On July 16, 2013, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai spoke at the American Enterprise Institute and outlined his vision for E-rate reform. Commissioner Pai recommended that each school be granted a budget based on their student count and also advocated for the elimination of the priority system. Commissioner Pai also suggested that schools match every three E-rate dollars requested with at least one dollar of their own. The summary of Commissioner Pai’s E-rate reform proposal, titled “A Student-Centered E-rate Program”, focuses on five key goals including simplification of the program, fiscal responsibility, fairer distribution of funds, student-centered fund allocation, and overall improved accountability in how the funds are used.
The FCC will be discussing E-rate reform at the next Open Meeting on Friday, July 19th, and will most likely release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for stakeholders to issue comments.