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Entity Relationship Validation Letter Guidelines

In order to assist California E-rate applicants, the California Department of Education (CDE) provides third party entity relationship validation on a case-by-case basis under the guidelines listed below.

In some cases, the relationship between a school district, county office of education (COE), or consortium and the schools under its authority cannot be established using the California School Directory. In these cases the applicant submits an Entity Relationship Validation Letter to the California Department of Education (CDE) to validate the schools operating under the authority of a school district, COE or consortium. Entity relationship validation letters should meet the guidelines listed below.

General Guidelines

  1. The entity relationship validation letter is not used to validate E-rate entities, but rather it can validate the relationship between a school district, COE, or consortium and schools, under their authority, that have already been validated in the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC).
  2. Your letter should not include any references to enrollment, poverty level, or the urban/rural status in the request or any attachments.
  3. Your request should include all of the content listed below. Failure to include all relevant information could result in additional inquiries and delays during the Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) review process.
  4. Send all Entity Rrelationship Validation Lletters and supporting documentation to E-RATE@cde.ca.gov.
  5. The CDE will review the letter and correspond with the applicant to address any concerns. Once all of the CDE’s concerns are addressed, it will forward the final letter with the CDE verification to Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC).

Letter Content Guidelines

  1. The letter should be addressed to the State E-rate Coordinator, Educational Data Management Division, California Department of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 6308, Sacramento, CA 95814.
  2. The letter must be signed by a school district, COE, or consortium official (e.g., Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent), on official letterhead, dated and emailed to E-rate@cde.ca.gov as a PDF file attachment.
  3. The letter should include the E-rate Application Number.
  4. The letter should indicate the PIA issue.
    “The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) team has requested verification that the entities in the attached table operate under the authority of <District or Consortium Name> (<BEN>)”
  5. The letter should explain why the entity relationship was not able to be verified using the California School Directory.
  6. If true, the letter should include a certification statement immediately prior to the signature that reads:
    “The table below identifies the schools and Non-Instructional Facilities (NIFs) that operate under the authority of <District or Consortium Name> (<BEN>)”

    "I certify that all information contained in this certification letter and its attachments are true and accurate and supported by written documentation maintained in the entity’s official records of which will be made available promptly upon request. I acknowledge, on behalf of the governing board, that USAC distinguishes between an “annex” and a “school” and that, if USAC determines during an audit or otherwise that a school site is not a separate “school” but rather an “annex,” the Local Education Agency (LEA) could incur a significant liability or disallowance."

  7. The letter should include the following information (either in the request itself or in a separate attachment):
    • The following information for the applicable school district, COE, or consortium:
      • CDS code (If available)
      • Physical address
      • Website
    • A list of only the schools and NIFs requested by the PIA letter that are under the authority of the applicable school district, COE, or consortium containing the following information (If no specific schools or NIFs are listed, then include all Schools or NIFs under the authority of the school district, COE, or consortium):
      • Entity name
      • School or NIF
      • Entity Number
      • CDS code (If available)

A sample Entity Relationship Validation Letter can be found at: Entity Relationship Validation Letter (Sample).

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Questions:   E-rate | E-rate@cde.ca.gov
Last Reviewed: Thursday, March 18, 2021
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