"E-Rate Training November 2_ 2006"
E-Rate Training for TASBO Members October 8, 2008 Presented by Susan Sullivan Director of Technology/Media E-Rate, What is it? A federal program that provides equal access connectivity to global resources for schools and libraries Approximately $2.25 billion each year Provides 20-90% discounts on telecommunications services, Internet access, and internal connections How do they determine my discount? Based on the number of students who qualify for the free or reduced lunch program In Region 9, we typically use the PEIMS data reports that are finalized in October This student data is reported on the Form 471 – the 2nd form you complete PEIMS Data must be accurate As we review the PEIMS data versus the Worksheet A from the Form 471, we sometimes ask, Where did these number come from? Please make certain the person completing the Form 471 understands the PEIMS reports well enough to know what to look for. Priority 1 vs. Priority 2 Priority 1 services are all telecommunications services and Internet access All Priority 1 requests are funded – IF THE PAPERWORK IS SUBMITTED ACCURATELY AND ON TIME Priority 2 services are for maintenance and internal connections Priority 2 requests are funded to the “poorest” schools first 2-in-5 Rule Each entity can receive Internal Connections only 2 out of every 5 years Started in FY 2005 FY 2007 was the first year where entities were ineligible for Internal Connections based on this rule Created to ensure that the same entities did not receive Internal Connections funding year after year ePlan, What is it? It is an electronic resource that assists districts in preparing and submitting their technology plan School districts in Texas who seek technology plan approval must submit their technology plan through the Texas ePlan system. Technology Plans are Important MUST be written before submitting the Form 470 The Texas e-Plan System is an excellent resource to use to show that technology plans were written before submitting the Form 470 because there is a date stamp on these plans. Common Mistakes on Technology Plans When working on your technology plan, please ensure that at least 25% of Title II Part D funds are dedicated to Staff Development as reflected in the Budget Detail portion of the technology plan. This is a NCLB requirement. Remember, not everyone is as good at math as you are. Technology Plans Continued The number of students enrolled times the estimated annual technology allotment is not what is budgeted on your technology plan. Again, not everyone is as good at math as you are. Technology Plans Continued In the budget portion of the technology plan, your district must indicate the fund(s) designated to pay for the item(s) If more than one fund is designated, the percentages must be indicated When reviewing plans, we see things like 67% Tech Allotment, 20% local funds, 11% Title II Part D. Do the math – this does not add up to 100%. Application Process Create Technology Plan File Form 470 Wait a minimum of 28 days File Form 471 Wait, wait, wait, and wait some more until you receive a FCDL (Funding Commitment Decision Letter) File Form 486 Wait until after June 30th to file Forms 472 (BEAR Forms) Be Careful…. When completing Block 6 on E-Rate Form 471, you may not ever be consulted on the amount placed in the box labeled “Total budgeted amount allocated to resources not eligible for E-Rate support”. This amount becomes very important if you ever go through an E-Rate audit. This amount should match your technology plan. Be careful… The person completing the E-Rate application asks for the “highest bill received”, and they are given the amount after E-Rate discounts have been applied. E-Rate will only fund what you request. Can only allow for about a 10% increase on your bills. Program Compliance Budget Can you pay your share? Do you have this documented in your school’s budget? Award contract (signed by both parties) after the 28day period Able to demonstrate fair and open process Properly documented evaluation process (matrix) E-Rate regulations require that price be weighted the highest Competitive Bidding Contracts Tariffed services provided under contract are contracted services Month-to-month and tariffed services do not need contracts Internal connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections are contracted services New this year… If Region 9 ESC is your ISP, we are required by the E-Rate folks to apportion out a percentage of our charges for distance learning services we provide. Document Document, document, document PLEASE keep good records PLEASE utilize a Bid Assessment Worksheet If you are ever audited: They will ask to see a copy of your bills. Please make certain you are maintaining the entire bill, not just the summary page They will ask to see proof of payment. This is typically documented by cancelled checks. They will ask to see a receipt of deposits for all E-Rate reimbursements received. They will ask to see inventory records showing the location of any item purchased with E-Rate money. Good practices include…. Checking to see if the percentage the vendor is discounting your bill matches your E-Rate application. If not funded until August or September, checking to see if the vendor is giving you the correct amount of credit on your bill. Good practices include… Not ignoring the Quarterly Payment Authorization Report This report was developed to assist you in letting you know which vendor(s) have made claims to E-Rate on your behalf If a vendor’s name shows up that you have not done business with, please contact the ERate folks at 1-888-203-8100. Good practices include… Helping the person who is completing the Form 471 to file everything within the “window” This includes making certain they wait 28 days before awarding any contracts. This also includes checking to make certain they have submitted attachments and certification forms before the window closes. Any questions? My contact information: Susan Sullivan Work: 940-322-6928