This past year, Funds For Learning invested a significant amount of time and energy working to improve the E-rate program. We prepared and submitted one-of-kind analyses to the FCC and spent a great deal of time speaking with various stakeholders and policymakers about how to update, reform and modernize the E-rate program for 21st century students. Here is a timeline outlining some of FFL’s advocacy activities in 2013:

January 31

Redesigning Funds For Learning web site with enhanced support for applicants

February 11

Miami-Dade County Schools presenting FFL E-rate 2.0 proposal to FCC

March 12

CoSN 2013 conference E-rate reform presentation

March 14

Open letter to Senator Rockefeller published

March 25

FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel meeting to discuss E-rate 2.0 proposal

April 3

Briefing the FCC Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis

April 11

Attending the Education Technology Policy Summit

May 23

Filing comments regarding the eligibility of bundled components

May 24

Filing comments outlining the FFL E-rate 2.0 proposal

June 17

Presenting FFL E-rate 2.0 framework to the FCC E-rate team

June 24

Submitting reply comments on the elimination of the “bundling rule”

July 3

Analyzing FY2013 Priority One demand by applicant type and location

August 16

Meeting with FCC Commissioner Pai’s Legal Counsel to discuss reform

September 16

Submitting formal E-rate 2.0 proposal to FCC

E-rate Reform Coalition submits comments in support of FFL proposal

October 1

Presenting FFL E-rate 2.0 overview at the SHLB Broadband Reform Seminar

October 27

Discussing E-rate 2.0 with Michael Steffen, FCC’s Director of Digital Learning

November 7

Presenting at SETDA Leadership Conference

November 8

Submitting E-rate Reform Reply Comments

E-rate Reform Coalition submits reply comments in support of FFL proposal

December 20

Meeting with FCC Chairman Wheeler’s Legal Counsel

December 21

Supplemental information for Chairman Wheeler’s Legal Counsel

Funds For Learning’s E-rate reform efforts did not start in 2013. We have been an advocate for change for many years.  Back in November 2011 Funds For Learning submitted a letter to  Chairman Genachowski calling for increased E-rate funding.  Funds For Learning conducted a survey of E-rate applicant’s in 2012 and released the results in October 2012. Later, in 2012, Funds For Learning submitted a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski containing over 1,700 signatures of parents, community members, and E-rate stakeholders in support of an increase in the annual E-rate funding cap.

In 2014, Funds For Learning will continue to be an active member of the E-rate community. We welcome your comments and look forward to discussing E-rate reform with you in the year to come.

Happy New Year!