The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Universal Service for Schools and Libraries Program (often referred to as E-rate) is one of four such Universal Service Fund (USF) programs. Funding for E-rate comes from USF fees collected by telecommunications providers. Known as a “discount” program, E-rate provides schools and libraries with subsidies on telecommunications and Internet access services based on their level of need. The discount can range between 20 and 90 percent and is based on the percentage of local students qualifying for free or reduced lunch under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Schools and libraries can research their E-rate eligibility at http://www.usac.org/sl. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) administers the Schools and Libraries (E-rate) Program. In response to a mandate from Congress in early 2009, the FCC developed a national broadband plan, which includes recommendations for how broadband can enable improvements in public education.
SETDA: E-Rate Special Interest Group (SIG) Overview
The goal of this group is to provide state leaders an open forum for dialogue regarding the effective incorporation of E-rate into state policy and practice. In addition, this group will also provide recommendations to SETDA’s staff and board regarding any federal legislation related to E-rate. This Special Interest Group (SIG) is considered a subcommittee of the State Action Committee and was created based on the request of multiple SETDA members who serve as State E-rate Coordinators. Group membership is limited to state employees and independent contractors (with one state as a client) from states with an active SETDA membership (state dues are current) and will not include E-rate consulting firms or their representatives. Below are details regarding the group’s organization and planned meetings. At this time, there are no additional costs to participate in this SIG.
Who is eligible for the E-rate SIG?
Group membership is limited to state employees and independent contractors (with one state as a client) from states with an active SETDA membership (state dues are current) and will not include E-rate consulting firms or their representatives. State employees may work in any agency across the state. Members are not limited to current SETDA members. If a state has state E-rate leaders that they would like included in the E-rate SIG they may add them to this group and their SETDA member list. At this time, there are no additional costs to participate in this SIG.
E-rate Overview Document SETDA’s E-rate Special Interest Group (SIG) developed a two page document highlighting the E-rate program’s purpose and process. This is a reference guide for state leaders, district administrators and policy makers.