School is a place to learn, but that cannot happen when overstepping government agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) use taxpayer money to keep children braindead and glued to screens.
At a time when American students’ educational attainment continues to regress, one might expect federal agencies to promulgate policies that help students learn. Bureaucrats like FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel intend to do the opposite.
Under Chairwoman Rosenworcel, the FCC plans to expand its $4 billion E-Rate program, originally intended to fund digital technology in classrooms and libraries exclusively for learning purposes, to bring unsupervised wifi access to school buses. Notably, E-Rate does not require that schools restrict access to social media apps or addictive websites. In a classroom setting, teachers (ought to) provide some oversight of students’ internet usage; on school buses, that tenuous control goes out the window.
The FCC plans to force everyday telephone account holders to pay for the luxury of wifi on school buses so that young students can rot their brains on TikTok during the ride. This “identifies” as learning just as much as drag queen story hours do. Chairwoman Rosenworcel insists that this latest money-grabbing scheme will help “close the homework gap,” pretending that students will work from school buses rather than falling into the addictive traps of TikTok, Instagram, or other platforms engineered to capture their attention.
Schools must focus on educational attainment, and government funds must enforce that paradigm. Giving children unsupervised and unrestricted access to disruptive social media platforms and upending parents’ attempts to wean them off Communist-owned and -inspired platforms represents tremendous overreach.
The Eyes on the Board Act would cut off schools that decline to block access to social media services on devices and networks funded by the E-Rate program. In addition, the Act would make schools’ internet safety policies publicly accessible and obligate schools to adopt screen time policies. These are simple, common-sense measures that put parents in control and protect children from predatory corporate (and, in the case of TikTok, Communist government-backed) entities.
The New York Young Republican Club commends Senator Ted Cruz for introducing this Act and Senators Ted Budd and Shelley Moore Capito for co-sponsoring it. The Biden Administration has shown its willingness to leverage the federal regulatory system to supersede statute and to violate the will and interests of the American people, and Congress must rein them in.