The Educational Impact of Broadband Subsidies for Schools Under E-Rate

27 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2016

See all articles by Thomas W. Hazlett

Thomas W. Hazlett

Clemson University

Benjamin Schwall

Clemson University, College of Business and Behavioral Science, John E. Walker Department of Economics, Students

Scott Wallsten

Technology Policy Institute

Date Written: May 17, 2016

Abstract

The U.S. has spent over $25 billion to subsidize computer access in schools since the 1996 Telecommunications Act on the rationale that broadband Internet usage improves learning. In 2013, President Barack Obama directed that, based on the successful experience of a school district in North Carolina, annual E-Rate subsidies (as the program is called) be nearly doubled, to about $4 billion. In this paper, we evaluate how federal expenditures correlate with students’ academic performance. Examining data from all North Carolina public high schools, 2000-2013, we find no gain in student test results associated with Internet subsidy levels.

Keywords: E-Rate, Broadband Subsidies, Educational Policy, Internet Access

JEL Classification: H20, H52, L86, L96

Suggested Citation

Hazlett, Thomas W. and Schwall, Benjamin and Wallsten, Scott, The Educational Impact of Broadband Subsidies for Schools Under E-Rate (May 17, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2796048 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2796048

Thomas W. Hazlett (Contact Author)

Clemson University ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States
8646563430 (Phone)
8646564192 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://hazlett.people.clemson.edu/

Benjamin Schwall

Clemson University, College of Business and Behavioral Science, John E. Walker Department of Economics, Students ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States
4147045085 (Phone)

Scott Wallsten

Technology Policy Institute ( email )

409 12th St., SW
Ste 700
Washington, DC 20024
United States
2027309441 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wallsten.net

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