The board of directors of the Schools and Libraries Corporation Dec. 15 extended the length of the initial filing window for the 1999-2000 application year to 100 days, giving applicants until March 11, 1999, to complete both sets of their required applications.
The window period was originally set to last 80 days, but the SLC board extended it to give schools and libraries more time to complete an application after they had received notice of how their funding requests for 1998 had fared. The SLC now expects to take until late January to distribute all of the 1998 Funding Commitment Decisions Letters.
By April 1, the SLC must give the Federal Communications Commission a projection of the demand for E-rate discounts for the 1999-2000 funding year, based on a sample of applications filed during the window period. With that figure in hand, the FCC has committed itself to setting the funding level for the 1999-2000 program year by May 1.
On other issues, the SLC staff told the board that at this point it could affirmatively say that no internal connections requests at discount rates lower than 50 percent would be funded in the current year. However, the SLC cautioned that it could not yet make assurances that all internal connections requests above that level would be funded. The SLC made the statement so that applicants at the lower discount rates could proceed with planning for the next application cycle without having to wait to receive their official letter.