Even as the 2019 E-rate season gets underway, hundreds of school and library applicants are still waiting to learn if they will receive the funding they requested last year, the result of an application-review process some observers deride as cumbersome.
Five years ago, the Federal Communications Commission overhauled the E-rate program, which helps schools and libraries cover the cost of internet and other telecommunications services. The changes were supposed to ensure that applicants who submitted funding requests in the spring would know by Sept. 1 of the same year whether they were receiving the requested dollars.
An FCC spokesman said E-rate support is being delivered “as quickly and efficiently as possible.
As of Feb. 1, 752 E-rate applications from the 2018 funding year, seeking a total of $356 million, were still under review, according to John Harrington, the CEO of Funds for Learning. That amounts to nearly 13 percent of all E-rate funds requested last year, he wrote in a blog.
A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2019 edition of Education Week as Hundreds of E-Rate Applications From 2018 Remain in Limbo