COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

P.O. BOX 2120

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO NO. 108

August 9, 2002

INFORMATIONAL

TO:

Division Superintendents

 

FROM:

Jo Lynne DeMary

Superintendent of Public Instruction

 

SUBJECT:

E-Rate Discounts for Virginia Schools

 

Virginia public and private schools have received discounts on telecommunications services and Internet access through the federal E-Rate program for the past five years. Total commitments to Virginia entities now exceed $100 million. Every school division has received some E-Rate funding in at least one year of the program.

 

Discounts for eligible services range from 20 to 90 percent off regular purchase prices. The average discount for Virginia schools is 61 percent. The E-Rate application and funding process is somewhat complex, resulting in a high denial rate by the administrator. To minimize confusion, the Department has provided guidance on the DOE website at: http://www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Technology/erate.html. Additionally, the Schools and Libraries Division released a document on July 15 outlining E-Rate program requirements and deadlines. This document is available on the Schools and Libraries website: http://www.sl.universalservice.org/data/pdf/ERATE_DISCOUNTS_FOR_SCHOOLS_AND_LIBRARIES.pdf.

 

Because of the complexity of E-Rate regulations, the Department strongly encourages each school division to designate an E-Rate coordinator to manage the program. Program updates are provided via email from the Department to school division designees on a regular basis.

 

For more information on E-Rate, addition of school or division designee to the Departments email list, or assistance with the E-Rate application process, contact Greg Weisiger, associate director, teleproduction, (mailto:gweisige@pen.k12.va.us) or (804) 692-0335.

 

JLD/GWW/nb