Wiring schools – $4B in two years

A new study says a federal law requiring telecom firms to subsidize plugging schools and libraries into the Internet is helping to close the gap between groups with access to technology and those without access, Wired News reported Sept. 12.

The study, conducted by the Urban Institute, says so-called e-rate funding – which gives schools a discount of up to 90 percent on telecom and Internet services – resulted in the distribution of nearly $4 billion in its first two years, with 84 percent of the money going to public schools.

Per-student funding to school districts is based on poverty levels, with the poorest schools getting nearly 10 times the funds that go to wealthier schools.

“E-rate is helping to eliminate the digital divide and raise standards of learning in virtually every school and classroom,” said Education Secretary Richard Riley. “The report clearly shows we are moving in the right direction”

For full story, go to Wired News.

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