E-rate Funding For Schools & Libraries
We believe high-speed broadband empowers K-12 students and library patrons to succeed. Each year, the E-rate program provides up to $3.9 billion in discounts on essential broadband services for schools and libraries across the country, making high-speed Internet access and reliable Wi-Fi more affordable. Discounts depend upon the level of poverty and location of the school or library seeking support.
E-rate participants include public K-12 school districts, individual and private schools, public libraries and library systems, and consortia. The program ensures that these entities have proper access to affordable telecommunications and information services. If you are unsure of your eligibility status, contact us today!
Discounts on eligible services can range from 20 to 90 percent depending on your community’s location and poverty level.
How We’ll Help
Funds For Learning is a valuable resource as you evaluate your technology plan for current and future needs. Our team of experts are dedicated to accuracy, professionalism, ethics, reliability, and discernment in helping clients apply for E-rate discounts. Our primary objective is to assist in securing the maximum funding through the E-rate process while maintaining compliance with program rules. Here’s what we’re here to do:
- Manage all paperwork associated with the E-rate payment and reimbursement process
- Prepare and file appeals when necessary
- Track every Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision affecting the E-rate program
- Monitor and catalog all E-rate appeals and audit decisions issued by the FCC
- Monitor all SLD board meetings and public communications
- Communicate regularly with federal and state education officials, FCC and congressional staff, and other members of the technology and education communities
E-rate for Schools
Funds For Learning® is focused solely on the E-rate program and has long-term, real-world, hands-on E-rate compliance experience. Our compliance services are tailored specifically to the needs of each client and range from full-scope to limited service and even training options.
Schools We Serve
- Public schools and school districts
- Private, charter, and religious schools
E-rate for Libraries
Funds For Learning® has extensive experience managing E-rate compliance for libraries and library systems, ensuring that library patrons have reliable access to online resources.
Libraries We Serve
- Public library systems
- Individual libraries
- City, county, or state governments operating library systems
Get timely E-rate compliance information from the expert Guides at Funds For Learning! Our monthly My E-rate Guides webinar series will keep you up-to-date on the latest program rules, changes, and trends. Click the link below for more information.
E-rate Process Overview
Applicants file the FCC Form 470 to announce that they are seeking E-rate support to purchase eligible goods and services. The applicant must also comply with all local and state procurement rules and regulations.
When the Form 470 is posted to USAC’s website, a 28-day period begins in which interested service providers may submit proposals and bids to provide service to the applicant.
After the 28 day posting period, the applicant reviews bids and proposals, selects a service provider, and signs a contract or service agreement. Cost of eligible goods and services must be the highest weighted factor in the vendor selection process.
Next, the applicant submits the FCC Form 471 which details the products and services for which discounts are being sought. The Form 471 includes information about contracts between the applicant and their selected service providers, as well as the costs of eligible products and services.
USAC, the E-rate program administrator, will review the Form 471 application ensure that funding requests are for eligible services that will be delivered to eligible locations and students or library patrons. When the application is approved USAC will issue a Funding Commitment Decision Letter, or FCDL.
Applicants receive services during the E-rate “Funding Year,” which runs from July 1 – June 30. They submit the Form 486 to signify that the approved services are being delivered, and that they comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA.)
Finally, the applicant has two means of realizing the benefit of the E-rate program. The first is to receive discounts directly on the invoices from their service providers, who then bill the SLD for the committed portion of the delivered services using the FCC Form 474. The second is to pay for services in full and then request reimbursement of the discounted amount by filing the FCC Form 472.