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Ed Tech K-12 Voucher: Transcript of Video Pt.I

Transcript of the Education Technology K-12 Voucher Video Presentation Part I.

Part I:  Rick Grossman

Hello my name is Rick Grossman. I’m a partner at the San Francisco office of Townsend and Townsend and Crew. We were legal counsel for the consumers and businesses of California in the legal battle against Microsoft which was settled several years ago. It was very important to us that a major portion of our 1.1 billion dollar settlement go to California schools to improve technology education and we are delighted to be here to offer that benefit to California schools and to describe the benefits that are available to you today. There wasn’t much that we agreed with Microsoft about during the 4 years of litigation, but on this one issue I must say there was unanimity in our agreement that these benefits should go to CA schools and so we’re delighted, as I said, to talk to you about that in our presentation today. I’m here to talk to you specifically about the benefits that will be available to California schools, California public schools, and let me get into the nuts and bolts right away with that. Which schools qualify for the benefits under the settlement?

Slide 5: How Ed Tech K-12 Vouchers are Allocated
Qualifying Schools – All benefits will go to:

Well, as Jack O’Connell explained to you a moment ago, these benefits will go to public schools at which 40% or more of the students qualify for free or reduced price meals through the National School Lunch Program. Public high schools serving students that come from eligible elementary or middle schools will also be eligible. And so the way this works is we look at the enrollment of the middle schools, the enrollment of the elementary schools, and the eligibility is decided if 40% or more of the students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. For high schools, however, they will qualify if any of their students come from an eligible elementary or middle school.

Slide 6: How Ed Tech K-12 Vouchers are Allocated

Districts in order to qualify much have a current, state approved technology plan and you can work with the Department of Education, CTAP, in order to make sure that your technology plan has been approved and that your school district qualifies for these benefits. Districts are required to apply for the vouchers on behalf of their eligible schools. Individual schools may not apply. They have to apply through the district, and so that’s an important aspect of the settlement. State special schools, direct funded charter schools, and County Offices of Education do not have to meet the state-approved technology plan requirement and they will apply on their own behalf.

Slide 7: How Ed Tech K-12 Vouchers are Allocated
Vouchers

What is the form that you will receive these hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits in? Well, the benefits will be paid in the form of vouchers. All program benefits will be paid to the school in the form of vouchers that can be redeemed for cash upon proof that eligible schools have purchased qualifying products or services. I’ll talk about that in greater detail in a moment. All of the vouchers that you receive must be redeemed by September of 2012. So there’s quite a bit of time that you will have to spread out the redemption of these vouchers and to take advantage of this program; however we urge you to make sure that you take advantage of it at the earliest opportunity. How will we determine which schools qualify for the 40% requirement of free or reduced lunch plan benefits?

Slide 8: How Ed Tech K-12 Vouchers are Allocated
Vouchers

Well, that data is embedded or included in your October 2005 CBEDS data. That is what we will be using to determine the amount of vouchers for each available school. Allocation is based upon the total enrollment at eligible schools. I say total enrollment because we’re talking about all of the students that participate and go to an eligible school whether or not those particular students participate in the free and reduced lunch program. The initial allocation that is available now, will be approximately $50 per student and it will be increased, perhaps dramatically, in early 2007. We’ll have an announcement about the amount of that increase sometime in the early part of next year. But $50 per student is available beginning now to eligible schools that make an application to the Department of Education that is accepted. I mentioned that the benefits will be paid in the form of vouchers. What kinds of vouchers are we talking about? Well, there will be two distinct types of vouchers. You’ll see a lot of reference to this in the literature about the program. There’s what we refer to as a General Purpose Voucher. There’s also something known as a Specific Category Software Voucher. This is a bit confusing; I’m going to spend some time explaining the difference between those two types of vouchers. The settlement benefits that you receive will be divided 50-50 between General Purpose Vouchers and Specific Category Software Vouchers.

Slide 9: How Ed Tech K-12 Vouchers are Allocated
Two Types of Vouchers:
Let me explain. 50% of the vouchers will be for a variety of hardware and software products and technology services. All of that can be paid for with General Purpose Vouchers. Now when I say paid for I want to be clear, it’s necessary for you to purchase the hardware or purchase the software or purchase the services and then you can use the vouchers to obtain cash reimbursements for what you have purchased. But it will be necessary for you to make those purchases first. That’s General Purpose Vouchers. I’m going to talk in more detail about that in a moment.
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There’s also the second category 50% of the vouchers will also be paid to you in the form of vouchers for specific categories of computer software. So half of the vouchers can be used for a variety of products including hardware, software and technology services, the other half must be spent only on specific types or categories of software available from any competitor in the marketplace, any vendor of that software. I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

Let’s talk in some detail about General Purpose Vouchers, right now. What can you use those General Purpose Vouchers for? Well, those vouchers can be used to obtain, as I said, a variety of products and services. That’s why we call it general purpose.

Slide 10: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
General Purpose Vouchers:

You can use General Purpose Vouchers to obtain reimbursement for computer hardware that you’ve purchased, computer software that you purchased, IT support services that you’ve obtained and professional development services. Those are the four major categories of products and services that you can obtain reimbursement for through the use of your General Purpose Vouchers: computer hardware, computer software, IT support services, and professional development services. I’m going to talk about each one of those categories in greater detail now.

What types of computer hardware can you obtain reimbursement for through your General Purpose Vouchers? Well, there’s a whole variety of hardware that you can obtain.

Slide 11: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
Computer Hardware:

Desktop computers for your students, laptop computers, tablet computers, server computers for your district. You can obtain printers, scanners, monitors, keyboards, pointing devices, such as a mouse or a trackball. All of these are varieties of different types of hardware that you can obtain. So you can obtain a computer, let’s say a desktop computer, if you already have desktop computer that requires a replacement monitor, you can buy a monitor separately and replace the monitor that you have in your system already. You can buy printers for your existing computers or you can buy a whole variety of new products that you want to use in your system. It is up to the individual school to determine what products and services they need so long as those purchases are made consistent with the requirements of your approved technology plan.

Slide 12: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
Computer Hardware (cont):

There’s additional hardware that you can receive through the use of General Purpose Vouchers, you can obtain equipments used for networking or infrastructure for example; routers, wireless network access cards, wireless access points, or any equipment used for networking and infrastructure. You can obtain hardware for accessing the internet, through television sets and you can also obtain internet access for such hardware for use in student’s homes. Again this is an option that’s available to your school and your school district for eligible schools if you believe that that will be useful to the education of your students. You can also obtain non-custom assistive technology devices. When I refer to non-custom, I’m saying that any assistive technology device that is useful in your classroom so long as it is an off-the-shelf product and not made custom for your particular school district. Alright that describes the hardware that you can receive with General Purpose Vouchers.

Slide 13: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
Computer Software:

What kind of software can you obtain through General Purpose Vouchers? Well, generally you can receive any non-custom software sold by any software publisher for use on qualifying eligible computer hardware. What do I mean by that? Literally any non-custom software, software that is off-the-shelf, sold by any manufacturer, any competitor in the marketplace that includes a whole variety of software makers and publishers of all kinds of titles of educational software. The only requirement is that it must be useable on hardware that’s available through this program. What do I mean by that, well we talked about the hardware that you can purchase a moment ago, laptop computers, desktop computers, tablet computers, server computers, any software that works and is made for use on those hardware products can be obtained through your General Purpose Vouchers.

Slide 13: see slide above

You can also obtain non-custom software for students with special needs. If you have students with special needs in your district, as we all do, it will be useful for you to enhance the education of those students through the non-custom software products, products that available off-the-shelf, already published by any software publisher in the marketplace that’s useful for the education of those students. You can also obtain evaluation tools to assist in monitoring the use of the vouchers.

That describes the software that you can obtain with General Purpose Vouchers, by definition, that software is very broad in its scope. We’ll talk a little later about the types of software that you can obtain with the Specific Category Software Vouchers, the other half of your settlement benefits. Those are a bit more limited in scope, but we’ll talk about that in a moment.

Alright, now let’s talk about what kinds of IT support services you can obtain reimbursement for through your General Purpose Vouchers:  IT support services. Well, those will be services that primarily involve the maintenance of hardware procured through this program.

Slide 14: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
IT Support Services:

So if for example you obtain a server computer and variety a laptop computers for your district though this program you can obtain IT support for those hardware purchases through these General Purpose Vouchers and have it paid for through those General Purpose Vouchers, again I’m talking about reimbursement for services that you purchase in advance.

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As long as the services are used primarily for the maintenance or installation of that hardware you can pay for it through reimbursement through these General Purpose Vouchers. Primarily meaning that it doesn’t have to be exclusively for the maintenance of hardware purchased through this program it just has to be primarily for that and we will try and be flexible in applying that in a common sense way to your claims for reimbursement.

Slide 14: see slide above

IT support services also include services that primarily involve the installation and maintenance of software procured through this program. Either hardware or software, in either case, IT support services qualify.

Slide 15: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
Professional Development Services:

Now let’s talk about professional development services that can be paid for through General Purpose Vouchers. What categories of professional development services am I talking about? Well, there are very specific categories; leadership development for school administrators in the use of education technology to improve learning at the site of the school or in the district. So any type of professional development involving leadership development for school administrators in the use of education technology, general curriculum development and instructional strategies which utilize educational technology to improve instruction. That’s another category you can use you your General Purpose Vouchers to obtain reimbursement for the cost of general curriculum development and instructional strategies that utilize the educational technology to improve instruction in your district.

Slide 16: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
Professional Development Services:

You can also use the General Purpose Vouchers for a number of other professional development services including improvement of technology integration for any software title obtained through the use of this program. If you obtain software through the use of this program and it’s necessary for you to integrate that into your existing program or your existing technology plan, you can pay for the cost of that through the General Purpose Vouchers.

Slide 16: see slide above

You can also use the General Purpose Vouchers for other types of professional development services such as training in the use of hardware of software acquired through this program. You can use the General Purpose Vouchers to obtain certification training for software and for networking.

That concludes our description of how General Purpose Vouchers can be used through this program, you will recall that I said that 50% of the vouchers will be allocated to Specific Category Software Vouchers. What do I mean by that? This refers to software that you acquire for your schools that fall into very specific categories. You’ll recall that I said for the General Purpose Vouchers you can obtain any form of educational software that can be used on the hardware that you purchase for this program. The Specific Category Software Vouchers must be used for specific categories of software. They can be specific categories of software purchased from any competitor in the marketplace, for any hardware platform, or any operating system platform.

Slide 17: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
Specific Category Software Vouchers:

What are the specific categories that I’m referring to? You can Specific Category Software Vouchers to obtain operating system software, word processing software, spreadsheet software, presentation software. You can use those specific category vouchers to also obtain relational database software as long as those relational databases are oriented towards single users for desktop computers. You can use Specific Category Software (Vouchers) to obtain web authoring software, productivity suite software, encyclopedia software, and server software including client access licenses for your servers.

Slide 18: How General Purpose Vouchers can be Used
Specific Category Software Vouchers:

Now what are the requirements for the use of Specific Category Software Vouchers beyond what I’ve just described, falling into one of those categories of software? Well, as I said, any qualifying software that falls into one of those categories can be obtained from any publisher for use on any operating system, any competitor in the marketplace. And what we urge you to do is as any consumer of computer products would, look for the best quality at the lowest price and make good efficient use of this opportunity and use the settlement benefits in the best possible way for your schools.

Slide 18: see slide above

I also want to point out that the Specific Category Software Vouchers that you can use can also be used to pay for the cost of software that is bundled with the computers that you purchase with General Purpose Vouchers. This is a little bit complicated, but let me give you an example: Let’s assume that I buy a computer, a desktop computer, for use in the classroom at a qualifying school and with that computer purchase comes bundled with that computer an operating system, as is usually the case when you buy a desktop computer. You pay for the cost of the computer, the hardware, through the General Purpose Vouchers. But you can pay for the cost of the operating system that’s bundled with that computer that you purchased with your Specific Category Software Vouchers. That strategy will allow you to use your General Purpose Vouchers to purchase a whole variety of products and services that we described earlier and it will allow you to make your General Purpose Vouchers go further in your purchasing power. Because you’re allowed to split out the cost of the operating system or anything else bundled with that hardware purchase or that computer purchase that you made and pay for that with your Specific Category Software Vouchers.

Well, that concludes our discussion of the benefits that you can obtain with these settlement benefits. Now I want to introduce counsel for Microsoft, Ms. Jessica Pers who will discuss some of the specific requirements to obtain the benefits that I’ve just described.

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