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E-rate

The E-rate program provides discounts to schools and libraries for eligible telecommunications services.

E-rate and the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) are programs that provide discounts on telecommunication costs to eligible schools. Although there are differences in eligible services and discount rates, it is possible for schools to receive significant discounts on telecommunications costs by using both E-rate and CTF discounts together.

E-rate

E-rate is a federal program of the Federal Communications Commission administered by the Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) External link opens in new window or tab. of the Universal Service Administrative Company that provides eligible kindergarten through grade twelve public schools and libraries 20 percent to 90 percent discounts on approved telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections costs. E-rate discounts are based on the number of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Schools and libraries in low-income urban communities and rural areas qualify for higher discounts. Although the E-rate application process can be difficult, every school district should consider applying for E-rate discounts. Information about E-rate training is located on the K-12 High Speed Network External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

California Teleconnect Fund

While the E-rate program includes discounts for a wider range of telecommunications services, CTF External link opens in new window or tab. offers discounts for measured business service as well as high bandwidth data lines. Although offering a smaller menu of eligible services, the CTF application process is simpler than E-rate. Applications for CTF discounts are submitted to the telecommunications carrier, who will submit the completed eligible application to the California Public Utilities Commission Telecommunication Division. When CTF discounts are approved, the telecommunications carrier will discount the telecommunications to the school.

Technology Planning

Beginning in the 2014-15 fiscal year, there is a single education technology plan template, associated sets of criteria, and guiding questions. The single template can be used for both applying for Education Technology K-12 Voucher Program funds, and for completing a comprehensive plan for local planning purposes.

While technology plans are not required for E-rate funds, the California Department of Education strongly recommends local educational agencies develop and use a locally approved technology plan to guide the use of technology to improve education for all students.

Recommended Resource

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

Technology Plan Status

To check to see if a county, district, or direct-funded charter school is currently certified and meets this requirement, view the Technology Plans by County link on Technology Plan Builder Web application.

If you believe the information is not accurate or need information about past E-rate technology plans for audit purposes, please contact the Education Data Office at e-rate@cde.ca.gov or 916-445-9394.

Questions:   Education Data Office | e-rate@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9394
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