News Story

FCC Provides Guidance for Student Enrollment for FY2021 Category 2 Budgets

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 12:00 AM

The FCC released a Public Notice to provide guidance related to the new district-wide budgets for category two services, effective beginning in funding year 2021.

Of particular note is the following:

School Buildings that Are Fully or Partially Closed Due to COVID-19.  In explaining how to count part-time students under the prior category two budget rules, the Commission stated in the Second 2014 E-Rate Order that “students who attend a virtual class that originates at a school, but who are not in the school premises cannot be counted in that school’s student count.”  Because part-time students are no longer counted under the new rules, this language is no longer relevant for determining enrollment.  In light of the number of schools implementing plans to offer instruction to some or all students via remote learning on a full- or part-time basis due to COVID-19, we clarify that students enrolled at brick and mortar schools should be counted as full-time students regardless of whether they receive some or all instruction via remote learning during the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing that student enrollment at schools has been impacted by COVID-19, and funding year 2021 being the first year of the five-year budget cycle under the new rules, we will permit applicants to provide their full-time enrollment numbers from their funding year 2020 FCC Form 471 applications in funding year 2021.  We remind applicants that they must validate their student enrollment numbers once during the five-year funding cycle to set their category two budgets and may update the enrollment numbers in future funding years during the five-year cycle if they choose to do so.

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See:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/wcb-provides-guidance-e-rate-program-category-two-budgets

Be sure to read the footnotes - excellent information is provided.