E-Rate is a federal program that reimburses schools and libraries for percentages of their telecommunications infrastructure. While wealthy suburban districts may only see 20-30% reimbursement, inner-city, rural, or economically depressed districts can see up to 90% reimbursement for eligible technology costs. This can amount to big money for a lot of school districts, but it generally requires a fair amount of bureaucratic pain to be reimbursed.
Fortunately for me, our district has a budget administrator who understands E-Rate inside and out. For those of you who lack that advantage, there are some resources to be had, even as some deadlines have passed and new deadlines loom.
One interesting take on E-Rate is a new blog from Funds For Learning. As with many blogs, it's a mix of news and commentary, but already features a fair amount of content, including a link to a Flash-based summary of E-Rate. While the site is largely designed to bring people to the organization for E-Rate consulting services, it's a good place to start.
This E-Rate Primer is bit dated, but is quite a good place to start. It was enough to at least let me have an intelligent conversation with our budget guru.
Where do you go for E-Rate help? Share your best links below.