In February 2017, we noted that FY 2015 disbursements were nearing $2.4 billion which was flirting with an all-time E-rate disbursement record. At the time, the current record holder was FY 2010 with $2.4 billion in disbursements. Now, as of May 31, 2018, the SLD has disbursed over $2.7 billion of FY2015 discounts to school districts and libraries across the United States. This is a record amount of support to help defray the costs of delivering high speed Internet service which is critical for educators to teach our 21st Century students.
While the E-rate program still has flaws, and could benefit from further refinement, I believe it is important to celebrate public policy successes. Most of the deadlines have passed for FY2015 discounts and the utilization rate of committed funds is currently at 84%. This is another E-rate record worth acknowledging. The utilization rate of committed E-rate dollars from 2010-2014 hovered at 80%.
Funds For Learning stands ready to continue to work with E-rate stakeholders to make the E-rate program run even more efficiently and believe that the 2015 data is positive news worth sharing.