April 22, 2016
Catholic Education News

Inside This Issue
Follow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookView our videos on YouTube
E-Rate Application Deadline Extended

Does your school participate in the E-Rate program? Have you had trouble with the application process? Due to the volume of complaints and the troubles with the application system, the agency overseeing the program has extended the deadline. Here are the details:

"Based on applicant and other stakeholder input, we are providing a two-part extension for E-rate applicants. We believe this approach will provide enough time for us to assist all filers in addressing their specific issues and complete the application process. First, we are extending the window for all applicants by four weeks with a new closing date of May 26, 2016. With the recent deployment of bulk upload templates and additional updates and solutions coming over the next few weeks, we believe that the IT systems will be sufficiently stable to allow most applicants, and all schools and school districts, sufficient time to file their applications by May 26.

Over the next few weeks, we expect to roll out additional updates to the application. An explanation of the additional changes we expect to make to the application can be found 
School Lunch Bill & USDA Nondiscrimination Rules

The National School Lunch Program, as part of a larger Child Nutrition Reauthorization, was under discussion on Capitol Hill this week with the release of the House Education Committee's H.R. 5003. Some changes in the bill would be good for our schools and for Catholic nutrition services overall. Some changes are more of a mixed bag.

As the debate continues, please let me know your concerns, as the Secretariat for Catholic Education is one of the primary offices contacting Congress about the bill.

As a reminder, especially considering the current news cycle, I wanted to highlight what USDA's nondiscrimination policies are for school lunch and child care programs. Sometimes, states include extra provisions that may not be required by federal law but could compromise your school's religious beliefs. If you have concerns, please talk to your diocesan attorney.

According to the USDA: "In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA."

Reading List:
Have a blessed week,
Greg Dolan