As part of the E-rate Modernization Order, the FCC has set the Category Two budget for schools at the pre-discount amount of $150 per-student, over a five year period. The FCC calculated this budget amount based on an estimated upgrade cost of $2,500 per classroom, with an average of 17 students.
The E-rate funding requests from prior years tell a different story about per-student costs. According to our analysis of single site and school district applicants from Funding Years 2012 through 2014, applicants have been requesting E-rate support for an average pre-discount amount of about $216 per student in each funding year.
On average, E-rate applicants anticipated paying approximately $29 per student, with E-rate discounts of about $187 covering the rest of the cost to upgrade and maintain their school networks with the equipment necessary to connect the students to the Internet.
Funds For Learning has joined with a coalition of E-rate stakeholders asking the FCC to increase the size of the E-rate fund to accommodate the broadband connectivity and capacity needs of E-rate applicants. This analysis further demonstrates the need for additional funding to meet the goals of the E-rate Modernization Order.
You can see the full details of our analysis in the PDF document here. For the purpose of this analysis, we divided the cost of shared funding requests evenly among the associated sites.