The Heartland Institute –
The Obama administration may raise taxes on everyone’s phone lines by about $5 per year to increase K-12 tech subsidies because most schools cannot administer the computerized Common Core tests coming out in 2015.
President Obama announced the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will likely overhaul the schools and libraries universal service support program, commonly known as E-Rate. He also asked the U.S. Department of Education to use federal funding to give teachers more training in using technology.
Within the next month, telecom observers expect FCC to publicly propose new rules within an extensive document typical of federal regulation-making, said Douglas Levin, executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association.
“It will probably include program reforms,” Levin said. Although Congress oversees FCC, administration officials told Education Week they believe the agency can change the program without Congress this time.
Established in 1996, E-Rate charges telecommunications companies for long-distance service, including cell lines, and uses the resulting money to subsidize, among other things, school requests for phone lines, broadband Internet, and internal networks. On a conference call with reporters, Obama administration officials estimated the estimated price of E-rate changes at $5 per phone line.