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Monday, May 13, 2013

No students, no funding?

I just read about a MI school district shutting down in the middle of the year.  Really shut down: no classes, all teachers laid off.  Of course, my first thought is, "What happens to those students?"  But I'm such an E-Rate geek, that thought is quickly followed by, "What happens to their E-Rate funding?"  Some interesting questions.

They just got approved for 2012-2013 in April, and the 486 hasn't been filed yet (or has been filed but not yet approved).  But assuming that the district gets it together and submits a 486 and BEARs, will USAC send a check to a district that is no longer operating a school?

The 2013-2014 application was filed, but of course is not yet approved.  Can USAC approve an application for a district that no longer operates classrooms?

I'm not sure if USAC is forbidden from sending BEAR reimbursement checks to bankrupt service providers, but I know they avoid doing so.  But that's a matter of being concerned about whether the reimbursement will flow through the service provider or be caught in the bankruptcy sewage treatment plant.  Here the question is whether the applicant is still an eligible entity.

Here in NJ, I know of at least one district whose only school was closed due to hurricane damage, and their students are going to a neighboring district.  But that is a solvent district dealing with a temporary school closure.  It seems to me a different matter to talk about a district that has stopped educating its students.

It's only $10,000 in funding, so it won't save even a single teacher's job, but I wonder if it's something USAC has dealt with before.  If not, do they see it as a new headache, or a relief from the incessant whining of applicants and service providers caught bending the rules in the same old ways?

1 comment:

  1. Well, it looks like 2 districts are going to be dissolved. Neither had been approved for FY 2013 yet, so I'm assuming those applications will just go away (who's going to go through that fight just to get one month's funding). But both districts are owed some reimbursements for FY 2012, and one of them is probably owed around $100,000.