Funding Edtech with the E-Rate Program and Grants

As schools and districts strive to meet their existing technology needs and prepare for the future, access to federal and state funding, along with other grants, is making a major difference in whether students engage in 21 st century learning or are left behind. During a recent edWebinar , edtech experts provided an overview of the E-Rate program, state matching funds, and ways to obtain grants for technological development.

E-Rate Survival FAQs

eSchool News

What (and who) is E-rate? E-rate is a US Federal Program for funding telecom and technology in K-12 schools and Libraries. The program is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under direction by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Key components of the program include: Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). A division of USAC responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the E-rate Program.


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Why E-rate expansion is a must for our schools

eSchool News

With some districts and schools still struggling to meet bandwidth needs, keeping E-rate strong is more vital than ever. As a former school superintendent, and as the current head of the School Superintendents Association (AASA), I know firsthand that staying ahead of the curve when it comes to high technology isn’t easy. As the roles of connectivity and technology within our schools continue to evolve, modernizing the E-rate program is a huge priority for us.

Essential Guide to Digital Citizenship for CIPA and E-Rate

Graphite Blog

E-rate is complicated. But complying with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) -- a requirement of E-rate -- doesn't have to be. What is E-rate? Who is eligible to receive E-rate support? What is E-rate?

E-rate: A Historical Perspective

Leadership Lounge

Though this year's E-rate Form 470 deadline has passed, the E-rate process and buying season for U.S. They have until May 26 to file their Form 471 purchase requests with the Universal Services Administrative Company’s (USAC) Schools and Libraries Division (SLD), which is the entity that administers the E-rate program for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Why the FCC’s E-rate Makes Funding High-Speed Internet a Slow Crawl


For more than 20 years, the Federal Communications Commission has directed the multi-billion dollar E-rate program, which provides taxpayer-supported construction and service discounts that districts and libraries can use toward internet costs. In 2014, the FCC modernized the E-rate program, raising the overall funding cap to about $4 billion, making more money available for schools and libraries. Education Technology School Infrastructure Policy

E-rate Filing Strategy: What School Districts Should Know

Leadership Lounge

As schools and libraries plan their E-rate strategies under the new rules of E-rate 2.0, They also must consider whether to use E-rate money to replace current voice services because discounts for voice services will continue to be reduced 20 percent per year until they are phased out in three years. The E-rate discount is calculated off of this budget number. Since this is year two of E-rate 2.0,

Dark fiber could be the future of school networking

eSchool News

After taking steps to update and increase funding for the E-rate program in 2014, this year the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) began allowing applicants to apply for discounts for dark fiber and self-provisioned fiber. With the expanded E-rate opportunities, the number of K-12 districts exploring their dark/self-provisioned options could grow significantly over the next few years. Dark fiber is helping some districts scale broadband for tomorrow, not today.

Before going one-to-one, this district is helping every kid get home wi-fi

eSchool News

Before we start handing out devices, we want to make sure that all of students are on an even playing field; our board was very intent on this,” said Leeann Dooley, K-12 assistant principal and technology coordinator at the district. Equity has become a pretty important word in the K-12 sector over the last few years as schools and districts integrate more technology applications, devices, and software into the learning environment.

The History of the Future of E-rate

Hack Education

While much of the speculation about the future of education technology under President Trump has been focused on the new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos ( her investment in various ed-tech companies , her support for vouchers and charter schools), it’s probably worth remembering that the Department of Education is hardly the only agency that shapes education and education technology policy. What can E-rate tell us about the relationship between politics and ed-tech?

Next-Gen Voice and Presence Technology Keep K–12 Districts Safer

EdTech Magazine

Next-Gen Voice and Presence Technology Keep K–12 Districts Safer. Because the district’s phone system used Primary Rate Interface voice lines, it would no longer qualify for federal assistance by the end of 2019 due to changes in the FCC’s E-rate program. The company offered discounted rates on low-use lines, like those found inside classrooms, and provided more than 1,000 new handsets at no charge, Zamudio says.

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How EducationSuperHighway and Service Providers Collaborate

Education Superhighway

Participates in the E-rate competitive bidding process. While we do provide guidance about E-rate filing strategies through our website, webinars, and other avenues, we do not directly apply to provide services to districts. If a provider plans to bid on E-rate eligible services, a service provider must register for a Service Provider Identification Number (SPIN) and, if necessary, complete the required Form 499-A/Q.

Penn State Holds Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology

Leadership Lounge

Penn State holds symposium for teaching and learning with technology. The symposium is woven into the teaching and learning fabric of the University, and works to offer new ideas and inspiration to Penn State faculty," said Kyle Bowen, director of Education Technology Services in Penn State Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT). Education the next battle ground for tech companies.

Is Your School District Eligible for State Matching Funds?

Education Superhighway

Since its inception, E-rate has been instrumental in making K-12 broadband more affordable and accessible than ever. When this FCC program was amended in 2014 (through the E-rate Modernization Order), it included rules providing additional funding to match any funding the state provided for eligible “special construction charges.” The FCC adopted these standards as part of the E-rate Modernization Order.

Alabama commits $12M to beef up wireless in poor and rural schools

eSchool News

Lawmakers voted 105-0 for the bill, often called the Wired Act, that aims to fix a convoluted problem that, Chesteen says, has held some schools back where information technology is concerned. For years, the federal government has helped local schools buy computers through E-rate, the money it collects through a service fee charged to telecommunications companies. To get E-rate money, though, local systems have to pitch in matching funds.

Millions of Students Are Still Without WiFi and Tech—Why Haven’t Policymakers Stepped Up?


It’s time for states to step up and realize that proper technology and WiFi connectivity are a must-have in public school districts, and that state policy is dangerously lagging behind. Language in laws can be vague, says Arizona high school technology teacher Leon Tynes. Jennifer E.

Technology and Casey Green on campus: Future Trends Forum #3, notes and full recording

Bryan Alexander

We explored campus technology and faculty attitudes towards digital materials. Casey noted some long-term persistent trends, such as campus IT seeing technology as an underutilized aid for instruction, and not feeling satisfied about institutional promotion of technology for faculty. Possiblye the FCC will extend E-rate funding to poorer areas. Providers are growing more features, each company or project following or leapfrogging the others.

How Publicly Available Broadband Data Can Help Us Close the Connectivity Gap

Education Superhighway

And in recent months, data has been essential to our defense of the E-rate program. Every year, we conduct surveys asking K-12 public school districts to clarify their publicly available E-rate data. We do so to ensure that the data published by the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) accurately reflects the K-12 broadband landscape in America.

What the FCC Should Do Now to Support America and Our Learners


The changes in broadband consumption may reveal weak points in the complex ecosystem of companies, services and products that make up the Internet. We have a sound statutory basis to do so through the E-Rate program. Education Technology Policy & Government School Infrastructur

How Library Closures Hurt Adult Learners as Kids Doubled Down on Digital Reading


Among its recommendations, New America calls on policymakers to “expand the E-Rate Program so that libraries and schools can get discounts on the technology services that patrons and students need to get online from home.”

K–12's Digital Transformation Is Giving Libraries a Modern Makeover

EdTech Magazine

Makerspaces encourage students to explore and create using science, technology, engineering and math concepts. Besides expanding internet use, districts can outfit makerspaces with the proper tools and technology — laptops, 3D printing, coding kits — for students to get started. Because wireless networking can be an expensive endeavor, schools can use E-rate funding to pay for these upgrades. K–12's Digital Transformation Is Giving Libraries a Modern Makeover.

Why we ask for your school district’s connectivity data

Education Superhighway

Our engineering team downloads broadband services, pricing, connection type, and service provider data from the Universal Services Administrative Company’s (USAC) publicly available E-rate Form 471 filings. For example, if E-rate applicants provide a description of what they are applying for in the “Service Description” field of the Form 471, we infer the service they are requesting and, in those cases, update our database.

How EducationSuperHighway’s fiber program helps school districts identify affordable fiber solutions

Education Superhighway

Fiber is the only network infrastructure technology that can scale cost-effectively to meet growing bandwidth needs. The FCC is helping schools make the necessary investments in their broadband infrastructure through December 2014’s Second E-rate Modernization order , which provides public school districts and libraries with new options for funding fiber special construction projects.

?Overcoming Hacking and Cybercrimes — The Next Obstacle to Edtech


Just when many school districts were starting to feel good about their wireless coverage and internet bandwidth, they face yet another question about technology infrastructure: how good are their defenses against hacking, or what’s more formally known as “cybercrime”? Given that education funding is not likely to increase significantly anytime soon, IT departments need to seek the most cost effective ways to deliver secure technology to their users.

?A Fight for Internet Access Is Brewing in Alaska


That’s how much Nome Public Schools in Alaska is charged for its 700 students, according E-rate data gathered by nonprofit EducationSuperHighway. Before e-rates, schools in the region are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for state-mandated broadband internet access,” the Alaska Democrat wrote. The real thing we need is to have competitors and receive bids that we can look at to lower cost and provide faster, more reliable technology.

Simplifying School Safety and Regulatory Compliance

EdNews Daily

Editor’s note: This is one in a series of profiles about the men and women who are creating today’s EdTech companies. PublicSchoolWORKS CEO Steve Temming developed his company from his own experience as a school administrator at Cincinnati Public Schools using his understanding of the challenges and limitations of running the business side of a school district. PublicSchoolWORKS became possible in the late ’90s when the government launched the E-Rate Program.

3 Resources to Help Connect Students and Families

Digital Promise

“What you find out very quickly as teachers is not just the power of using technology in the classroom, but the power to extend learning, to carry it beyond just the school day,” says Brian Nicol, communications coordinator and, until recently, a teacher at the Wisconsin school district. “If you didn’t have Internet access outside of school, you could learn in my class, but boy would it be at a different pace and rate and difficulty,” he says.

Which Stories Do the Nations' Education Technology Reporters Want You To Follow?


EdSurge reporter Jenny Abamu spoke with a group of reporters focused on the education technology beat—Benjamin Herold of Education Week , Nichole Dobo of The Hechinger Report , and Goldie Blumenstyk from The Chronicle of Higher Education —to hear their thoughts on the biggest education technology stories of the year, what they’re working on right now, and whether the federal government is helping—or hurting—the integration of edtech nationwide.

Education in the Era of COVID-19: Why Connection Matters

Digital Promise

On top of that, knowing we’ve got an equity gap that exists in our district and that about 1,200 of our kids don’t even have access [to technology and the internet] was a tough pill to swallow.

What Gartner’s Top Tech Trends for 2019 Mean for Education

EdTech Magazine

Augmented data analysis, blended digital tools and connected networks will reign among technology innovations in the coming year, according to IT analyst group Gartner’s top 10 tech trends of 2019. . The top ten digital technology trends are all about building the intelligent digital mesh,” says David W. MORE FROM EDTECH: Check out what administrators should consider when integrating new education technology! Immersive Technologies.

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The Edtech Revolution: 2010 – 2017


In December 2010, The Journal –“t he leading Technology based education publication for K-12 and higher education”– published an article with a 5-prong prediction for the following year. As Secretary Duncan’s chief of staff wrote at the time, the Common Core was intended to create a national market for book publishers, technology companies , testing corporations, and other vendors.”. Billion has been invested in US K-12 education technology companies since 2010.

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Mission (Almost) Accomplished: Nonprofit EducationSuperHighway Prepares to Sunset


District technology leaders, she adds, couldn’t fathom that internet service providers would come out and deliver fiber to their schools, much less at affordable rates. He’d spent his career building and selling companies in various industries, including finance, telecommunications, software and consumer retail. Drawing on what he knew best, Marwell ran his nonprofit with the urgency, pacing and risk-taking that is more typical of for-profit companies.

A community broadband approach to closing the connectivity gap

Education Superhighway

Tell us about your journey from working in telecom, economic development, and now the Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology in Nevada. Economic development includes expansion, growth, and investment, to include technology development and advancement while telecommunications directly involves the expansion, growth, and investment of this technology development and advancement. Through the federal funding mechanism called E-rate we are closing the connectivity gap.

Bids to bring fiber internet to schools are denied funding seven times more often than other projects

The Hechinger Report

Imagine how many customers a company could get running 10 miles of fiber somewhere else. Since 2014, a primary goal of the E-rate program has been to ensure affordable access to high-speed broadband in the nation’s schools. And these projects seem to be coming under special scrutiny by the organization that administers E-rate for the Federal Communications Commission, the Universal Service Administrative Company.

Looking Back on Three Years of the ConnectED Initiative: Did It Deliver?


Back in late 2013, Barack Obama and the White House launched the ConnectED Initiative , an effort to bring almost $2 billion worth of high-quality broadband, technology and professional development to schools and districts across the U.S. In February of 2014, Obama rounded up technology donations worth more than a $1 billion from U.S. As EdSurge reported, to be part of the initiative, companies “had to commit to providing goods or services worth at least $100 million.”

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