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

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

Part III: Norm Swett

Thanks so much Jessica for that introduction. We’re going to talk more specifically about the mechanics of the redemption process. As Jessica just mentioned to you first of all have to send in the original copy of the redemption form and then secondly you have to provide original invoices or receipts for the products and services that you’d like to have reimbursed. I’m going to talk to you a little more about what those invoices need to look like. The first thing on the invoice you may be sending in an itemized invoice with several products, or services, some of which you want reimbursed, or you may be sending in an invoice where you want everything on the invoice reimbursed.

Slide 33: Proof of Purchase

As you’ll see in this next slide the key thing is to circle those items or all the items that you want reimbursed and all you have to do is circle the dollar amount.

Slide 34: Proof of Purchase

One of the things that we have done as we’ve worked on this together with the parties to this settlement is we’ve wanted to make this process as simple as possible for you to be reimbursed while gathering the data that is necessary to make sure that we are living within the terms of the settlement. So we’re doing everything to make this process easy for you. So simply, again, circle the dollar amount, if there’s just one or two items on an invoice, circle the individual dollar amounts or as this next slide shows.

Slide 35: Proof of Purchase

If you want all the items on the invoice to be reimbursed, circle the total. From time to time there’ll be reasons for you to prorate an invoice. For example, if the district were to buy a bundle of software where they bought 500 licenses for schools across a district and some of those licenses were going to go to eligible schools, other licenses were going to go to ineligible schools, only those licenses going to the eligible schools could be reimbursed for. In a case like that you’d have an invoice that showed the total purchase for all the schools but you only want to apply for reimbursement for the licenses that went to the eligible schools.

Slide 36: Proof of Purchase

In that kind of case, simply put a handwritten note on the bottom as we have in the example here that indicates the proportion of the invoice that is to be reimbursed. You may run across another situation, from time to time you’ll get a discount or rebate related to a purchase.

Slide 37: Proof of Purchase

A couple of examples of this, one that you can look at here on the screen a situation where a district bought 500 licenses at one time, bought them $25 a piece for a total amount of $12,500. The district was in a position to quickly pay that bill and so made it in within 10 days to the vendor, because of that, the vendor gave a 5% discount for speedy payment. Therefore, the invoice was reduced by 5%, $625, leaving a balance of $11,875. So you’ll note again on the invoice, if you’ll just write that on the bottom the amount of the discount, $625 and the net amount paid $11,875. Another example of that occasionally somebody needs a ‘quick and dirty’ copy of software and so you’ll get sent down to the corner office supply store just to buy one copy of a piece of software, you might run and do that for $49. While you’re there you pick up the rebate coupon for a $10 rebate on that piece of software, you go back to the office and you mail in the rebate. When you come to file that software for reimbursement, you’re going to take the original cash register receipt from the office supply store which will show $49, you’ll want to write on there that there was a $10 rebate and so the net amount paid was $39.

Now keep in mind that prices… Excuse me, if I can run back to when Rick was speaking earlier, he talked about two kinds of vouchers; the general purpose vouchers and the specific category software vouchers. He also mentioned a situation where a school buys a computer with bundled software, it’s possible that the computer will be covered under general purpose software, excuse me, general purchase vouchers, but the software could be covered under the specific category software. The reason you want to do that, is because since the general purpose vouchers, is as Rick said, is for such a broad array of technical products and services, we suspect those funds will get exhausted more quickly that the specific category software vouchers, so when you have an opportunity to cash in a specific category software voucher, we suggest you do it.

Slide 38: Proof of Purchase

So when you buy that computer, as Rick described, you’ll want to talk with the vendor, and ask the vendor specifically to itemize the value of any software bundled in that computer. And then when you file for redemption with the redemption form you can indicate that portion that is for the software that meets the specific category software vouchers standards goes into that category. Now let me hasten to say that if the vendor for some reason does not itemize that, you can still be reimbursed for the value of that software through the general purpose voucher. However, you’re going to exhaust that account a little earlier because of doing that.

Now to remind you, you send in the original redemption form, you send in original invoices with the redemption form, you circle the items, or the total of items that you want to be reimbursed for. Now that’s not all you need, you need one more thing on that invoice and that is something that vendor has to provide, that is a vendor certification that they’ve giving you the best price.

Slide 39: Price Certification

And that can come in two ways; if the vendor offers academic prices, they need to certify that the academic price is what they’ve offered to you, if the vendor does not offer academic prices, they need to certify that they don’t offer academic prices, but that the standard price has been offered to you. Here are two examples of that:

Slide 40: Price Certification Examples

First off before we look at those examples closely, please notice that one example is printed or typewritten, the other example is handwritten. Either certification is appropriate, as long as it’s been provided by the vendor. Please notice, however if it is handwritten, we ask that the vendor sign it.

Then take a little closer look at the two examples; the top example is a situation where the vendor does not have academic pricing. In that situation they have certified two things; first they have certified that they do not have academic pricing, second they have certified that this invoice reflects their standard pricing. In the bottom example the vendor does have academic pricing and so the certification simply states that this is their academic pricing.

Now let’s move to IT support services, Jessica already told you quite a bit about this, but when you get specifically to turning in an invoice, and remember the invoice might be from an approved provider of IT support services, so an outside firm that you have used, or this might be an internal invoice that you provide if the district is provided the IT support services.

Slide 41: IT Support Services

You’ll want to list the name of the products procured by the settlement that the support services are supporting, the flat rate for the work or an hourly rate along with the hours for the project, and then the date that the work was done.

Slide 42: IT Support Services Documentation Example

Here’s an example of that, now I want to remind you as with all the invoices I’ve been showing you, we’re only showing you pieces of the invoice for clarity purposes. This is only a portion of the invoice, for example obviously you would have on here, in the full invoice, the name of vendor, their address and all that kind of information. But the portion of the invoice here that we’re interested in is showing all the information that we need for IT support services. And so first of all there’s the name ‘server’ which is the product that is being supported, then you’ll note that there is a flat hourly rate, you’ll notice there are number of hours, and you’ll also note there is a date that the work was done. Finally there’s the total value of the work, now remember if you were turning in this invoice, one of the things you would do is to circle that total dollar amount so that we know that’s what you want to be reimbursed for.

Slide 43: Professional Development Services

Professional development services, we need several things, first of all we need the name of the professional development event. Secondly we need to know, we need an agenda, or a summary of contents or something that tells us what happened at the event. Thirdly we need to know the flat rate, or if applicable, the hourly rate along with the number of hours associated with the program. Then we need to know what products procured through the settlement were supported by this professional development. Now in some cases you’ll have professional development, as Rick mentioned, for example if an administrator is receiving training on technology planning that won’t specifically support a product purchased through this settlement. But if there’s a situation that the professional development is supporting such a product, we want to know the name of that product.

Slide 43: see slide above

We also need to know if you received any product by participating in the professional development training. So for example if you sign up for a training seminar and there is a premium given of a PDA, a personal digital assistant, we need to know that that has happened, you need to report the value of that PDA as you turn in your claim for reimbursement.

Slide 44: Approved Providers

As Jessica mentioned, professional development services and IT support services have to be done either by the districts or by approved providers that you can see on the CDE web site. Please keep in mind though that just because a provider is an approved provider, it does not mean that all of their products and services are automatically approved and eligible. So it’s necessary that the products and services fit in with the terms of the settlement before they be reimbursed.

There are some things you cannot use these vouchers for, there a few restrictions. I hasten to say this program is a great program because there are so many ways to use the vouchers that are going to help California students, but here are few of the restrictions.

Slide 45: Voucher Restrictions

If a teacher goes to a professional development event, and has to take a day out of the classroom and therefore is replaced by a substitute teacher, the cost of that teacher cannot be reimbursed by the settlement. Other salaries unless they are directly related to installation of a new product purchased through the settlement or something like that, also cannot be reimbursed. Insurance is not covered. If you have a situation where under the program you’re able to put a new computer lab in the school and your property and casualty insurance company says, well we need a rider on the insurance policy to cover fire and water damage on all these new computers, the cost of that insurance is not covered by the settlement. However, when you buy those computers if they have an extended warranty offered and you purchase that warranty, that will be covered.

Slide 45: see slide above

Finally, any indirect costs, for example someone in your district is going to be filling out the redemption form and sending if in to the Settlement Claims Administrator. There’s some costs associated for the district, with that filing process, however that cost is not covered by the settlement.

Let’s talk a little bit about the voucher redemption timeline. The key thing you need to know is you get in the paperwork, and again may I review that. It’s the original redemption form, it’s the original invoice with any appropriate notations, as we’ve discussed, with the items that you want to be reimbursed for circled, that is the dollar amounts related to them, and with that vendor certification. When all that paperwork comes in we will look it over and I’ll tell you about that process in just a moment. But one of the questions that has come up quite a bit is, is there a way that I has a school district can make a purchase under this program, and be reimbursed in time to pay my vendor. Well let me suggest this, we need for proof of purchase the actual invoice, we cannot accept a purchase order, we cannot accept a quote. However if you have the original invoice and it has not yet been paid, it is alright to submit it.

Slide 46: Voucher Redemption Timeline

So it would be possible for you to get an original invoice today, drop it in the mail with the original redemption form to the settlement claim administrator, and the Settlement Claims Administrator, if everything were in order would come back with a check in roughly thirty days, and at that point you could then pay your vendor.

Slide 47: Voucher Redemption Flowchart

Here’s a little more about the process. If you were with me I’d offer you my reading glasses at this point. This is a little tough to see, but just to run you through the process very quickly; you send off the paperwork, which I just summarized for you, the Settlement Claims Administrator receives that paperwork and makes sure that’s in good order. If there are any deficiencies, again we’re trying to make the process as simple for you as possible, so we’re not going to send you back a letter or loose the paperwork anything like that. What we will do is we will pick up the phone and call the individual who signed the redemption form. Now let me remind you who the signers of the redemption form are. In the RFA process where you apply for this originally on the CDE website, your district had an opportunity list up to three authorized signers. One of those authorized signers will sign that redemption form, that is the person that we call if there are deficiencies in the form. And we will work with that person or whomever they would send us to within the district to solve those deficiencies.

Slide 47: see slide above

When that’s been done we’ll complete the processing of the claim and then we’ll do three things. First, we’ll issue and mail a check to the district, second we will also print and mail, in the same package, an updated balance statement (that Jessica showed you earlier) and a new redemption form. Thirdly, we will update our website. When you go out to the website you’ll be able to see, just as you can see on the paper balance statement, you’ll be able to see a full history of all the transactions in your accounts for both the general purpose vouchers and the specific category software vouchers so that you’ll always be able to see where you are in spending these funds.

Slide 48: Purchases for Reimbursement

Just a few other items, purchases for reimbursement, as this point need to be made on or after July, 2006 and as it’s been mentioned previously, the program is running for the next six years, so the purchases need to be made up to December, 2012.

Slide 49: What determines the date for a purchase?

Now what determines the date of purchase? Well we will not look at the purchase order date, we will not look at the quote date. We will look at the date on the invoice or if the work is being done by the district, we will look at the date the work is completed.

Slide 50: Examples of Ineligible Products

Now there are many, many things that are eligible for reimbursement under this program. They’re a few things that aren’t eligible and we want to be up front about those. Personal digital assistants are not eligible, laptop carrying cases unless they happened to be “thrown in” when you buy the laptop itself.

Slide 51: Examples of Ineligible Products

Custom software, now what that means if your district decides that it wants a consulting firm to come in and build a proprietary software system to do something for the district, the consulting cost of building that software would not be covered by the settlement. As Rick said, the settlement is really aimed at off-the-shelf software.

Slide 52: Examples of Ineligible Products

And then computer devices and components bought as separate pieces. To give you an example of that; if you have an older computer in a classroom and you want to hook up a DVD drive to it, when you go out and buy that DVD drive and hook it to that older computer. If you were to send in a receipt for the drive, it would not be reimbursed. However, if were to buy a new computer, that included a DVD drive in the computer, in the new computer, that cost could be covered. There are similar things like that for speakers, tape backup and similar items.

Slide 53: Product Eligibility Questions

For product eligibility questions there are three ways you can find out more. The first is check the Frequently Asked Questions on our website, the second is to send a product inquiry to the claims administrator and the third is to contact the claims administrator call center. Now one of the things that you may be concerned about that Jessica made a strong point of was that in no way do you want to put yourself in a position where you buy a product or service and then discover later on that you’re not reimbursed for it. One of the things that we’ve set up to help you with that, is if you call or email the Settlement Claims Administrator with a description of a specific product or service, you can ask us if that product or service is eligible. We will review that and then will come back with a determination as to whether it’s eligible or ineligible and then send you a confirmation number so that you have in your record that the Settlement Claims Administrator has said that something is eligible or ineligible. You can then act on the purchase in a way that gives you confidence to move forward.

Slide 54: Product Eligibility: Caution

Now again to remind you about what Jessica said a bit earlier, vendors may represent a number of things about the program, but they really are not authorized to speak for the parties or the settlement.

Slide 55: Product Eligibility: Caution

And so be aware, the Settlement Claims Administrator is the only institution that can give the ‘go ahead’ on product eligibility.

Slide 56: Products Placement Requirement

One final item on product placement. This program has been set up, as Superintendent O’Connell said for students in a school that need the most help in the state of California. For that reason products are for use in eligible schools. It’s not appropriate, for example, to buy a computer for an eligible school and then transfer to an ineligible school two days later. Eligible schools can retire or replace products. As you know, computers become obsolete pretty quickly these days, and one of the things you can do is if you bought a computer for an eligible school today and put it into a classroom, in three or four years well the program is still going on, that computer may become obsolete. If that’s the case, you can actually buy a second computer under the program and replace the first one that you just bought today.

Slide 56: see slide above

Finally, networking equipment does not have to be physically in an eligible school. If the networking equipment substantially benefits the eligible schools, it can be located any place in the district that makes sense.

Slide 57: Claims Administrator Contact Information

Now if you have further questions, you can contact the claims administrator by phone, by email or via the web. And now I’ll turn this back over to Superintendent O’Connell.

Superintendent O’Connell

I hope that this presentation has answered any questions that you might have had about the Microsoft settlement. If your schools are eligible, please apply without delay. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and if you have questions that haven’t been answered during this presentation, here is the contact information for the Department. Thank you very much.

Slide 58: CDE Contact Information

Education Technology Office:
By phone: 1-916-323-5715
By email: edtechvoucher@cde.ca.gov
CDE Education Technology K-12 Voucher Program Web page

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