Funds For Learning proposes E-rate plan - Tech Learning

Funds For Learning proposes E-rate plan

Funds For Learning® today formally announced its proposal to modernize the E-rate program.
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Funds For Learning® today formally announced its proposal to modernize the E-rate program.

Funds For Learning assists E-rate applicants from across the nation secure E-rate funds under four categories of service, at two priorities: Priority One: telecommunications

services and Internet access, and Priority Two: internal connections and basic maintenance of internal connections. The demand for Priority One services exceeds the funding cap for the entire program, leaving the $2.27 billion requested for Priority Two services in doubt.

The Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 Proposal restructures the current program, calling for an increase in available funds while basing amount of monies received on a per-student basis. The plan also enables schools to choose their own priorities for E-rate funds.

E-rate stakeholders can view the proposal in its entirety, as well as other historical data pertaining to the Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 proposal, here.

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Funds For Learning Proposes Plan to Meet E-rate Program Demands

The release of the Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 Proposal comes on the heels of the USAC demand estimate for Funding Year 2013. Total demand is estimated at $4.98 billion, the third highest in the history of the E-rate program. The demand for Priority One services exceeds the funding cap for the entire program, leaving the $2.27 billion requested for Priority Two services in doubt. The Funds For Learning E-rate 2.0 Proposal restructures the current program, calling for an increase in available funds while basing amount of monies received on a per-student basis. The plan also enables schools to choose their own priorities for E-rate funds.

Funds For Learning Proposal Supports ConnectED Implementation

Earlier this month, President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, a plan to connect 99 percent of U.S. students to the Internet within five years via high-speed wireless and broadband. The FCC has been called upon to “modernize and leverage” the E-rate program, including a proposed funding increase. Funds For Learning met with the FCC to submit the firm’s E-rate 2.0 proposal, which provides recommended steps for implementing ConnectED. The proposal would “create an E‑rate program that is future-ready, equitable, predictable and scalable,” said Funds For Learning CEO John D. Harrington.

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Following the close of the FCC's call for public comments regarding proposed changes to the E-rate program, Funds For Learning is conducting a survey of administrators and school technology leaders about the current state of the program.

Funds For Learning Shares New Vision for the E-rate Program

Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate compliance services firm, proposes a vision that would enable the E-rate program to have a critical impact for years to come. The firm emphasizes increased funding, simplified processes and a solutions-minded approach to reform. Funds For Learning proposed a new discount budget system, which would allow applicants to foresee the maximum amount of discounts they could request.

Funds For Learning Survey Reveals Priorities of E-rate Applicants

As a follow-up to a survey conducted in 2008-09, Funds For Learning has released results from its national 2012 Survey of E-rate Applicants. The results indicate a continued reliance on E-rate funding, particularly for broadband connectivity. In fact, 42 percent of respondents say Internet access is the most important category of service in the E-rate program. Approximately 90 percent of respondents indicate that E-rate funding is critical to their success, but only 30 percent believe the program is adequately funded. Responses were gathered over two months, and the aggregate results will be shared with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in hopes of positively influencing E-rate policy.