President Barack Obama’s proposal to equip nearly every school with high-speed wireless Internet will cost $800 million per year — $3.2 billion total by the 2018 deadline — according to a new estimate given to the Federal Communications Commission.
The initiative is important to Florida schools for two reasons. First, schools are switching to new online tests tied to Florida’s Common Core-based standards. Florida already requires online testing, but the new test will expand the number of exams given each year.
Second, Florida lawmakers have required half of all instruction to be digitally delivered when classes begin in 2015.
Most schools have found the best way to accomplish those goals is with wireless networks and more laptops or other portable computers. But many Florida schools will need to be rewired, and districts will have to purchase or lease additional computers.