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Monday, December 12, 2011

Pointless criteria

So I was looking at the eligibility of dormitories for E-Rate support, and I noticed something about the conditions for eligibility of dorms as laid out in the Sixth Report & Order: most of the criteria are irrelevant.  The Order says that dormitories are eligible for:
  1. schools on Tribal lands
  2. schools designed to serve students with medical needs
  3. schools designed to serve students with physical, cognitive or behavioral disabilities
  4. schools where 35 percent or more of their students are eligible for the national school lunch program
  5. juvenile justice facilities
But the Order implies that dormitories are non-instructional facilities (NIFs), and earlier FCC decisions denying funding to dorms were all for internal connections, so dormitories have always been eligible for Priority One service.  The only time a dormitory needs to satisfy one of the criteria above is when applying for Priority Two services.  So criterion #4 makes the others pretty much irrelevant.  Schools with less than 35% NSLP students have at best a 60% discount, which means they aren't getting Priority Two funding, anyway.  (Unless we get another capricious rollover decision.)  And in the real world, most schools which meet any of the other 4 criteria will also meet criteria #4.

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