E-rate News Flash
Important Funding Year 2018 Dates and Deadlines
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) announced on December 14, 2017 the E-rate Funding Year 2018-19 application filing window dates.
- The administrative Window (used to update Entity Profiles in the E-rate Productivity Center) closes January 10, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Form 471 window: opens January 11, 2018 at noon EST and closes March 22, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
- The last day to file the FCC Form 470 is February 22, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
The EPC Administrative Window is Open until January 10 at 11:59 p.m. EST!
This is our second reminder encouraging Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to take advantage of the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC) administrative window to update your entity profile in order to make the application process go as smoothly as possible. To date 1,602 schools and school districts have entered their 14 digit County-District-School (CDS) code in the “State School Code” Field in the EPC. The CDS code is an important tool for validating E-rate eligible schools and school districts.
The December 14 Special Edition of the Schools and Libraries Program News Brief (see http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=808) provides additional information on updating your profile.
The Program Integrity Assurance (PIA) process goes much more smoothly if the profile information in EPC matches the information on the school or school district record in the California School Directory as closely as possible.
To accomplish this, LEAs are encouraged to update the following in each site’s profile:
- Update the Entity name and address in the EPC to match the California School Directory. http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/sd/index.asp
- Update the “Number of Fulltime Students” and the “Total Number of Students Eligible for National School Lunch Program (NSLP)” fields to match the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) data from the 2017 collection period. This information should be available from your CALPADS Coordinator. The CALPADS 1.17 report is the recommended report to use for this purpose.
- Enter the full 14-digit CDS number in the “State School Code” field, with no spaces or dashes. You can find the CDS number in the California School Directory at http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/sd/index.asp.
- Some sites that do not have a CDS number may qualify as an Annex. If so, LEAs should create a “Customer Service Case” within the EPC to request the existing Billed Entity Number (BEN) for those sites be listed as “Inactive”, and then added as an Annex to the primary site that does have a CDS number. A detailed discussion of what constitutes an Annex can be found in the March 4, 2016 News Brief on USAC’s Web page at http://usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=670 and the March 11, 2016 News Brief on USAC’s Web Page at http://usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/preview.aspx?id=671.
- Verify the contact person’s information on the district’s profile. Since this person will receive communications from USAC, it is important that this be someone who has regular e-mail access and access to the LEA’s account in the E-Rate EPC.
FCC Form 486 updates
The FCC Form 486 is the last FCC form required to be certified before the LEA can benefit from the approved E-rate funds. The deadline for this form is 120 days after the start of services, or 120 days after the date of the Funding Commitment Decision Letter (FCDL), whichever is later.
Funding Year 2017-18 has presented unique challenges in the processing of the FCC Form 486. These challenges occur when an LEA changes the Start of Services Date (SSD) to anything other than July 1, 2017 or accidentally selects the incorrect Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) certification. When either of these actions occur the FCC Form 486 must be reviewed manually, which has caused significant delays in the approval of this form.
This has resulted in a backlog of forms needing to be reviewed. Unfortunately, the LEAs can’t benefit from the approved E-rate funds until this form has been cleared through the manual review process. The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) has begun its manual review outreach to those affected by means of e-mail. The LEA is encouraged to respond promptly to the e-mail in order to complete the review, allowing the funding to become available to the LEA.
For those who have not yet submitted their FCC Form 486, please read the CIPA certifications carefully so that you select the correct one. There is also no drawback to leaving the SSD date as July 1, 2017. Confirming these two items on your FCC Form 486 should ensure an automatic approval of your form, thus avoiding the manual review process.
Additional Information & Support
The Schools and Libraries Program (SLP), commonly known as E-rate, provides timely information and insight through their Weekly News Brief. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to sign up to receive these communications by visiting the SLP’s Web page at http://www.usac.org/sl/tools/news-briefs/Default.aspx.
You can subscribe to the California Department of Education (CDE) E-rate e-mail listserv by sending a "blank" message to firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to unsubscribe from the CDE E-rate listserv, send a "blank" message to email@example.com.
As always, we are here to help if you have questions or need support. Members of the CDE E-rate team are available to assist by e-mail at E-RATE@cde.ca.gov.