiring in-service points as they meet professional educator certification requirements.

It not only allows every educator to participate in high-quality professional development, which meets or exceeds Florida’s Professional Development System Protocol Standards, it is also a one-stop location where educators may view their professional learning transcript over time.

Contact: Dr. Maria Pouncey , Administrator of Instructional Services
WISCONSIN SPEAKERS
IN EDUCATION KEYNOTES (WISENOTES)
Motivational speakers for organizations nationwide that serve pupils.

Offered by
CESA 10, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

CESA 10 is your premier resource for high-quality educational speakers and consultants. Our vast array of leaders in education are available to provide keynotes, training, and motivational speaking for organizations nationwide that serve pupils.

InPointe
A mobile application that allows school staff to communicate and collaborate in real-time .

Offered by
Education Service District 105, Yakima, WA

InPointe was built to function as a mobile panic button during emergency incidents. However, it can also assist with day-to-day
communication and collaboration. Please Contact Chris Weedin for more information.


MORE ways to Connect

AESA's Affinity Groups are open to all staff of member-ESA's!

Check out the AESA website for a current list of active Affinity Groups.
Regional Events:
Even More Ways to GET and STAY Connected
to Your ESA Colleagues!


Regional Summits

Are you interested in a multi-state summit with the states that surround
you? Contact Joan Wade , AESA Executive Director, and she will help you get started!