Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:
California Teleconnect Fund
This letter outlines a cooperative effort between the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) program and the California Department of Education (CDE). To meet the needs of students during the COVID-19 crisis, the CTF program will be providing a 50 percent discount on the monthly recurring service charge for mobile data services that allow schools to extend the classroom to the home. This offer is intended to assist rural and small school districts and medium school districts in their efforts to meet the needs of students that do not have internet access at home and therefore would be unable to participate in online classrooms or other distance learning activities.
The California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) is a public purpose program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission whereby public schools receive a discount on eligible advanced communications services. Most school districts are CTF participants and already receive discounts on other eligible services. However, more information about the program is available at https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/ctf/.
Who may apply? California’s kindergarten through grade twelve (K–12) public rural and small school districts and medium school districts. To apply, go to the CPUC's CTF Application for COVID-19 Distance Learning web page at ftp://ftp.cpuc.ca.gov/California_Teleconnect_Fund/COVID-19_Distance_Learning/COVID-19_Distance_Learning_Application.pdf. Submit completed application via email to CTFhelp@cpuc.ca.gov no later than May 31, 2020.
What services are eligible? Mobile broadband data services provisioned by wireless carriers such as mobile data plans connecting personal devices or hotspots.
Who must be responsible for payment of these services? The discount can apply only to service contracts and accounts billed to a California K–12 public school district.
Who must use the service? All services subject to this offer are to be assigned for use by a student who does not have internet access at home and therefore is unable to participate in distance learning activities while enrolled in the current school year or summer school.
How much is the discount? 50 percent off the monthly recurring service charge.
What carriers are participating? T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. Please contact the CTF program if you prefer to use a different service provider.
How long is this offer good for? Discounts may be applied to services rendered between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, or until students return to the classroom, whichever is first.
How much money is available? $25 million is available to meet the needs of all schools and their students. Therefore, please only request what you need so we can assure all schools’ needs are met.
What is not included? Discounts do not apply to any costs or fees for devices, hardware, usage, or overages. Discounts may not be applied to any service used for administrative purposes, faculty, or for any other use not specified above.
What about E-rate rules? CTF will provide a 50 percent discount off the full monthly recurring cost of mobile broadband service plans without regard for any E-Rate support or imputation. This is available from the CTF program irrespective of the E-Rate program’s limitation on off-campus services.
How do school districts obtain the discount? Please submit the attached application to the CTF program via email to CTFhelp@cpuc.ca.gov. The CTF program will provide approved applicants with directions to activate the discount.
When are applications due? Applications for discounts on new and/or existing connections must be received by the CTF program no later than May 31, 2020.
What is CDE’s role in this effort? CDE is distributing this letter to all eligible school districts and will be assisting the CTF program in its validation of eligible districts, services, and applicants.
Priority for these funds will be given to rural and small school districts with remaining funds being made available to medium school districts on a first-come, first-served basis. For help or questions, please contact the CTF program at CTFhelp@cpuc.ca.gov.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction