Special Education Services
The E-Rate—or, more precisely, the Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism – provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Four service categories are funded: Telecommunications Services, Internet Access, Internal Connections Other than Basic Maintenance, and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Discounts range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services, depending on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.
Please visit the Eligible Services List to see descriptions of the eligible products and services. E-Rate does not cover desktop computers, learning software, professional development, or electrical infrastructure improvements to school buildings.
E-Rate-Links and Additional Information
- About the E-Rate Program
- Beginners Guides and USAC Web Tour
- Application process
- Eligible Services List
- Illinois Free and Reduced School Lunch Program Data (contact the school district for the most recent data)
- Calculating your discount
- Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
E-Rate applicants must follow the Children's Internet Protection Act if the application covers Internet access and/or internal connections. Discounts for telecommunications services (provided by a telecommunications carrier) do not require CIPA compliance.
Technology Integration Planning for E-Rate
Approved Technology Integration Plans are required of any district or other educational entity applying for E-Rate discounts for eligible services other than basic telephone services (defined as basic local, cellular, PCS, and/or long distance telephone service and/or voice mail). The Technology Integration Plan approval date must precede the start of services (usually July 1) of the applicable funding year or the filing of a Form 486.
- A completed Basic (Draft) Technology Integration Plan (TIP), covering at least one full fiscal funding year (July 1-June 30), is required prior to submitting a Form 470 for E-Rate reimbursement or discounts for the fiscal year applicable to the form filed. As USAC does not presently require approval of Basic (Draft) Technology Plans, ISBE does not request a copy of the Basic (Draft) plan for approval. However, as a certified Technology Plan Approver for USAC, ISBE may seek to verify the completion date and/or request a copy of the Basic (Draft) plan at any time.
(from the Schools and Libraries Division):
- Length: The Basic Technology Integration Plan written to support a Form 470 must cover an entire fiscal year and contain the five (5) required USAC components described online at www.usac.org/sl (July 1 through June 30). The complete Technology Integration Plan submitted for approval to the Illinois State Board of Education must cover three fiscal years. Plans submitted for approval in 2011 will start July 1, 2011 and end June 30, 2014.
- Approval Process: Facilitation of peer review for finalized three-year Technology Integration Plans submitted electronically to ISBE is conducted by the Learning Technology Centers under the direction and supervision of ISBE. Final plan action/approval status is awarded by ISBE based upon the recommendation of plan reviewers and certified by USAC certified Technology Integration Plan Approvers on staff within the agency. (See the complete list of certified Technology Integration Plan Approvers online at http://www.usac.org/sl/about/overview-process.aspx.
The online template for Technology Integration Plans expiring June 30 will open on or about September 1 annually. Please watch this website and the Superintendent’s Bulletin for news and updates.
- Spring to Early Fall (annually) for applicants holding a plan, which will not expire on June 30 of the following fiscal year: USAC requires an Annual Review of Technology Integration Plans written to support E-Rate reimbursements or discounts.
- Additionally, LEAs holding a previously approved TIP must memorialize/document monitoring compliance in respect to the schedule written into the approved plan of all plan sections. USAC recommends that applicants capture the annual review date electronically.
Service Provider Invoice Form (Form 474). This must also be “received or postmarked no later than 120 days after the date of the Form 486 Notification Letter or 120 days after the last date to receive service, whichever is later. “