E-Rate Reform May Involve New Phone Line Tax

CALLING HOME: Heartland.org reports that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering a $5 per year tax hike on phone lines to support the E-Rate program, which subsidizes telecommunications costs for schools but is quickly running out of money. (It's a questionable strategy in light of recent reports that over half of Americans don't use a landline.) The piece also offers updates from the EducationSuperHighway, which has results from 15 percent of U.S. schools and finds that "approximately 59 percent of schools have enough bandwidth to administer basic computer tests, but only 23 percent have enough bandwidth to handle online tests and textbooks." Expect major overhauls to E-Rate, which has been criticized for its lack of oversight and overly complicated procedures.

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