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K-12 Voucher Program

Funded through a 2003 antitrust settlement agreement between Microsoft Corporation and California consumers and businesses, this program assists eligible K-12 districts with implementing and supporting education technology.

The Education Technology (Ed Tech) K–12 Voucher Program is a grant opportunity that was made available through a Settlement Agreement between California consumers and Microsoft Corporation in Microsoft Cases, J.C.C.P. No. 4106, Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, Department 305. A separate fund (termed "cy pres fund") was established with 66 2/3 percent of the difference between the Face Value Amount of the Settlement ($1.1 billion) and the amount of issued and redeemed Consumer Vouchers. The cy pres fund amount, in the form of vouchers, is offered to eligible schools. An initial release of $250 million was authorized for the first cy pres fund. The cy pres amount is specified in the Settlement Agreement to be allocated 50 percent as General Purpose Vouchers (GPV) and 50 percent as Specific Category Software Vouchers (SCSV). On November 15, 2010, the Parties to the Settlement released the second cy pres fund distribution of $25.5 million to eligible schools. The Parties to the Settlement released the remainder of the first cy pres on March 4, 2014.

Public school districts that have a state-approved technology plan may apply on behalf of their eligible schools. County offices of education, direct-funded charter schools, and State Special Schools can apply on their own behalf. Eligible Schools, as defined in the Settlement Agreement, means all public kindergarten through twelfth grade schools at which at least 40 percent of the attending students are eligible to receive free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Eligible Schools also include all public high schools in California that serve students from public elementary, middle, and junior high schools at which at least 40 percent of the attending students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals through the NSLP.

The vouchers made available through this Settlement Agreement are to be used to assist districts with implementing and supporting ed tech that fosters effective teaching and promotes student achievement in eligible schools that serve students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools and districts can use these funds for the Common Core State Standards by using technology in classrooms, as well as to prepare for the new online Smarter Balanced assessments.

Schools must purchase products or services that are eligible for reimbursement, and then the vouchers for those purchases may be redeemed for cash. The deadline for making purchases for voucher redemption through the California Ed Tech K–12 Voucher Program has been extended to September 25, 2015. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) are encouraged to use the vouchers they currently have before this deadline. Please see the Settlement Claims Administrator Education Technology K–12 Voucher Program External link opens in new window or tab. Web page for more information.

Background information about the Ed Tech K–12 Voucher Program including "Purpose of the Program," "Eligibility Criteria," and "Amount Available in Vouchers to Eligible Districts and Schools," for all the first and second cy pres distributions is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Education Technology K–12 Voucher: Background Web page.


Technology Plan Template (DOC)
2014–15 California K–12 Education Technology Plan template, criteria, and guiding questions.

K–12 Voucher FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) pertaining to the status of the settlement, eligibility, and the use of the vouchers are available on the CDE Education Technology K–12 Voucher Web page.

Distribution of Funding

First Cy Pres Distribution

The total amount of $250 million at the rate of $50.80 per pupil voucher allocation was determined based on the cy pres fund amount along with the number of completed applications from eligible entities. Data from the 2005 California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) was used to calculate the per pupil voucher. Consideration for small schools (schools with 300 or less students) was provided. Of the $250 million initially distributed, $7.1 million was unclaimed for a total first cy pres distribution of $ 242.9 million. Districts may choose to target vouchers to support successful programs at specific eligible school sites included in the application. Vouchers do not have to be distributed to all eligible school sites. However, vouchers may only be utilized at those school sites eligible to receive vouchers.

Second Cy Pres Distribution

The total amount in vouchers distributed was based on two-thirds of the unredeemed consumer vouchers determined to be approximately $18.4 million, and the unallocated amount of $7.1 million from the first cy pres distribution, for a total amount of $25.5 million. This was allocated to eligible schools at a rate of $5.31 per student based on enrollment and Free and Reduced Price Meals (FRPM) data from 2009-10 data.

Remainder of the First Cy Pres Distribution

A total amount of $188.4 million in vouchers was distributed to eligible schools in March 2014. The funding was allocated to eligible schools at a rate of $35.98 per student based on enrollment data that local educational agencies (LEAs) certified in Fall 2012 in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS). All schools that have previously been funded for the first and second cy pres program were deemed eligible as well as new schools that had Fall 2012 data that showed the school had 40 percent or more students that met the eligibility criteria for FRPM.

Additional Funding from Remainder of the First Cy Pres Distribution

A total of $6.5 million was remaining from those LEAs that did not complete the requirements by the June 30, 2014 deadline. Of this total amount of $6.5 million, $1.2million at the rate of $36.81 per student was used to fund new schools that opened in Fall 2012-13 and reported enrollment that reflected 40 percent or more FRPM data in Fall 2013. The schools were identified and their 2013-14 enrollment data was used to determine their allocation. The remaining $5.3 million was redistributed to eligible schools that were previously funded in March 2014 at the rate of $1.04 per student.

The total from the three distributions is $457 million.

More information about the remainder of the first cy pres distribution including eligibility and amount available is on the CDE Request for Applications Web page.

Voucher Redemption Guidance

Information on how to plan purchases to ensure that they will be eligible for redemption under this program, including the redemption documentation requirements is available on the CDE Ed Tech K–12 Voucher: Redemption Guidance Web page.

Approved Providers

Agencies wishing to provide professional development and information technology support services to eligible schools and districts, may apply online to be listed as an approved provider on the CDE Ed Tech K–12 Voucher: Approved Providers Web page. For more information, lists of approved providers for information technology and professional development support services* are available on the CDE Ed Tech K–12 Voucher: Approved Providers Web page.

*Approval of these agencies only means that they have met the minimum criteria for Information Technology of Professional Development support services under this program and is not an endorsement of the quality of its products or services by the CDE or any of the parties to the antitrust settlement. See the Approved Provider FAQs for more information.

Questions:   Education Data Office | | 916-445-9394
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 26, 2015

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