K12 E-rate money and Fraud Whistle Blower Hotline
History and the Future
(A perspective on why we need change!)
I am the public.
All public school, public online charter school, and state run online school children are schooled with my tax money.
All public education services and products are bought with my taxes.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Washington, D.C. 20554
Adopted: November 30, 1995 Released: November 30, 1995
Overview of the Social Contract
July 23 2015 Judges Revive Claim that AT&T Overcharged Schools for Internet Service
For seven years, a Wisconsin telecom consultant has waged an unsuccessful legal fight against AT&T, alleging that the company long defrauded a federal program by overcharging the nation’s schools and libraries for Internet and telephone services.
Now an appeals court in the District of Columbia has given new life to his case.
The little-noticed June 23 ruling concluded that the complaint by Todd Heath was properly filed under the U.S. False Claims Act – a decision that could lead to the disclosure of AT&T’s internal records about the federal program known as E-Rate.
E-Rate was set up in 1997, at the dawn of the Internet era, to avert a digital divide between rich and poor students by subsidizing telecommunications services to schools and libraries. Its multibillion-dollar budget comes from fees added to the bills of most people with cellular or landline phone contracts.
At issue in the court case is a rule established at the program’s inception that requires providers to set rates for schools and libraries at the lowest prices offered to comparable customers. The theory was that bargain rates would help schools in less-wealthy areas provide their students with access to the Web.
investigation in 2012 by ProPublica found that the preferential pricing rule had been widely neglected by AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the program. The result was that many schools were paying more than the program’s framers envisioned, draining the federal fund and limiting the reach of the subsidies. https://www.propublica.org/article
2014 Comcast charged customers billions to wire schools
These disengenous -- !(&^&*^%$%&$!!!(&^*^!!!! ~ Bruce Kushnick
In the 16 years since that meeting, the cable industry has changed dramatically and 97% of Americas schools have been connected to the Internet. Teachers have more opportunities than ever to use a combination of excellent media, cutting-edge technologies and broadband connectivity to support teaching and learning. The only industry-wide philanthropic initiative of its kind, Cable in the Classrooms unique contribution to schools has included, from the beginning, free cable service that provides access to commercial-free, copyright-cleared programming for taping, and now, high-speed Internet access through cable modems- a combined investment that tallies in the millions annually. Cable in the Classroom members provide rich video and online resources delivered via cables broadband pipe. With 8500 local cable company members and 39 national cable network members, Cable in the Classroom serves 81,000 public and private schools, reaching 78% of the K-12 students in the United States.
In 1995, Comcast and the other cable companies made a contract with the FCC called the "Social Contract" -- it allowed the companies to raise customers rates up to $5.00 extra a month to pay for upgrades and as a condition of this, the company had to wire the schools...
Comcast, in just 2012, had 22 million cable customers, and that comes to 110 million a month extra -- or 1.3 billion extra charge annually --
"Comcast will provide a free service connection to each public and private school located within 200 feet of Comcast's activated cable plant. Comcast will provide a service connection at cost to public and private schools beyond 200 feet of its activated cable plant. Comcast will also provide a free modem and free modem service to all such schools within a year after Comcast makes personal computer-based Internet access service via cable commercially available to residential customers. Free cable service, including basic and enhanced basic service, and service offered on migrated and new product tiers, will be provided to all connected public and private schools. ...Additional internal wiring to serve additional outlets in any school will be provided at cost. Such wiring will be provided at no charge if Comcast is able to coordinate installation with other comparable electrical wiring installation being done in new or rehabilitated schools."
The original agreement was for five years. Time Warner was supposed to spend $4 billion on their networks. According to the Order:
"The Social Contract is for a term of five years. From 1995 through 2000, Time Warner is required to invest $4 billion to rebuild and upgrade all of its domestic cable systems, including deployment of fiber optic technology, increased channel capacity and improved system reliability and signal quality."
7/18/2014 Today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the E-Rate program is an important milestone on the path toward realizing President Obama’s ConnectED initiative. Because of this vote, an additional $2 billion will be made available to provide 20 million more students with high-speed Wi-Fi in their classrooms and libraries over the next two years. We commend the FCC on this key vote and for its continued commitment to increasing vital school and library Internet connectivity, which we believe will help more students get a great education, train them for the jobs of the future, and continue to build a more competitive U.S. economy."
K-12 E-RATE HISTORY
Improving America's Schools Act which reauthorized the Eisenhower program in 1994, included a section encouraging districts to use funds beyond the first $250 million for science and math teachers. To read that portion of the law, go to http://www.ed.gov/legislation/ESEA/sec2206.html other programs that will see increases in fiscal 1998 include Title I, Special Education State Grants, Title VI (Innovative Education Program Strategies State Grants), Charter Schools, Vocational Education, Bilingual and Immigrant Education, Pell Grants, and Impact Aid. Goals 2000 and Safe and Drug Free Schools will be level-funded.
Director, Legislative and Public Affairs
National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
703/312-9247 (phone) 703/243-7177 (FAX)
We need to include wireless applications in the E-rate.
Everyone knows that when the internet falls apart which it most surely will the only thing left that will work is a ham radio and the operators. Why don't they include that topic in every high school in america and provide a radio? Why isn't it required in the core state standards under "STEM"?
In 1994, we did not include wireless in the prescription for the infrastructure . Most of the work that I know about was done by Gleason Sackman who wired the K12 Schools in North Dakota and Dave Hughes (Crystal Radio Sets / Ham Radios) , who was supported by the National Science Foundation and was started and finished after this initial document was done. And the School systems applying for the Erate, may need the ability to use wireless for a variety of reasons.
It seems to me that we have reach the goal of a wire somewhere in the school in most schools in the US, but I do not think that people should assume that every classroom everywhere is wired.
We all have a better knowledge of this type of use, and the FCC should convene a study group which involves a knowledgenetwork of people to take a look at what is there, to give educators more information on wireless, and to create suggestions to send forward to the FCC. Some of the monies that have not been used could be used to convene a group of knowledgenetwork people to guide those of us who are new learners to the use of wireless in education, community centers, and other educational places.
The FCC is considering completely reworking the E-Rate. The goal will be to reach President Obama's goal of providing 100 Mpbs-1 Gbps of bandwidth to schools serving 99 percent of students, and to provide wireless access inside schools. Allocating funding based on enrollment is one proposal, but the FCC is also considering cutting the top discount level, eliminating telephone service from the program, expanding eligibility of fiber leases, etc. To see a brief list of the changes that the FCC is considering. For those with more time, here is the full Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM): It's worth reading the comments of Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai at the end of the NPRM, as they lay out very different visions of what the reform should look like. And the FCC really does read the comments. I think comments from school districts are especially powerful. It's pretty easy to file comments online; here are the FCC's instructions: FYI, E-Rate comments should be filed in Docket 02-6. Comments are due September 16, 2013.
http://www.peppm.org/ look for e-rate vendors in your state.
Universal Service E-Rate Whistle Blower Hotline
WASTE & FRAUD
E-rate and School Districts are Buying Apple Computers
The Pennsylvania Education Purchasing Program
Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit
90 Lawton Lane
Milton, PA 17847
Jim Randecker firstname.lastname@example.org 570-523-1155 x2115
PEPPM is designed to save districts money by allowing them to skip the bidding process by “piggybacking” on state-awarded contracts. In Pennsylvania, the awarding educational agency is Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU). Bid procedures require that all orders be faxed to 800- 636-3779 for review, archiving and then submission to the appropriate vendor. This all happens in a matter of one to two hours. After that, the vendor ships the product(s), bills the agency for the product(s) and the agency pays the vendor.
educational technology standards for school administrators
Just because there are "no state requirements for administrators related to educational technology / standards for school administrators in educational technology" does not excuse them from their duty to know what they need to know, they can't just take everything a contractor recommends, unless they are an idiot or on the take. It is someone's JOB to buy technology and write the proposal for the e-rate money. It is their JOB to understand what they are buying. It is their JOB to know what they are doing. It doesn't matter what the state mandates. It is their JOB to run their business in a manner that shows that they are competent. Fools have no excuse.
Running the school system is a business and admins and ed tech's are the ones hired because they SUPPOSED to have the skills to do this. Admins and ed tech's who do not have the skills are guilty of neglect, and they should be fired. Business (contractors) come through the school door and sell their product and services EVERY DAY. Incompetent & ignorant ed tech's and admins are in the business of evaluating and buying product and services every day.
Lower Merion Entitiy Number 126079
HARRITON SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL Entity Number: 19784
NCES District Number: 14160
600 N ITHAN AVE -BRYN MAWR - PA - 19010
Pricelist Template Effective February 9, 2010 Apple Got Paid
Apple Spin Number 143004358
Learn How does Lower Merion buys all these laptops.
E-rate Questions Desk at CSIU 570-523-1155 x 2144.
"See Section 3.2 Using PEPPM for E-rate Purchases Erate Abuse
Some of the PEPPM awarded products in the various catalog categories may be eligible for the new round of E-rate funding but have not been covered by a state submitted Form 470.
That means that these awards satisfy the Pennsylvania state statutes for competitive bidding but do not satisfy the SLD requirement of filing a Form 470, 28 days prior to the contract awards. E-rate buyers can submit their own 470 for equipment they want to buy and then purchase from the PEPPM Catalog contracts to satisfy the Pennsylvania bid statutes.
Pam Murray email@example.com
570-523-1155 x2193 E-rate Questions? 570-523-1155 x2144.
What kinds of things should you report? Instances of USF support being misapplied, mismanaged, or violations of law, rules, or regulations by support program participants or service providers.
Computrace / LoJack for Laptops contains design vulnerabilities and a lack of strong authentication that can lead to “a complete and persistent compromise of an affected system,” according to Black Hat conference presentation by researchers Alfredo Ortega and Anibal Sacco from Core Security Technologies. A popular laptop theft-recovery service that ships on notebooks made by HP, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Gateway, Asus and Panasonic is actually a dangerous BIOS rootkit that can be hijacked and controlled by malicious hackers.
FORMER TELECOM EXEC CHARGED IN E-RATE FRAUD 12/06 
A federal grand jury has indicted Rafael G. Adame on nine counts of wire fraud in connection with what federal authorities said was a practice of defrauding the E-Rate program. Operated by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) on behalf of the FCC, the E-Rate Program provides funds to extend Internet access to schools and libraries. Since it was implemented 10 years ago, the program has been the subject of numerous allegations of fraud and misuse. Adame is the 14th person to be charged in E-Rate fraud cases, and 12 companies have also been charged. Adame was the owner of ATE Tel, a telecommunications company in Texas that provided goods and services to the Weslaco Independent School District. Authorities said that Adame submitted fraudulent invoices totaling more than $140,000. Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Barnett said, "Committing fraud upon the E-Rate program harms underprivileged school districts." [ more $ education scams out of Texas]
Waste and Fraud Besiege U.S. Program to Link Poor Schools to Internet
GAO QUESTIONS FCC MANAGEMENT OF E-RATE PROGRAM
The FCC is not effectively managing the $2.25 billion program to link schools and libraries to the Internet know as the E-rate, the Government Accountability Office told Congress yesterday. The GAO said that the Commission has been slow to respond to problems uncovered by auditors, has not tracked the effectiveness of the program, and a backlog of cases has been growing. The findings by the GAO prompted U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Joe Barton to say he plans to push legislation to overhaul the program.
House E-rate Hearing:
Rep Barton's Press Release:
Telecommunications: Greater Involvement Needed by FCC in the Management and Oversight of the E-Rate Program. GAO-05-151 (February 9,2005)
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d05151high.pdf
Find the E-rate Vendors in Your state 2004-2005
Assuring effective stewardship of the E-rate by guarding against misuse or waste of E-rate funds is a priority shared by USAC, the Schools and Libraries Division, the FCC, applicants, service providers, and the public. To that end, the Whistleblower Hotline allows applicants, service providers, and others to alert us—anonymously, if desired—to instances where E-rate funds are being misapplied or where potential program rule violations may exist. 1-888-203-8100 Universal Service Administrative Company
2004 VENDOR SELLING DATA STUDENT PRIVACY
School Loop Web App-Tools software
School Loop is an online application used by staff to collaborate with parents, engage students, and teachers. School Loop software allows online communities for school districts. Families get a nightly email with homework and grades. Teachers see and act on student performance trends. Principals focus staff attention on high priority students. Teachers publish an assignment in School Loop that will automatically appear on a calendar, their web site homepages, on the homepages of each student and parent, in the grade book, and as part of a staff-accessible record of student work. Each student gets a custom homepage that shows them all their courses and classes. Students get safe, secure email accounts, can participate in groups created for their teams, clubs and other activities, get a digital locker for online storage, a calendar of all their assignments, and more. For parents, School Loop is a tool that will update parents daily.
Mark Gross CEO says: "Web sites are lame ways to communicate.They are one way, and worse, in most districts, they are organized around the institution rather than the user.School Loop Plus builds sites around users, so not only do districts and schools get great sites, but users get custom homepages." "Websits are great ways to build the "brand" of the school."
Business model ($1 per student per year).
Founded: March 2004
Funding: undisclosed amount from founder Mark Gross
Key metric: in 5 schools in CA, for about 6000 students, 500 teachers and
San Francisco Unified School District http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/28/technology/28net.html
and several other districts across the country. The case led to criminal charges filed by the United States attorney in San Francisco, and a civil lawsuit filed by the San Francisco district. According to the civil lawsuit, which was filed in 2001, the scheme was engineered by a company called Video Network Communications. That company, which was working with several computer companies, helped to bribe at least one school district employee to forgo competitive bids for the network infrastructure, according to the lawsuit. That employee, Desmond McQuoid, was the custodial supervisor of the district. He pleaded guilty to mail fraud last year and was sentenced to 21 months in prison, according to Mr. Havian, the lawyer for the school district. Mr. Havian said the suit against Video Network Communications was still pending. According to the complaint, several computer companies, including the NEC subsidiary, persuaded the district to purchase more equipment than it needed, charging rates that yielded twice their normal profit margins, according to Mr. Havian.
" They sold the district stuff it didn't need, didn't want or didn't know what to do with," Mr. Havian said. He noted, for example, that NEC persuaded the district to stock individual classrooms with powerful computer servers when the district needed just a handful of servers to manage the entire system.
Subsidiary Admits to E-Rate Fraud May 28, 2004
A subsidiary of NEC America agreed Thursday afternoon to pay $20.6 million to settle criminal charges involving the company's participation in the federal E-Rate program, the nation's $2.25 billion initiative to help schools and libraries connect to the Internet.
Under the agreement reached in San Francisco, NEC Business Network Solutions (BNS) (Quote, Chart) pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of antitrust violation. The company agreed to pay $15 million in fines and restitution in addition to providing $5.6 million in ongoing maintenance, equipment and services to school districts that are customers of BNS through the E-Rate program.
"We made mistakes with E-Rate. We've acknowledged and accepted responsibility for those mistakes, cooperated fully with the government, and taken action to ensure that these problems can't happen again," Gerald P. Kenney, general counsel of NEC America, said in a statement.
BNS was accused of defrauding the San Francisco Unified School District and several other school districts around the country through rigged bids and bribery. According to a civil lawsuit filed in 2001, BNS was part of a scheme to convince the school districts to purchase more equipment than they needed.
Kenney said the corruption primarily involved a small E-Rate sales team within BNS, which was subsequently dissolved.
"E-Rate was a very small, very new part of BNS business," Kenney said. "These bids and contracts were the company's first major foray into this type of federal contracting, and the sales team was inexperienced with this type of complex procurement. But that's no excuse for bad judgment or the failure of our internal controls to identify problems."
The E-rate subsidy was added to telephone bills in 1997 under the Clinton administration and has been dubbed the "Gore tax" for former Vice President Al Gore's enthusiastic support. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees the program, but outsources administration to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), a private, nonprofit. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. schools and libraries receive subsidies from the fund.
Under the program, telecom companies or contractors provide eligible equipment and services to schools and libraries at a discount, and the federal government covers the difference through the E-Rate fund.
A favorite target of Republicans, the House and Energy and Commerce Committee began investigating the program last year following a January 2003 report by the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit "public service journalism" organization, that claimed the E-Rate program was "honeycombed" with fraud.
The study is based on FCC audits as well as independent interviews. The audits allege abuses ranging from simple paperwork and reporting errors to false billing.
The House committee originally planned to hold hearings into the fraud allegations in February but delayed the proceedings after the unexpected retirement of then chairman Billy Tauzin of Louisiana. Committee staff members confirmed to internetnews.com new hearings will begin in a "few weeks."
The BNS case is the largest example yet uncovered of E-Rate improprieties. In August of last year, Duane Maynard, a former employee of a Fresno, Calif., electrical contracting firm, pleaded guilty to federal bid rigging in order to obtain multi-million contracts to install computer networking equipment and Internet access for the West Fresno Elementary School District.
Tauzin said in January his committee's probe was centering on approximately $5 million of equipment supplied by telecom carrier SBC (Quote, Chart) to the Chicago school system that is still sitting in a warehouse. SBC is the project manager for the City of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), which is deploying Internet-related equipment and Local Area Networks (LAN) for schools throughout the system.
One E-Rate funding requirement is that equipment must be purchased, delivered and installed in the same E-Rate year that it is funded by the program to prevent schools and libraries from stockpiling equipment.
SBC responded to Tauzin's announcement with a statement that the company "voluntarily brought this matter to the attention of the FCC" and to the staff of the Oversight and Investigations Committee.
"SBC determined that a portion of the telecommunications equipment it purchased for the city of Chicago Public Schools LAN project was not installed by the deadline in two funding years," the SBC statement reads. "In addition, one of SBC's distributors who supplied equipment purchased with E-rate funds over-billed SBC and gave us a credit."
The SBC statement added, "During these E-rate funding years, CPS received a discounted funding commitment from SLD (SBC's Schools and Libraries Division) of approximately $114 million dollars. The value of the equipment and credit at issue is $8.8 million, of which $3 million in equipment was installed in subsequent funding years.
Waste and Fraud Besiege U.S. Program to Link Poor Schools to Internet
When the El Paso school system wanted to upgrade its Internet connections three years ago, it tapped into a federal program that offers assistance for such projects. The program paid the International Business Machines Corporation $35 million to build a network powerful enough to serve a small city. But the network would be so sophisticated that the 90-school district could not run it without help.
Foreseeing the problem, I.B.M. charged the district an additional $27 million, paid by the federal program, to build a lavish maintenance call-in center to keep the network running. The center operated for nine months. Then, with no more money to support it, I.B.M. dismantled it and left town.
The federal effort to help poor schools connect to the Internet, the E-rate program, which collects a fee from all American phone users to distribute $2.25 billion a year to such schools and libraries, wasted enormous sums as El Paso built its extravagant network in the 2001-2 school year, according to documents and federal lawmakers.
But the problems have not been there alone. In Brevard County, Fla., school officials used E-rate money to install a $1 million network server, a powerful device more suited to the needs of a multinational corporation, in a 650-pupil elementary school. And just three weeks ago in San Francisco, a subsidiary of the computer giant NEC agreed to plead guilty to two federal felony counts related to the program.
Across the nation in recent months - in El Paso and in New York and Pennsylvania, in Puerto Rico and Atlanta, in Milwaukee and Chicago - investigations or audits of the program have turned up not only waste but also bid-rigging and other fraud, according to lawmakers and investigators.
A report issued last week by the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees the E-rate program, said 42 criminal investigations were under way. On Thursday, Congress is to open hearings on all that has gone wrong. The hearings will be held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, whose chairman, Representative James C. Greenwood of Pennsylvania, says the F.C.C.'s supervision was weak.
Mr. Greenwood said that since schools often must pay only 10 percent of the cost of equipment and services while E-rate picks up the rest, "contractors have mastered the art of coming into these districts, recommending gold-plated architecture, and school officials, buying at 10 cents on the dollar, take everything they recommend.'' "You couldn't invent a way to throw money down the drain that would work any better than this," he added.
The Universal Service Administrative Company, a nonprofit government corporation overseen by the communications commission and known to school administrators as USAC (pronounced YOU- sack), is in charge of the E-rate program, which has many enthusiastic backers.
"Every mammoth government program has problems," said Gregg Downey, editor of eSchool News, a paper that covers educational technology. "The sloth, the waste and the cases of outright fraud shouldn't be a reason to get rid of a program that's doing a lot of good. This is a program that helps schools serve students better through technology."
Michael Balmoris, a spokesman for the communications commission, said that E-rate was not "waste- and fraud-free" but that abuses were not "endemic." Narda M. Jones, an acting chief in the F.C.C. division that oversees theprogram, said it was designed to give schools "maximum flexibility" to build technology systems that suited their needs.
05/22/04 WIRED FOR WASTE / A SPECIAL REPORT
A $73 million spending spree Atlanta schools overpaid for a lavish computer network that costs taxpayers millions more to run.
I hear a lot of guessing about what the intent was of universal service and E rate. From a group of educators, representatives of national professional educators, and trade associations this was our intent. As a member of the NII Advisory Council, and also a Member of the National Coordinating Committe on Technology in Education and Training( NCC-TET) we decided to create a small document that outlined the requirements for education and training. Many of you in the discussion today, do not know this history and a lot of people have forgotten this document. (1994) I have an original copy of it.
Tonight I will share the access requirements we discussed to give background about this and add a few questions and update the kinds of technology we were talking about , and some changes suggested.
This was a position paper that we had, it was a consensus of opinions held by representatives of national professional education, training and trade associations paraticipating in the NCC-TET collaborations . We checked our party memberships at the door. We were looking to create a way to share with the general public what the ideas were in the three areas:
Access requirements, education and training applications required and technical requirements.
Access Requirements -So here is an executive summary of what was intended.
Ensure that all Americans have affordable access to the NII.
Ensure that the NII is accessible in a variety of learning environments.
Develop a variety of sustained public and private partnerships and funding mechanisms to support education and training uses of the NII.
Make public and private information resources available to schools, instutions of higher education , training institutions, libraries and arts and cultural institutions.
Requirement 1. Ensure that all American have affordable access to the NII
Accessing the best and most recent information to do a job or perform a task must become a cultural norm by the end of the century. It is especially critical that schools develop this capacity.
" When it comes to ensuring universal service, our schools are the most impoverished institutions in society." VP Gore.
Almost 90 percent of K-12 classrooms lack even basic access to telephone service ( Princeton Survey Research Associates 1993).
When classrooms do have phone lines, schools are typically charged at the corporate rate for telephone service. Schools have not been the beneficiaries of the universal service policies that resulted in the delivery of basic services at affordable rates for most American homes.
An Interim goal of providing at LEAST one connection to every school building and educational site in the nation can be achieved almost immediately. The goal of connected every home and classroom to the NII should be set for the year 2000. Populations ( e.g. Rural and poor populations ) which have traditionally been underserved must have special attention paid to them with respect to both network access and information resources relevant to their needs.
CIPA Requirements CIPA was enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2001.
CIPA requires all schools receiving funding through the E-rate program and technology funding through Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to comply with certain requirements.
NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION ***LEGISLATIVE UPDATE*** December 1, 1997
1. Update on Universal Service Application
2. NSF's Education Budget Up---A Little
3. Education Week's Technology Issue Online
4. Comment on Proposed IDEA Regulations
Universal Service Application Update
The Schools and Libraries Corporation (SLC), a new nonprofit organization created to administer the e-rate (universal service to schools and libraries) has issued the following documents: 1) "Nine Steps You Can Take Now to Prepare for the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Program" 2) Questions and Answers.
To read these, go to the Department of Education's Technology Initiatives web page, which also has links to all of the department's technology-related programs: http://www.ed.gov/Technology/
Or go to the SLC site at http://www.neca.org/
SLC is finalizing the application that schools and libraries will use to seek up to $2.25 billion annually in discounts toward the purchase of telecommunications services, including internal connections and Internet access. According to recent data from the Department of Education, about 113,000 schools, 86,000 of which are public, will be eligible for support.
Discounts will be on a sliding scale, ranging from 20 to 90 percent, depending on two factors: poverty level and geographical location (favoring rural schools with expensive telecommunication/access rates).
Schools and libraries will have 75 days to complete the application. All applications filed during that time will be treated the same. The stipulation of first-come, first-served in filing has been dropped because it is expected that there will be enough money to fulfill all valid applications. The money will be awarded retroactive to January 1, 1998.
Applications, instructions, and accompanying materials will be sent by mail to schools and libraries several weeks before being available on the web. However, the 75-day filing window will not begin until the web site is up and running.
EdLiNC, a coalition of more than 35 education and library groups, has set up a hotline at 1-800-733-6860 to answer phone calls about the e-rate weekdays from 10 AM to 9 PM EST. Callers can also request fact sheets to be sent by e-mail or snail mail. The group also has a web site at
NSF Education Budget Up --- A Little Of the $3.4 billion appropriated to the National Science Foundation for FY 1998, the Education and Human Resources Directorate, which runs all of NSF's science and math education-related activities, received $633 million, or 18 percent of the total budget. This figure is up from $619 million in both FY 1996 and 1997. However, when the figures are adjusted to 1998 dollars, the increase is only one-half a percent.
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Director, Legislative and Public Affairs
National Science Teachers Association
1840 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22201
703/312-9247 (phone) 703/243-7177 (FAX)