Companies, Ed. Groups Divided on E-Rate Transparency
FCC weighs making price data more public
Public and private sector leaders agree on many of the broad goals being floated for reshaping the federal E-rate program, but there is little consensus on one, potentially critical issue: Whether telecommunications companies should be required to make more information public about the prices they charge schools for technology.
That question has created a division between education organizations, many of which favor bringing more transparency to pricing, and industry groups who counter that putting prices in circulation would compel them to reveal proprietary information and would lead to skewed cost comparisons in districts with very different characteristics.
The Federal Communications Commission, the agency that oversees the E-rate and is leading a broad review of its policies, has shown an interest in boosting the transparency of spending in the program, which provides about $2.4 billion a year in aid to schools and...
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