Implementation of the
Schools and Libraries Program

This page was last updated on May 28, 1999.

The Congress codified the Federal Communications Commission's longstanding practice of providing universal service support for telecommunications services for high cost rural and low income areas in Section 254 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The section also instructed the FCC to extend universal service support to schools, libraries, and rural health care clinics.

There are several Schools and Libraries Program summaries in the Tech Law Journal web site.  This page summarizes the relevant statute and regulations, FCC implementation, FCC and SLC personnel, and the public debate over the program.  Two other pages summarize the legislation to reform or terminate the program. See, Summary of E-rate Bills in 105th Congress, and Summary of E-rate Bills in 106th Congress.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a report on May 7, 1997 stating that it would extend subsidies to schools and libraries, not only for telecommunications services, but also for Internet access and internal connections, computer networking, network servers, and server software.  The May 7 report also established a sliding scale discount rate, based on the percentage of students on the school lunch program, and whether or not the school or library is rural or urban.

The report also announced the creation of a $2.25 Billion dollar per year fund to subsidize the schools and libraries program. The FCC also created a Schools and Libraries Corporation (SLC) under the control of the FCC, to administer the program. The FCC also created a second coorporation, called the Rural Health Care Corporation (RHCC),

The General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report that FCC illegally formed the SLC and RHCC. As a result of this, and pressure from Congress, the FCC transferred administration of the programs to the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).

After receiving extensive criticism from the Congress, on June 12, 1998, the FCC reduced the size of the Schools and Libraries program. On May 27, 1999 the FCC voted 3-2 to increase funding back to $2.25 Billion per year.

Relevant Statutes and Regulations:

FCC Documents:

Miscellaneous Letters, Speeches, Press Releases, and other Records:

Bills Pending in the 106th Congress (1999-2000).

See also, Summary of E-rate Funding Bills in the 106th Congress.

Bills Introduced in the 105th Congress (1997-1999). (None of which became law).

Websites of Governmental Entities.

Websites of Some Affected Telephone Companies.

Websites of Education Entities Supporting the SLC.

Tech Law Journal Stories:

FCC Personnel, Common Carrier Bureau, 2100 M St. NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC, 20554.

National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA). (The NTIA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. It is the Executive Branch's principal voice on domestic and international telecommunications and information technology issues. The NTIA works to spur innovation, encourage competition, help create jobs and provide consumers with more choices and better quality telecommunications products and services at lower prices. The NTIA is the executive branch agency most supportive of the computer and Internet industry. Under the Schools and Libraries Internet Access Act, introduced 7/23/98, administration of the e-rate would be transferred from the FCC and SLC to the NTIA.)

Department of Education Personnel.

SLD Personnel, 1023 15th St. NW, Washington, DC, 20005. 202-289-2663; fax 202-289-7836.

NCS Personnnel.


SLD Directors - 1999

David Abramson
Public Affairs Director
3 Com Corporation

Anne Bryant
Executive Director
National School Boards Association

Frank Gumper
Vice President of Federal Regulatory Planning
Bell Atlantic

Dr. Henry Marockie
Council of Chief State School Officers

Kathleen G. Ouye
City Librarian
San Mateo Public Library

Cheryl Parrino
Universal Service Administrative Company

Brian Talbott
Executive Director
Am. Assoc. of Educ. Service Agencies

SLC Board of Directors - 1998

Kathleen (K.G.) Ouye
Chair, Schools and Libraries Corp.
City Librarian
San Mateo Public Library
San Mateo, CA

Henry R. Marockie
Vice Chair, Schools and Libraries Corp.
Council of Chief State School Officers
State Superintendent of Schools
West Virginia Department of Education

Kenneth D. Brody
Managing Partner
Winslow Partners, LLC
1300 Connecticut, Ave., NW
Washington, DC

Anne L. Bryant
Executive Director
National School Boards Assoc.
1680 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

Frank J. Gumper
Vice Pres., Long Range Public Policy
Bell Atlantic

Brian L. Talbott
Executive Director,
Am. Assoc. of Educ. Service Agencies