Discounts for Telecommunication Services, Internet Access and In some cases Internal Connections
Administered by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Univeral Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Supports Connectivity</li></li></ul><li>How Does It Apply to Education<br /><ul><li>E-Rate Program ensures schools and libraries have access to affordable telecommunication and information services.</li></ul> <br />
Funding<br /><ul><li>Requested under Four Categories of Service
Discounts Depend on Level of Poverty and Urban/Rural Status Population
Schools Require a Technology Plan Approved by TEA
$2.5 Billion each year in Program Discounts</li></li></ul><li>Technology Plan Criteria<br />Clear goals and a realistic strategy for using telecommunications and information technology to improve education.<br />Professional Development Strategy to ensure staff knows how to use new technologies to improve education.<br />Assessment of telecommunication services, hardware, software, and other services needed to improve education.<br />Sufficient budget to acquire and support the hardware, software, professional development, and other services needed to implement the strategy.<br />Evaluation process enabling the school to monitor progress toward specified goals<br />
Summary<br />The E-Rate Program was established in 1998 and under the direction of the FCC providing discounts to schools and libraries for affordable telecommunications and information services. Schools are required to have a technology plan designed to improve education and must meet 5 criteria. The program has benefited Texas schools and libraries with more than 2.7 billion in discounts for telecommunication services, internet access and in some cases, internal connections. <br />