Depending whether your school is located in an urban or rural area and the economic need of your students, a school can attain an E-Rate discount in a range of 20% to 90%. The level of economic need is determined by the percentage of students eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Both of these sets of information are then used to determine the school’s discount by using the E-Rate Discount Matrix.
To calculate a school’s E-Rate discount, each school first must determine the percentage of its students by school that are eligible for the NSLP, which is basically 185% of the federal poverty guidelines. Whether a student participates in NSLP or if the school serves lunches is irrelevant. The basic issue at hand is whether or not a student’s family falls within the income eligibility guidelines of NSLP.
National School Lunch Program (NSLP) data
USAC CIPA / Filtering Requirements
The Childrens Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires filtering and Internet Safety Policies for schools receiving federal technology funding. The following three items, specifically, are required if schools and libraries are receiving Internet access or internal connections funding through E-Rate:
1. Technology Protection Measure
A Technology Protection Measure is a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet access. It must protect against access by adults and minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or - with respect to use of computers with Internet access by minors - harmful to minors. It may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes. For schools, the policy must also include monitoring the online activities of minors.
2. Internet Safety Policy
The Internet Safety Policy must address the following issues:
- access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web;
- the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications;
- unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking," and other unlawful activities by minors online;
- unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
- measures designed to restrict minors' access to materials harmful to minors.
3. Public Notice and Hearing
The authority with responsibility for administration of the school must provide reasonable public notice and hold at least one public hearing to address a proposed Technology Protection Measure and Internet Safety Policy.
As of August, 2003, all schools and libraries are required to use the new Form 486, dated August 2003, to certify their CIPA compliance.
For specific SLD-provided information pertaining to CIPA, deadlines, and forms, see the CIPA guidance provided in the SLD website's Reference Area: http://www.usac.org/sl/applicants/step10/cipa.aspx.