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E-Rate Can Free Up District Budget

February 6, 2017 | SPS-K12 Team


What is E-Rate and is it worth looking into?
E-Rate is the terminology used by learning communities for the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). According to the US Department of Education, The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created in 1997 to collect universal service contributions from telecommunications carriers and administer universal support mechanisms (programs) designed to help communities across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services. The Schools and Libraries Program supports connectivity.

Funding is requested under four different categories of service: telecommunications services, Internet access, internal connections, and basic maintenance of internal connections. Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served and range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.


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Some studies have suggested that the E-rate program has had a positive impact on schools. A study concluded in 2005 by a University of Texas student under the supervision of Economics Professor Mike Ward, using regression analysis, showed the E-Rate program in Texas school districts to have positive effect on factors like test scores, graduation rates, and college admission rates.

  1. FAQs on E-Rate Program for Schools and Libraries
  2. The E-rate Funding Year 2017 Application Filing Window Opens February 27, 2017
  3. Common Sense Education on E-rate and CIPA
  4. Eligible Services List
  5. Stepping Stones to the E-Rate Discount

Our service is not in one of the four eligible E-Rate Categories. However, E-Rate can help schools get access to learning applications that are internet based and help setup the foundation for a successful technology program at your school. The E-Rate program can free up valuable district technology budget dollars to help overburdened IT departments to automate some of their processes, keeping them up to date, and free of human error. SPS-K12 offers a fully automated student provisioning service that serves as the foundation for the technology applications used by students and staff in your learning community, including G-Suite.

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