The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, commonly known as the E-Rate Program, helps school districts defray the costs associated with high-speed internet access and the associated wireless distribution and data network technologies.
It is never too early for districts to start planning for ways to leverage available e-rate funding. Here are some steps to take right now:
- Identify any necessary, short-term internet distribution or data protection projects. Consider the scope of such projects in concert with any bandwidth upgrades;
- Work with an e-rate consultant to confirm which equipment is eligible for e-rate discounts and to analyze historical discount rates;
- Define the available, school-based Category Two budgets to obtain a projection of anticipated out-of-pocket costs;
- Plan the procurement process with an e-rate consultant to ensure that the district understands all applicable rules, thereby minimizing the likelihood of funding issues.
Learn More During an Upcoming Webinar
NJSBA is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m., featuring an overview of the E-Rate Program, Category Two procurement, and anticipated changes to the program. The webinar will explain the rules pertaining to Category Two procurement, including school-based budgets, procurement of eligible equipment, as well as tracking and transfers of eligible equipment procured using the e-rate competitive bidding process. Register today.
The current E-Rate Program rules are due to sunset after the upcoming funding application cycle, so districts are encouraged to start planning as soon as possible.
As part of the NJSBA TEC program, NJSBA has partnered with E-Rate Consulting, Inc. (ERC) to help school districts and member charter schools throughout New Jersey fully leverage E-Rate funding opportunities. To learn more, contact Vincent LaForgia, President, E-Rate Consulting, Inc. at [email protected].