Published on June 18, 2007
Funding for Security and Technology:NCLB, E-rate and More: Funding for Security and Technology: NCLB, E-rate and More A Presentation by Funds For Learning, LLC Cisco’s Education Funding Workshop Series for Schools and Libraries Fall 2002 What We’ll Cover: What We’ll Cover High-level overview of potential funding sources New funding sources for security systems More details about funding for technology in No Child Left Behind Act An Update on E-rate Eligibility issues and other pitfalls Overview of Funding Sources: Overview of Funding Sources No Child Left Behind Act Rules vary by program Some funds distributed directly to districts Some funds awarded by state Some funds awarded by U.S. DoE Most tied to goals of improving schools and educational outcomes Additional money for low-income schools Consequences if no results Overview of Funding Sources: Overview of Funding Sources E-rate Connectivity and infrastructure Current priority system Priority One—Telecommunications Services and Internet access Priority Two—Internal connections More substantial rule changes may be in store in future (2004-05?) Major Themes of NCLBA: More Accountability : Major Themes of NCLBA: More Accountability Approved statewide standards for reading, math (and later science) Testing requirements Reading and math tests this year in 3 grade spans (3-5, 6-9, 10-12) Annual tests in Grades 3-8 by 2005-06 Science tests by 2007-08 School and district performance report cards (starting this fall) Data on student test results must be disaggregated Adequate Yearly Progress goals to ensure reading and math proficiency in 12 years Corrective measures for schools that fail to meet the goals Trends Driving Use of School Networks: Trends Driving Use of School Networks Improved data collection and dissemination To states, feds and parents Faster assessments, diagnostics and individualized learning Online and distance learning Staff development Accessing remote learning resources Parental communication Improving productivity of teachers Converging needs for voice, data, video Challenges Facing School Leaders: Challenges Facing School Leaders How to meet new accountability standards New flexibility w/ some funding sources leads to more choices Competitions for more money vs. less money for more districts Making the case to the community for support Offering Parents School Choices: Offering Parents School Choices Transfer, transportation costs and supplemental services available when schools don’t improve over time Students who are victims of crime or attend a 'persistently dangerous' school must be allowed to transfer Section 9532 of NCLB States required to define 'persistently dangerous' Potential Funding Sources for Security: Potential Funding Sources for Security Safe and Drug Free Schools Block Grant Innovative Programs Block Grant U.S. DoE competitive grants Other federal grant programs Safe and Drug-Free Block Grant: Safe and Drug-Free Block Grant $472 million nationwide Statewide allocations range from $61.2 million to $2.3 million 95 % goes to local districts 60 % distributed based on Title I formula 40% based on population To qualify, LEAs must apply to state Application may be included in consolidated application This Money Supports Programs. . .: This Money Supports Programs. . . That prevent violence in and around schools That prevent illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs That involve parents and communities That are coordinated with related government, school and community efforts What About Security Systems?: What About Security Systems? Up to 20% of allocation can be used to cover these activities: Acquiring and installing metal detectors, electronic locks, surveillance cameras or other related equipment and technologies Reporting criminal offenses on school property Developing school security plans Supporting safe zones of passage to and from school Related Programs for Promoting Safe Schools: Related Programs for Promoting Safe Schools Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities National Coordinator Program 30 grants totalling $12 million To hire a coordinator (3 years) to develop plans and programs 2002 application deadline was in May Who’s Eligible for This Help?: Who’s Eligible for This Help? Schools 'with significant drug and school safety problems,' indicated by one or more of these: Transferred, suspended, expelled at least one student for possession of drugs, alcohol or tobacco Referred at least five students for substance abuse treatment Suspended, expelled or transferred at least one student for possession or use of a firearm Suspended, expelled or transferred at least five students for physical attacks or fights Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative: Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative $79 million nationwide (approx. 40 grants) Range from $1 million to $3 million, depending on locale Proposals for promoting community-wide strategies for safe schools and healthy children Plans must include 6 elements, including 'safe school environment' Up to 10% of that element can go for security equipment and personnel and minor remodeling Multi-agency program 2002 deadline was in mid-year What If That Isn’t Enough?: What If That Isn’t Enough? Schools can shift half of the formula funds they receive under new block grants in NCLB to other purposes Enhancing Education Through Technology (E2T2 or Title II, Part D) Safe and Drug-Free Schools (Title IV, Part A) Improving Teacher Quality (Title II, Part A) Innovative Programs (Title V, Part A) Districts can also apply for more flexibility in how they use their funding Innovative Programs Block Grant : Innovative Programs Block Grant $385 million nationwide Allocated on the basis of population unless state seeks approval for other criteria, such as need Can be used for wide range of activities 'School safety programs' one possible use U.S. DoE guidance released Aug. 28 http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SIP/programs/ieps.html Technology and No Child Left Behind Act: Technology and No Child Left Behind Act Technology referenced throughout law Viewed as a 'tool' not an end unto itself Technology block grant equals $700 million nationwide Allocated based on Title I formula State allocations range from $85 million to $3 million States keep 5 percent How Local DistrictsGet Money: How Local Districts Get Money Half of remaining state money distributed directly based on Title I formula Rest distributed by competitive grants Priority on competitive grants supposed to be given to those that didn’t receive sufficient funding under Title I formula 25 percent of funds must go to professional development Complements E-rate regulations How Competitive Grants Are Awarded : How Competitive Grants Are Awarded 'High-Need' LEA Districts with highest percentage of low-income students AND That are targeted for improvement or correction, OR That need help acquiring and using technology OR, an 'Eligible Local Partnership' Must include a 'high-need' LEA, AND An LEA that is implementing technology well A higher ed institution not under corrective measures A public or private non-profit with technology expertise A for-profit company with technology expertise What the Block GrantCan Fund Under the Law: What the Block Grant Can Fund Under the Law Increasing access to technology Using technology to promote student achievement Using distance learning to deliver 'specialized or rigorous courses' Implementing curricula that integrates technology Connecting schools, teachers and parents to foster parental involvement Prepare teachers to be tech leaders and mentors What the Block Grant Can Fund (more): What the Block Grant Can Fund (more) Acquiring technology to improve student achievement Acquiring 'connectivity linkages' for students and staff to improve achievement Using technology to collect, manage and analyze data to support school improvement Implement performance management systems to evaluate effectiveness of technology Promote IT courses Other Tech Funding Pots: Other Tech Funding Pots Washington is using the $4 million of the competitive portion of the Enhancing Education Through Technology funds for the second year of implementing the NO LIMIT (New Outcomes: Learning Improvement in Mathematics Integrating Technology) project, initially funded through the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund. As with last year, the grant is focused on developing classroom models where students are using problem-based learning to improve their achievement of math skills through the integration of technology. Other Tech Funding Pots: Other Tech Funding Pots 21st Century Community Learning Centers School-wide Title I programs Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Rural Education Achievement Program 21st Century Community Learning Centers: 21st Century Community Learning Centers Supports before- and after-school activities, including technology programs Must be tied to academic improvement and activities that work About $305 million in new grants available for fiscal 2002 State allotments range from $41.4 million to $1.5 million Guidance published in May 2002 Transformed from federal to state competition States are to award grants of at least $50,000 to local agencies for 3-5 years Targeted to poor and low-performing schools Title I Funding: Title I Funding $10.35 billion for fiscal 2002 School-wide programs available to schools with 40% low-income students (threshold used to be 50%) Regulations expected to be done by summer Title I has traditionally been a source of funding for technology improvements New requirements on qualifications of Title I-funded teachers and paraprofessionals Final regs published July 5, 2002 Other Sources:Qualified Zone Academy Bonds: Other Sources: Qualified Zone Academy Bonds Program extended to 2003 $400 million in bonding authority authorized each year No-interest loans supported by local business Available for districts in designated Enterprise Zones or 35% or more NSLP Can be used for Renovating and repairing buildings Investing in equipment and technology Interest on renovation USDA Programsfor Rural America: USDA Programs for Rural America USDA Rural Utilities Service Community Connect Broadband Grants Applications due by Nov. 5 $20 million for 'community connectivity' Designed to deploy broadband capacity to schools and other community-based organizations Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loans and Grants Watch for next-year’s competition What’s New with the E-rate Program: What’s New with the E-rate Program Why the E-rate Is STILL Important: Why the E-rate Is STILL Important Continues indefinitely unless Congress decides to kill it Breadth of beneficiaries increases political support $2.25 billion worth of discounts a year Sheltered from government budget pressures Funding pot may grow in future when unused funds are rolled over Rule changes in future years may drive money to more schools What Makes E-rate Different?: What Makes E-rate Different? Source of a recurring funding stream Don’t compete against clever grant writers or political connections Everyone can get discounts on things you are already purchasing if you follow the rules A Quick Guide to Some Acronyms: A Quick Guide to Some Acronyms SLD—Schools and Libraries Division Day-to-day administration of program USAC—Universal Service Administrative Co. Parent organization of SLD Administers 4 Universal Service Fund programs Disburses E-rate support FCC—Federal Communications Commission Sets overall program policy Ultimate judge of appeals An Overview of the Program: An Overview of the Program Discounts of 20 to 90 percent on connectivity costs Priority One Services Telecommunications services Internet access Every eligible entity can receive these discounts Priority Two Services Internal connections Remaining funds applied, priority given to neediest applicants How the Process Works: How the Process Works File the Form 470 application this fall (by Dec. 19, 2002) Take bids for 28 days after it is posted Sign contracts or service agreements File Form 471 during 'filing window' Nov. 4, 2002 to Jan. 16, 2003 Receive 'funding commitments' in spring Begin services on or after July 1, 2003 Applications this fall cover June purchases through 30, 2004 (Sept. 30, 2004 for 'non-recurring costs') The Most Important Rules: The Most Important Rules You must accept bids for at least 28 days You must not sign a contract until your Form 470 application has been posted for 28 days You must complete your applications on time You must be careful about requesting ineligible services Changes for This Year: Changes for This Year No MAJOR rule changes expected Increased application review and auditing Eligible services list updated on Oct. 18, 2002 New deadlines enforced on payment paperwork Expected changes in online Form 471 New Form 486 for differences in CIPA compliance for schools and libraries More information available online Basic Eligibility Issues: Basic Eligibility Issues Must be use an eligible product or service Must be used by an eligible entity Must be used at an eligible location Used for an eligible purpose (e.g., education) www.sl.universalservice.org/Reference/eligible.asp Updated list published on Oct. 18, 2002 Eligible Services:Internal Connections: Eligible Services: Internal Connections If it’s purchased, it’s internal connections Routers, hubs, switches Network operating software Wireless networks Wiring Uninterruptible Power Supplies Installation and maintenance PBXes (except voice mail and handsets) Eligible Services: Internal Connections: Eligible Services: Internal Connections Eligible Servers Domain Name Servers E-mail Server Communications Server Terminal Server Web Server DHCP Server Must involve connectivity, not just storage 'File server' no longer sufficient description Internal Connections Eligible Services: Internal Connections: Eligible Services: Internal Connections Ineligible Servers (if dedicated to this use) Caching Server Firewall Server Print Server Proxy Server Archive or Data Warehouse Server Application Server Database Server Remote Access Servers and Routers Eligible if steps are taken to restrict access to eligible entities Requires separate certification Internal Connections:Things to Remember: Internal Connections: Things to Remember Ineligible Services Desktop computers, faxes, modems, cameras Network management or monitoring software Wide Area Networks Lines must be leased from a telecommunications carrier to qualify WAN hardware qualifies as internal connections Be careful with 'bundled’ services Ask for an unbundled product Be prepared to demonstrate cost-effectiveness Telecom Services: Things to Remember: Telecom Services: Things to Remember To qualify, must be purchased from a common carrier Offering must be 'commercially available' Ineligible services Voice mail Phones Pagers and cell phones Exclude ineligible employees who receive pager and cellular service Exclude services to buildings that don’t have instructional connection Internet Access:Things to Remember: Internet Access: Things to Remember Content priced separately is not eligible for support Bundled content Can be supported if 'minimal' and most cost-effective way of accessing the Internet 'E-mail' eligible as a separate service New Test for “Bundled” Products: New Test for 'Bundled' Products Product or service with eligible and ineligible components Should try to do cost allocation Full product may be eligible if: Package represents most cost-effective bid Cost-effectiveness judged without regard to ineligible components Package is standard offering, with no separated pricing available Applicant is not specifically seeking ineligible components Any added content must be minimal “On-Premise Priority One Equipment” : 'On-Premise Priority One Equipment' On-site networking equipment is presumed to be internal connections, except in certain conditions If your discount rate is not high, may want to consider if you need help acquiring WAN components Provision of telecom service or Internet access includes WAN, not LAN, components Will be closely scrutinized Other Important Criteria for This Approach: Other Important Criteria for This Approach Service provider must retain ownership Service provider responsible for maintenance Vendor’s hardware must operate independently of school’s own network 'Significant' one-time installation costs must be recouped over at least three years 'Significant'=$500,000-plus Must be economically justifiable Configuration must make sense Examples on SLD Web site Must meet other definitions of telecom or Internet service Remember: The rules may change New Payment Paperwork Requirements: New Payment Paperwork Requirements Deadlines don’t disappear when funding approved Form 486—services started Due 120 days from funding commitment letter or when services started, whichever is later Rule applies whether or not subject to CIPA Oct. 28 for funded services that started on July 1 BEARs and Service Provider Invoices Must be postmarked by 120 days after last possible service date October 28 for 2001-02 telecom and Internet charges Mid-January for non-recurring projects (finished by September 30) Or 120 days from receipt of Form 486 approval acknowledgement Some appeals possible in certain cases More Payment Paperwork Issues: More Payment Paperwork Issues Make sure you submit only the eligible component of the cost SLD spot-checking back-up invoices Stepped-up post-commitment auditing Keep good files and records Pass them along to the next person Enlist support of business office Don’t Make These Mistakes: Form 470: Don’t Make These Mistakes: Form 470 Don’t forget to file a Form 470 to seek out competition—even when only one telecom provider available Don’t let a vendor manage the process who will end up getting the business Don’t forget to check off a category in which you might end up buying services Don’t plan on using a contract that is no longer E-rate eligible Don’t ignore the 'Allowable Contract Date' Don’t tell a potential bidder: 'We’ve already made up our mind' Don’t conduct an RFP separately from the E-rate application process Don’t fail to certify your Form 470 How Much HelpCan a Vendor Give?: How Much Help Can a Vendor Give? FCC/SLD concerned about assuring fair and open bidding process Applicants can specify brands, but govt. is wary of too much upfront advice without letting competitors have equal chance Can do pre-Form 470 site visit if other vendors permitted to Key is for applicant to provide all vendors with the chance to bid Advise customers to retain records on who they heard from and how they evaluated bids Choosing Winning Bid: Choosing Winning Bid School supposed to pick 'most cost-effective bid' Cost doesn’t have to be only factor, but is supposed to be given most weight Other specified factors: Prior experience Past performance Personnel qualifications Technical excellence Management capability Environmental objectives School is expected to pay something Value or price of ineligible services can’t be factored in when evaluating Don’t Make These Mistakes: Form 471: Don’t Make These Mistakes: Form 471 Don’t sign a contract before 'Allowable Contract Date' Don’t date the Application Form before 'Allowable Contract Date' Don’t mail in an old form or part of an old form Don’t leave out a section Don’t put services in wrong category Don’t cite a Form 470 that didn’t reference that category Don’t fail to break out ineligible services or ineligible portion of cost Don’t fail to do everything that you must by the posted deadline Don’t forget to certify application by deadline Don’t forget to send in Description of Services Form 471: Discount Rate Calculation: Form 471: Discount Rate Calculation Schools use Worksheet A Weighted average based on school size and FSLP numbers Libraries use Worksheet B Based on discount rate of school districts in which library system is located Consortia use Worksheet C Simple average of consortia members Make sure you have formally 'joined' the consortium! E-rate Discount Matrix: E-rate Discount Matrix Discount Rates Matter!: Discount Rates Matter! A percentage point difference can make the difference on internal connections funding 3rd Year Internal Connections Threshold: 82% 4th Year Internal Connections Threshold: 86% 5th Year Internal Connections Threshold: 90 Percent, possibly lower Are any schools close to the next-highest category? Would later data help? Using 'sibling' method to find older students Discount Rates Matter! (more): Discount Rates Matter! (more) Private schools can review scholarship data or do survey Updated income eligibility levels found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/Lunch/Governance/Notices/02-03iegs.htm Keep very good records - you will need to explain Be careful with special school programs Discount Rate Roulette: Discount Rate Roulette Don’t know where threshold will fall until all applications are reviewed Under current rules, best chance for internal connections support is for 90 percent schools Consider allocating district-wide contract costs on a school-by-school basis to qualify for at least SOME funding Consider 'pooling' savings achieved at high-discount schools to total tech budget to promote equity Discount matrix could change in future years Strategies to Improve Chances of Funding Success: Strategies to Improve Chances of Funding Success Discount Rate Roulette Is District better off taking a district-wide rate or dividing up a contract between schools to qualify high-discount support for at least some support? $100,000 contract at 60% would not qualify this year If 2 out of 10 schools were at 90 percent, could get 90% support for $20,000 Important for Vendor to understand what/who is funded Don’t Forget These Things: Don’t Forget These Things Keep tech plan in synch and approved Must comply with standard state and local procurement regs Form 471 must be signed and dated after date contract was signed—and Allowable Contract Date! Make sure you could demonstrate that you have funds available for these ineligible items Staff development, desktop computers, maintenance, electrical capacity, software, etc. Make sure you can cover your portion of price Don’t Expect Sympathy If You. . .: Don’t Expect Sympathy If You. . . Ignore SLD requests for more information Fail to review Receipt Acknowledgement Letter for mistakes that could be corrected Fail to file Form 486 on a timely basis Fail to use services during approved period (starting July 1) Fail to appeal within 60 days if you have a good case Did the SLD make a mistake? Fail to keep on top of your application situation Relied on casual, verbal advice from Client Service Bureau that turned out to be wrong Read instructions and SLD Website resources Changing a Service Provider: Changing a Service Provider Easier than it once was. Three criteria: You can get out of old contract You have informed your original vendor Change is permissible under state and local procurement regulations Can’t be done until funding commitment is received Can be done for non-contract services Subject to deadline Service substitution can be done simultaneously Service Substitution: Service Substitution Initiated by vendor Seeks approval from SLD for product change or improvement Distributes letter to customers so they can submit 'Minor Modification of Contract' Initiated by applicant New product/s must have same functionality Same medium (e.g. voice, data, video), same category Must be permitted under procurement regs Must not cost more Must not include greater percentage of ineligible services Must be in line with Form 470 and RFP, if any A Word to the Wise: Be Prepared for the Auditors: A Word to the Wise: Be Prepared for the Auditors Current SLD auditing activities Internal USAC auditors FCC auditors RFP for additional auditing 80 audits planned to 'sample' program compliance Audits continue of 'high-risk' applicants How to Be Prepared: How to Be Prepared Keep very good records Ask for records if you take over job If necessary, keep documents of your payments (e.g., checks) Be prepared for new kinds of questions Review of tech plan, bid competitions, procurement regs, invoices and payments All the things you certified on your applications Question auditors if your understanding of rules is different from theirs How to Protect Yourself: How to Protect Yourself Take charge of your processes and decisions If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is Work with reputable vendors, but monitor their billing, etc. New SLD tools help applicants and vendors monitor each other now Remember: Don’t Miss Out on Money Set Aside for You: Remember: Don’t Miss Out on Money Set Aside for You Hundreds of millions of dollars unclaimed New rules can provide additional time when things go wrong Discounts for 'non-recurring services' can be used when you eventually receive them Discounts for recurring services must be used within original year Delays increase complications, but with persistence can be worked through Appeals: Secret of Success: Appeals: Secret of Success Know the rules and follow them Read the instructions every year Keep EXTREMELY good records Track your application very closely Get help if the dollars are substantial How to Appeal: How to Appeal You can appeal to the SLD or the FCC, but don’t appeal to both at the same time If SLD turns down, 60-day deadline applies again SLD can resolve a limited number of issues SLD erred in initial review Applicant made certain kinds of mistakes and mistake could be identified from information provided with application SLD made an incorrect assumption, based on information it had When policies are clarified and appeals are pending SLD can’t waive an FCC rule Appeals can now be filed electronically Make your best case from the start Don’t change your story More Points on Appeals: More Points on Appeals May still face additional PIA review and delay on funding commitment Success is difficult at the FCC unless the issue involved SLD processing mistake Places to review precedents http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/universal_service/appeals.html http://www.fundsforlearning.com/data/fccdecision.html If your arguments are strong, good vendor may be willing to help support “Good” Arguments that Won’t Work: 'Good' Arguments that Won’t Work 'My school is very poor and we need the funding.' 'Our E-rate coordinator was hospitalized.' 'We couldn’t file our application on time because school was closed because of a snowstorm.' 'Our accountant had all of our records and his office was in the World Trade Center.' 'The Client Service Bureau gave me the wrong answer.' Final Words of Advice: Final Words of Advice There is funding available for those who work at it Adequate funding takes long-term planning There is no easy 'pot of gold' Beware of vendors who say 'it won’t cost a thing'