E-rate Can Stretch Edu. Stabilization Funds
By allocating $5.25 billion in emergency funding to the federal E-rate program, Congress can enable K-12 schools to maximize the benefit of the Education Stabilization Funds authorized by the CARES Act. As a discount program, the E-rate’s fundamental structure encourages applicants to make cost-effective purchasing decisions by requiring schools and libraries to pay the non-discount portion of all supported services. By combining Education Stabilization Funds for non-discount obligations with additional E-rate support from Congress, the programs could be leveraged to provide a combined $7.3 billion in desperately needed off-campus connectivity, devices, and network security.
Below is a state-by-state breakdown of how E-rate and CARES funding can work in tandem to support off-campus learning:
One-quarter of the combined funds would be available for schools and libraries in rural areas:
While a majority of the funds will benefit K-12 schools, public libraries will also be able to receive over $500M to support off-campus access while library branches are closed: