$56 Million Opportunity for Telecom Companies Within Alabama School System
The Alabama House of Representatives is considering a bill that grants excess revenue, upwards of $56 million, to the state education department for the advancement and technology fund, reported WAAY-TV.
Senate Bill 307, if passed, will take money from the advancement and technology fund and distribute it to both K-12 and higher education institutions in the amounts of $41,297,782 and $15,089,140, respectively. The bill, based on a compromise between the House representatives, states that fifty percent of the funds is to be allocated to systems that have not been “provided devices, wireless connectivity, or ‘train the trainer’” funds.
WAAY-TV also reported there are requirements for the school technology, which was mandated by the Alabama Ahead Act in 2016, including:
Establishment of high-quality, standards-based wireless local area network (WLAN) infrastructure, as described in the Wireless Infrastructure Renovation for Education Plan (WIRED).
Installation of wireless networks or upgrade of existing networks to satisfy Alabama Educational Technology Association (AET) standards.
After the first and second priority, funds may be expended for any other purposes specified by the AAA and other network technology, which include support and warranty services, hardware and software, and network debt.
The bill is currently sitting in the House Ways and Means Committee; a decision should be reached by the end of the week.