7 reasons E-rate funding is critical for schools and libraries

Reliable high-speed internet access isn’t a “nice to have” – it’s absolutely essential for teaching and learning. Without reliable connectivity, students and teachers lose access to the digital tools and resources that make learning engaging and relevant.

In its annual E-rate Trends Survey, E-rate compliance services firm Funds For Learning takes a look at the federal E-rate funding landscape and analyzes how the funding stream supports learning in schools and libraries.

“This year’s Trends Report indicates that the E-rate program is solid and steady,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. “While connectivity needs continue to evolve, the Trends Report tells a very important story about E-rate as a vital resource for schools and libraries. The past two school years have showed us that school communities depend upon broadband access and network security.”…Read More

3 reasons E-rate funding remains critical for school internet access

The federal E-rate program remains a vital and trusted funding source to bring “mission-critical” internet access to schools and libraries, according to an annual report tracking trends and developments related to the federal funding stream.

The 2021 E-rate Trends Report, from E-rate compliance services firm Funds For Learning, arrives as school systems work through COVID-related impacts, including the Homework Gap and on- and off-campus broadband needs.

Responses from a record-breaking 2,164 applicants indicate that E-rate remains essential, and network security is now an urgent concern.…Read More

Districts say E-rate is critical to their learning goals

A large majority of E-rate applicants (87 percent) said the federally funded program is vital to their internet connectivity goals, according to an annual survey that tracks program applicants’ perspectives on the program.

In the midst of leadership changes in the White House and the FCC, as well as education budget cuts, ed-tech stakeholders have raised questions regarding the promise of the E-rate program to deliver safe and proper broadband connections to students in the U.S.

According to initial feedback from Funds For Learning’s annual E-rate applicant survey, E-rate recipients continue to rely on E-rate funding to provide connectivity for schools and libraries across the nation.…Read More

Most districts say E-rate is critical for internet access

A large majority of E-rate applicants (87 percent) said the federally funded program is vital to their internet connectivity goals, according to an annual survey that tracks program applicants’ perspectives on the program.

In the midst of leadership changes in the White House and the FCC, as well as education budget cuts, ed-tech stakeholders have raised questions regarding the promise of the E-rate program to deliver safe and proper broadband connections to students in the U.S.

According to initial feedback from Funds For Learning’s annual E-rate applicant survey, E-rate recipients continue to rely on E-rate funding to provide connectivity for schools and libraries across the nation.…Read More

Report: Schools expect faster internet within 3 years

Seventy-two percent of E-rate applicants participating in a recent survey said wi-fi is critical to fulfilling their organization’s mission.

Twenty years after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 created E-rate funding, significant measures are underway to update the program that has become vital to schools and libraries across the United States.

The E-rate Trends Report from Funds For Learning aims to help policymakers, administrators and other stakeholders as they shape the future of the program.…Read More

Ed-tech stakeholders advocate for boost in eRate cap

Ed-tech advocates say increasing the federal eRate cap is essential for U.S. students’ success.

Inadequate internet connectivity is more than an inconvenience to teachers and students—it has the capacity to limit the educational and economic potential of more than 52 million students in more than 113,000 schools across the nation, according to ed-tech stakeholders.

During an Aug. 12 briefing, John Harrington, CEO of eRate consulting firm Funds For Learning, said President Obama’s proposed ConnectED initiative, which aims to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the internet through high-speed broadband within five years. Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to modernize the existing eRate program to make that goal a reality.…Read More

How applicants would change the eRate, if they could

Many of the comments expressed a deep gratitude for the eRate, and overall, they indicated a desire for a simplified, more predictable program that can help them provide better internet connectivity.

In what could be described as a testament to the success of the eRate program, applicants requested the largest amount in the past decade for Funding Year 2012: more than $5.1 billion. While demand for eligible services is at a 10-year high, it is nearly double the available funding ($2.3 billion).

Sensing that demand for eRate funding would continue to outpace available funding nearly 2 to 1, last spring Funds For Learning set out to gather the perceptions, predictions, and opinions of eRate applicants through a nationwide survey. Over the course of two months, Funds For Learning received hundreds of responses from applicants, gathering insight on how applicants are using the program.…Read More

Petition calls for more eRate funding

An online petition asks the FCC to increase the availability of eRate funds.

The federal eRate program, which helps schools and libraries connect to the internet, should receive more funding so that more schools and libraries can serve not only students, but community members as well, eRate compliance firm Funds For Learning wrote in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

In an open letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning, requests that the commission increase the available funding in the eRate program.…Read More

HISD hopes $8K-a-year program can save millions in e-Rate funding

Software can help track e-Rate compliance.
Houston schools will use software to help track e-Rate compliance.

The Houston Independent School District (HISD) will implement monitoring software to ensure that district employees abide by federal e-Rate compliance rules, after the district settled a lawsuit with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in which former district employees were accused of accepting gifts and meals from e-Rate vendors.

HISD is in the process of purchasing Hoover’s Relationship Manager, which district e-Rate Compliance Manager Richard Patton said will help the district monitor its e-Rate vendors. The district will pay almost $8,000 a year for the service, which officials hope will keep HISD from missing out on additional e-Rate funding as a result of program violations. According to the Houston Chronicle, HISD lost out on at least $82 million in potential e-Rate funding during the FCC’s investigation.…Read More