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Ed Tech K-12 Voucher: Redemption Guidance

Education Technology K-12 Voucher Program guidance criteria for redeeming K-12 vouchers.

The Education Technology K-12 Voucher Program is very different from typical state or federal technology grant programs in three main areas:

  1. Fifty percent (50%) of the total voucher award amount may only be used for products and/or services that meet the criteria for General Purpose Vouchers and the remaining fifty percent (50%) may only be used for products that meet the criteria for Specific Category Software Vouchers.
  2. All products and services must be purchased using existing funding. The Lead Education Agency (LEA) then submits the appropriate documentation to the Settlement Claims Administrator (SCA) for reimbursement.
  3. All products and services must meet the conditions of the Settlement Agreement to be eligible for reimbursement.

Due to the unique conditions of this program, and to avoid the denial of a LEA's redemption claim by the SCA, it is recommended that the LEA use the following guidelines for planning purchases and for submitting the appropriate documentation with the voucher redemption form:

  1. Purchase Planning:
    1. It is the responsibility of the LEA to verify product or service eligibility with the SCA prior to making a purchase. Be wary of vendor claims that their product or service is an eligible product or service. You should also carefully review the product and service eligibility requirements described in the California Department of Education (CDE) Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program FAQ Web page.

      A vendor's marketing materials may state, “Our Company is on the California Department of Education’s IT approved provider list for the K-12 Voucher Program.” Be aware that approval of these agencies only means that they have met the minimum criteria for Professional Development (PD) or Information Technology (IT) services under this program. Such approval does not mean that any of the provider's specific products or services qualifies for reimbursement under the program. Approval of specific products or services for reimbursement can only be verified by contacting the SCA. In addition, inclusion of a PD or IT services provider on the approved provider list is not an endorsement of the quality of its products or services by the CDE or any of the parties to the antitrust settlement.
    2. Prior to making a purchase contact the SCA and verify the eligibility of the product or service. The SCA will provide a unique confirmation number of the communication. That number should be included in the voucher redemption documentation submitted by the LEA. The SCA contact information is:

      By e-mail:
      claimsadmin@edtechk12vp.com

      By phone:
      1-800-419-5286

      By mail:
      Claims Administrator
      Microsoft-California Settlement
      P.O. Box 1125
      Minneapolis, MN 55440-1125
    3. The Settlement Agreement requires that the cost for all products and services are no greater than standard academic prices, or if academic prices are not available, are the normal or standard prices charged by the vendor for the products or services purchased. LEAs should require vendors to provide written certification on their invoice that the cost for their product or service meets this requirement prior to making a purchase on their invoice, or on the bid, price quote, or other document that will be attached to the invoice. See the SCA Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program External link opens in new window or tab. Web page for examples of how this may be addressed.
    4. The Settlement Agreement requires that IT support services, to be eligible for voucher reimbursement, must primarily involve the maintenance of hardware procured through this Settlement and/or the installation and maintenance of software procured through this Settlement.
      1. If a LEA intends to be reimbursed for the provision of eligible IT support services, it should set up a process to document IT support services provided for the hardware and software purchases that were reimbursed with vouchers.
      2. If a LEA intends to be reimbursed for eligible IT support services provided by a vendor, it should require that the IT support services vendor meet the documentation requirements prior to making a purchase.
      3. The documentation in both circumstances should be formatted to address the voucher redemption form requirements (see Section II. 2 below).
    5. The Settlement Agreement requires that PD services and IT support services may only be redeemed if they were provided by a LEA or vendor that is on the approved PD and/or IT providers' lists on the CDE Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program Approved Providers Web page. Make sure that the PD or IT services provider is on the respective approved provider list prior to making a purchase.
    6. Since fifty percent (50%) of the total voucher award can only be redeemed for software that meets the criteria for the Specific Category Software Vouchers, obtain vendor agreement to itemize the cost for eligible software on the invoice before making a purchase. For example, if a computer, server, or other hardware item comes with software that is eligible for redemption using Specific Category Software Vouchers, the cost for the software should be listed separately on the invoice.
    7. All General Purpose and Specific Category Software Vouchers must be redeemed by September 2015. LEAs can monitor the remaining balance for both vouchers at the SCA Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program External link opens in new window or tab. Web page.

  2. Voucher Redemption Submission Planning:
    1. The SCA will only accept voucher redemption forms that are signed by the LEA representative(s) listed in the LEA’s online application. If this information was entered incorrectly, or staff has changed, contact the SCA and provide the correct information.
    2. The voucher redemption forms are very specific regarding what documentation must be submitted for approval and payment. The directions are printed on the form itself. For planning purposes, the material that must be attached to the voucher redemption form is listed below. LEAs should require that all vendors provide their invoices in the appropriate format. For purchases that were made prior to the release of the RFA, but no earlier than July 1, 2006, LEAs should request that the vendor provide them with a modified invoice that meets these requirements. See Voucher Redemption FAQ #6, for more information on the start date for purchases.
      1. Product Purchases: Enclose the itemized receipt or vendor invoice for products purchased and circle the items you are submitting for reimbursement. If rebates or discounts were applied, clearly indicate the amount of the rebate/discount and the actual price paid on the receipt or invoice. The receipt or invoice must show separate prices for the products and the vendor must certify that the prices are no greater than standard academic prices, or if academic prices are not available, are the normal or standard prices charged by the vendor for the products purchased. See the SCA Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program How to Redeem Vouchers External link opens in new window or tab. Web page for examples of how this may be addressed.
      2. IT Support Services: Enclose the itemized receipt or vendor invoice for services purchased (or if the services are provided through the LEA, enclose the original spreadsheet, worksheet or internal service order) and circle the items you are submitting for reimbursement. If rebates or discounts were applied, clearly indicate the amount and the provider of rebate/discount and the actual price paid on the receipt or invoice. The documentation must show: name of the products procured through this settlement that were being installed or maintained, the number of hours spent on the installation or maintenance, the flat rate or hourly rate if applicable, and the date of the installation or maintenance. The receipt or invoice (or if the services are provided through the LEA, the spreadsheet, worksheet or internal service order) must show separate prices for the services, and the vendor or provider must certify that the prices are no greater than its standard academic prices, or if academic prices are not available, are the normal or standard prices charged by the vendor or provider for the services purchased. Note that the time spent must primarily involve the maintenance of hardware procured through this program and/or the installation and maintenance of software procured through this program. See the SCA Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program How to Redeem Vouchers External link opens in new window or tab. Web page for examples of how this may be addressed.
      3. PD Services: Enclose the original itemized receipt or vendor invoice for services purchased (or if the services are provided through the LEA, enclose the spreadsheet, worksheet or internal service order) and circle the items you are submitting for reimbursement. If rebates or discounts were applied, clearly indicate the amount, the provider of rebate/discount and the actual price paid on the receipt or invoice. The documentation must show: name of the PD event, agenda, and summary of the content, the number of hours spent on the PD, flat rate or the hourly rate if applicable, name of the products procured through this settlement that were the focus of the professional development (if applicable), the dates of the PD, and if participants received products as part of the PD, the products and their cost must be listed separately. The receipt or invoice (or if the services are provided through the LEA, the spreadsheet, worksheet or internal service order) must show separate prices for the services, and the vendor or provider must certify that the prices are no greater than its standard academic prices, or if academic prices are not available, are the normal or standard prices charged by the vendor or provider for the services purchased. Note that substitute costs, food, lodging, and travel are not allowable expense. See the SCA Ed Tech K-12 Voucher Program How to Redeem Vouchers External link opens in new window or tab. Web page for examples of how this may be addressed.
      4. Previously LEAs were required to submit original invoices. The parties made a recent decision that the LEAs may submit a copy of the original vendor invoice together with a signed certification of the LEA attesting to the authenticity of the copy submitted and that the original will be held by the LEA for audit purposes.
    3. As stated in the Purchase Planning section, Item 2, if the SCA was contacted to verify product or service eligibility, be sure to include the confirmation number in the voucher redemption documentation.
    4. Email the signed voucher, invoices, vendor price certification, and original invoice authenticity statement to claimsadmin@edtechk12vp.com.
Questions:   Education Data Office | edtechvoucher@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-9394
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