As educators waited to find out how much the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would approve for second-year eRate funding, the political debate that threatened to undermine the program last year took center stage again in the days leading up to the agency's decision, which was expected to come at a May 27 meeting.

FCC chairman William Kennard called for full funding to the $2.25 billion cap, and editorials in the New York Times and the Boston Globe supported his position. But some critics of the eRate sought to play partisan politics at the program's expense....

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