Balancing sustainability and innovation in education

As recipients of public funding and taxpayer dollars, K-12 school budgets and spending expenditures are under a microscope. Relief funds stemming from the pandemic have only sharpened the focus, particularly on infrastructure and technology investments. In my role as Chief Technology Officer at one of the nation’s largest school districts, Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS), being accountable and ensuring we are making prudent financial decisions is a top priority for my team.

Striking a balance between innovation and sustainability is a challenge most school districts are facing. At HCPS, we have adopted three guiding principles that serve as the driving force and framework behind every IT decision—equity, efficiency, and excellence.


At HCPS, we are committed to delivering equitable learning opportunities to all students. From an infrastructure standpoint, that means eliminating the digital divides that exist within our own campus.  Students in Building A must have access to the same level of high-quality Internet as students in Building B, regardless of a school building’s age or geographic location. If students in Building B experience frequent lag or downtime, their learning will be disrupted and result in learning loss.   

To remedy this, we are building a future-ready wide area network (WAN) that can scale with user demand to deliver robust and reliable connectivity campus-wide. Additionally, we have been working with K-12 partners like ENA by Zayo to assess, design, and deploy upgraded wireless local area networks (WLAN) at several of our buildings.

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