Mark Long, director of information systems for the Norristown (Pa.) School District, is facing a problem shared by many eRate applicants. By qualifying for only a 69 percent discount, the district may narrowly miss the projected cutoff for the funding of internal connections, according to the FCC's ruling.

Norristown began a $1.6 million wiring project on June 15. Though the district had passed a local bond issue to fund the project, Long said he'd anticipated using his eRate discount to purchase more computers and bolster staff training.

"$1.1 million in...

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