Funds For Learning, the leading E-rate compliance services firm for schools nationwide, has opened its 13th annual survey for E-rate applicants. This survey compiles essential data and information that determine how the program can best serve its applicants. That feedback is collected and sent directly to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). E-rate applicants are encouraged to submit their anonymous responses by June 30, 2023.
The 2023 E-rate Applicant Survey arrives as the FCC’s public notice to provide input on how the E-rate program can provide firewall and cybersecurity systems closes. The survey is also coming out around the time of the White House National Cybersecurity Strategy to “rebalance the responsibility to defend cyberspace by shifting the burden for cybersecurity away from individuals, small businesses and local governments.”
Cybersecurity is top of mind for E-rate stakeholders as they adopt new technology initiatives into curricula. Funds For Learning has included new and important questions surrounding where organizations are at with current cybersecurity. The questions ask about specific line items, recent cybersecurity investments, how the E-rate program can provide support for security solutions and what services should be qualifying for E-rate funding.
“As the technology that supports school and library networks continues to evolve and diversify, the E-rate program must also adapt to that change for the sake of its applicants,” said Brian Stephens, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Funds For Learning. “It’s important to know how district technology professionals need support, especially regarding cybersecurity. Our 2023 E-rate Applicant Survey gives E-rate applicants another chance to voice their opinion on cybersecurity and other topics to the FCC.”
The 2022 E-rate Trends Report retained responses from 2,085 applicant submissions. Key findings from the report included:
- E-rate has provided greater accessibility to technology in schools. Out of all of the applicants who completed the survey, 87% of participants agreed that their education sites have faster Internet connections due to the E-rate program. 86% of educators also feel that their students and library patrons are more connected to the internet than ever.
- E-rate remains a dependable and necessary program for education. The E-rate program has been proven vital for learning operations according to 94% of respondents. When it comes to how many participants can depend on funding year over year, 89% of applicants reported feeling like they could rely on the E-rate program for funding.
- Click here for the entire 2022 E-rate Trends Report.
The E-rate program has seen a significant overhaul in regulatory and procedural shifts throughout the 13-year history of the survey. With the FCC debating significant changes to the program in the areas of cybersecurity and competitive bidding, it is important that program participants voice their support, suggestions and concerns to ensure the continued health of this vital funding resource.
E-rate survey results will be shared in the Funds For Learning 2023 E-rate Trends Report, which is submitted into the official docket for review by FCC staff, circulated to Congress and the media and shared with the general public.
The 2023 E-rate Applicant Survey can be found here.
The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.