- The Lafayette Parish School System in Louisiana used to have to limit access to the internet for streaming because its service wasn’t strong enough, but E-Rate funds helped changed that.
- District Administration reports Lafayette received an 80% discount on the $3.5-million upgrade, which created the capacity for a 1:1 device program that will be in place by 2020 and prepared the district for online state tests.
- Districts nationwide applied for more than $1 billion to add wireless access points during this school year, and the E-Rate program’s average discount, calculated based on school need, is 74%.
E-Rate funding can help districts make upgrades that ultimately transform the way teachers can teach, but some districts find the application process overly difficult. That may have contributed to the $245 million left on the table last year.
One of the key benefits of E-Rate is that the federal government requires companies to offer the lowest possible price for their services to schools. Administrators are not required to negotiate for lower costs. But the Federal Communications Commission has accused AT&T of overcharging two Florida school districts by $63,760, arguing the company charged them among the highest rates in the state.