An introduction to the schools and libraries program

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An introduction to the schools and libraries program

  1. 1. An Introduction to the Schools and Libraries Program, or “E-Rate”<br />
  2. 2. Agenda<br />Introduction <br />Overview<br />Summary<br />
  3. 3. What is the Schools and Libraries Program about?<br />Administered by the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC)<br />Directed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)<br />Provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the acquisition of affordable telecommunications and internet access<br />
  4. 4. What is the Schools and Libraries Program about?<br />Supports connectivity<br />Funding for 4 categories of service<br />Telecommunications<br />Internet Access<br />Internal networking<br />Maintenance<br />Based on poverty levels and urban/rural ratios<br />must provide equipment, software, professional development, etc.<br />
  5. 5. Maintaining Program Integrity<br />Payment Quality Assurance Program (PQA)<br />Generates quality data for monitoring improper payments<br />
  6. 6. The Applications Process<br />Step 1: Determining Eligibility<br />Schools<br />Must provide elementary or secondary education<br />Public, private, or charter<br />Non-profit<br />No endowment exeeding $50 Million<br />Non-traditional<br />Head start, Pre-K, Juvenile Justice or Adult<br />Educational Service agency, if providing elementary or secondary education<br />Libraries<br />Must meet statutory definition found in the 1996 Library Services & Technology Act, and be eligible for assistance under that act<br />Budgets separate from any school<br />Non-profit<br />
  7. 7. The Applications Process<br />Step 2: Develop a technology plan<br />Details how technology infrastructure will be used to meet goals<br />Must contain the following elements, and be approved by USAC:<br />Goals & Strategy for usage<br />Professional Development plan<br />Technology Assessment Tools<br />Ongoing evaluation<br />
  8. 8. The Applications Process<br />Step 3: Open a competitive bidding process<br />Filing the Description of services Requested and Certification form (Form 470)<br />Applicants Must:<br />Describe services or functions for support<br />Identify category of services<br />Identify recipients of service<br />Follow all state & local laws<br />Wait 28 days after form 470 is posted before selecting vendor or executing contract<br />
  9. 9. The Applications Process<br />Step 4: Select the most cost-effective service provider<br />Waiting Period<br />Vendor selected after 28-day period is over<br />Bid Evaluation<br />Must construct for consideration of bids where price is primary factor<br />Contract Guidance<br />May choose vendors from state master contracts; must comply with state & local procedures<br />Document Retention<br />Must save all documentation for 5 years<br />Must certify on Form470 their awareness of possible audit<br />
  10. 10. The Applications Process<br />Step 5: Calculate the Discount Level<br />Applicants must use Services Ordered and Certification Form (Form 471) to calculate discount via FCC discount matrix<br />Primary measure is % of students eligible for free lunch program; district calculates shared discount from all eligible schools<br />Libraries use data from school district in which they are located; shared discount calculated from all library branches in school<br />Applicant must determine rural/urban status for proper calculation of discount<br />
  11. 11. The Applications Process<br />Step 6: Determine the eligible services<br />Applicants may request discounts for products and services<br />4 categories<br />Telecommunications Services<br />Internet Access<br />Internal Connection<br />Basic Maintenance<br />Eligibility based on FCC rules<br />
  12. 12. The Applications Process<br />Step 7: Submit application for support (Form 471)<br />May be filed Electronically or by hard copy<br />Must be certified to be considered complete<br />Must be post-marked by close of filing window for funding year<br />Product & services requests filed on item 21 attachment<br />Item 25 certification- must certify that funding for non-discounted portion of costs has been secured<br />Receipt Acknowledgement Letter (RAL) will be issued to applicants<br />
  13. 13. The Applications Process<br />Step 8: Undergo application review<br />USAC reviews all forms 471 to verify accuracy<br />Applicants expedite reviews by:<br />Submitting complete forms<br />Responding to clarification requests within 15 days<br />Verifying contact information<br />Selective Reviews<br />Applicants supply all documentation and evidence of funding of non- discounted infrastructure<br />Results<br />In denied, USAC provides Resource Deficiency Advisory to explain areas where improvement is needed<br />
  14. 14. The Applications Process<br />Step 9: Receive you funding decision<br />Following review, USAC issues Funding Commitment Decision Letters (FCDL) to both Applicants and Service Providers<br />FCC rules of Priority<br />Telecommunications & Internet services funded first<br />Internal connection & maintenance receive next priority<br />Applicant reviews FCDL for details, as well as technology plan for status and compliance<br />
  15. 15. The Applications Process<br />Step 10: Begin receipt of services<br />Before payment begins billed entity must confirm:<br />Start date of services (submit Form 486)<br />Approval of Technology Plan (before submitting Form 486)<br />Compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) (Submission of Form 479)<br />
  16. 16. Using E-Rate for success<br />Increased technology<br />Increased Equity<br />Greater levels of achievement for all students<br />For More information, visit the USAC Website:<br />www.usac.org<br />

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