E-Rate

E-Rate is the common term for the Schools and Libraries Program administered by the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company. The program, funded through contributions from telecommunications service providers to the Universal Service Fund, provides discounts to schools and libraries purchasing eligible internet access, telephone service, and internal connections.

Forms
Typically, E-Rate requires filling out 3 to 4 forms:
  • Form 470 describes your library's needs for Internet connections, telephone service, or networking between computers. Vendors can read your form online and submit bids to provide your library with these services.
  • Form 471 tells the Schools and Libraries Division what bids for services you accepted. It identifies the vendors who will be providing these services and how much these services will probably cost. The form requires calculating your e-rate discount based on the eligibility of students in your school district for free and reduced lunches. View the form instructions for more information.
  • Form 486 tells the Schools and Libraries Division that the services have been delivered and how much the services actually cost. This gives the Schools and Libraries Division permission to now pay the vendors.
  • Form 472 asks for reimbursement for the difference between the amount you paid and the cost of the services after the discount.
Resources Available
Keep Track of E-Rate Paperwork
  • Download Chris Rippel's checklist-style E-Rate Folder Cover. This cover for file folders is easy to use:
    1. Get a file folder for each year of e-rate you want to keep.
    2. Make enough photocopies of the E-Rate Folder Cover for each of the folders.
    3. Staple a copy of the E-Rate Folder Cover on the inside or outside of the front cover of each file folder.
    4. As you progress through the e-rate process, put papers in the folder and fill out the cover sheet.
  • Use this Table of Contents and Tab System for an E-Rate Binder:
Writing a Technology Plan in Support of Your E-Rate Application
Kansas libraries applying for E-Rate funds are no longer required to have an approved technology plan on file with the State Library, unless applying for Priority 2 services (Internal Connections / Basic Maintenance). However, as public libraries become increasingly reliant on dependable effective technologies and communication methods in order to provide quality service, it's good practice to have a written plan that brings together in one place the resources available and the needs to be addressed.

For tips and help writing a technology plan without conforming to E-Rate requirements, try out our Technology Planning Toolkit, developed in cooperation with Kansas Regional Library Systems.

If your E-Rate application covers Priority 2 services and requires a plan, use the toolkit in conjunction with E-Rate's technology planning pages and resources.

Your plan must be written (not complete or State Library-approved) prior to filing Form 470, and approved prior to the start date for any services funded.

Send plans for State Library approval to Jeff Hixon via email, fax (785-368-7291), or mail:
State Library of Kansas
300 SW 10th Ave.
Room 343N
Topeka, KS 66612

Technology plans for E-Rate (MS Excel Format)
A list of Kansas public libraries currently covered by certified technology plans.

Home Page of the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company

Discount Calculation
Kansas Free and Reduced Data is published under Kansas K-12 Reports, which is accessible here:  http://svapp15586.ksde.org/k12/k12.aspx
  • To access District Level Data, click on the Organizations tab to access the data by USD #. 
  • Then on the left of any single-district page, click on USD ### Statistics.
  • Under Attendance/Enrollment Reports, access Students Approved for Free or Reduced Price Lunches Headcount Enrollment, select the school year , and select the Type of Report--either District Total or By Schools to generate a comprehensive list of all schools in the district.
CIPA
Public libraries receiving federal funds (E-Rate, LSTA) are in most cases required to comply with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). View these helpful links for more information:
KS-CIPA
While not directly tied to Erate or other federal funds programs, all Kansas Public Libraries are required by law to comply with the Kansas Children's Internet Protection Act. For more information visit the KS-CIPA page.