Agenda What is Cy-Fair’s Technology Plan What is E-rate How Does it Work Who Finances the Program How Will We Benefit
Cy-Fair’s Technology Plan The technology plan is based on the need for technology to support the delivery of the foundation Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and to supplement further the instructional experience with access to technology as suggested by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). To assist districts in technology planning, TEA developed the School Technology and Readiness Chart (STaR)and the state's Long Range Plan for Technology (LRPT). These documents address the major components of successful technology implementation. In developing this plan, CFISD has used STaR, LRPT, the TEKS as well as 21st Century Learning Skills and the International Society for Technology in Education Standards as the principal determinants of need
Cy-Fair’s Technology Plan Need 1 – The district has a need to increase the frequency and level of utilization of technology in the teaching and learning process. The Technology Application TEKS provide a framework for the integration of technology into the students’ learning experience. When coupled with the technology-based elements of content TEKS, the student has substantial opportunity to use technology to assist in learning. Need 2 – The district has a continuing need to maintain and increase the level of professional development necessary to assist teachers in using technology effectively in the teaching and learning process. The State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) has developed technology standards for all teachers regarding the use of technology. CFISD is committed to delivering effective professional development centered around the SBEC Teacher Technology Standards. Similarly, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has adopted the National Educational Technology Standards for School Administrators so that they can more fully lead the use of technology in their schools.
Cy-Fair’s Technology Plan Need 3: The district has a need to continue to provide administrative leadership and support for teachers in the use of technology. Additionally, the district needs to continue to invest in upgrades and new technology-based products and services to increase the district's operating efficiency and effectiveness. Need 4 - The district has a need to continue to update and enhance its technology infrastructure consistent with the Texas STaRchart and as necessary to support the teaching, learning, professional development and administrative needs of the district. All stakeholders recognize the need for the provisioning, maintenance, and replacement of assets. This is particularly true for technology assets.
What is E-Rate? The Schools and Libraries program, also known as the E-rate program, makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries in America. Congress mandated in 1996 that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) use the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide discounted eligible telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries.
A school or library must develop a technology plan that explains how the technology for which it seeks support will be used to achieve educational goals, specific curriculum reforms, or library service improvements.
The school or library then provides notice that it seeks services, done in accordance with specific FCC rules and state and local procurement laws.
Vendors bid to provide the desired services to the school or library. After the school or library selects a vendor, it files an application with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) for approval of its request for discounted services. The FCC administers the USF with the help of USAC.
After USAC approves the school’s or library’s application, the vendor provides the eligible services to the school or library at discounted prices. Generally, the vendor is then reimbursed the amount of the discount from the USF.
Who finances the program?
All telecommunications service providers and certain other providers of telecommunications must contribute to the federal USF based on a percentage of their interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues. These companies include landline phone companies, wireless phone companies, paging service companies, and certain Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers.
Some consumers may notice a “Universal Service” line item on their telephone bills. This line item appears when a company chooses to recover its USF contributions directly from its customers by billing them this charge. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to customers. Each company makes a business decision about whether and how to assess charges to recover its Universal Service costs. These charges usually appear as a percentage of the consumer’s phone bill. Companies that choose to collect Universal Service fees from their customers cannot collect an amount that exceeds their contribution to the USF. They also cannot collect any fees from a Lifeline program participant.
How does this program benefit our school?
Eligible schools and libraries receive discounts on eligible telecommunication services, Internet access, and internal connections (for example, network wiring).
The discounts range from 20 to 90 percent, depending on the household income level of students in the community, and whether the school or library is located in an urban or rural area.