Educational Technology Federal Programs

Contact Information

Susan Tenkhoff
E-Rate & Emergency Connectivity Fund Coordinator
360-878-4701

Ana Ketch
Federal Ed. Funding Optimization Program Specialist
564-999-0503

The federal programs listed below provide funding for internet and device access for students, teachers, and families (dependent on the program). See the following for details on each program.

Affordable Connectivity Program

As of January 1, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) transitioned the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) for students and families. Learn more at the EBB transition to ACP website.

High Speed Internet

ACP is limited to one monthly service discount and one device per eligible household.

  • ACP provides a high speed internet service (100Mbs download) discount of up to $30 per month, with no additional out of pocket costs, for eligible households. The discount is up to $75 per month for households qualifying on Tribal lands.
  • Eligible households that can contribute more than $10 and less than $50 to the purchase of a laptop, desktop computer, or table can also receive a one-time discount from participating companies of up to $100 to purchase a device.

Eligibility

There are 3 ways families can qualify:

  • Income of 200% or less than the federal poverty guidelines
  • Program participation (such as Free Reduced Lunch Program eligible, or SNAP, etc.), or
  • Meeting the eligible criteria for a participating broadband provider's existing low-income internet program

To find out more about eligibility, please reference the ACP eligibility qualifications.

ACP Application

If your family is not currently receiving internet access, we encourage you to enroll directly in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) using one of the following options:

Do you have more questions? Please visit the ACP Consumer FAQ page for more information.

Resources

Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)

All application windows are closed.

The Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) is a $7.17 billion program that provides 100% funding to school districts for connected devices, such as laptop or tablet computers, and/or broadband access for students and teachers during the pandemic. This program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

School districts in the State of Washington have received over $132M in funding commitments from the program so far. For a summary of funding requested by districts, and the total number of devices and connections to be funded, please review the School District Funding Summary.

ECF Resources
  • There are a number of resources, available from USAC, on the Emergency Connectivity Resources site.
  • We encourage you to read through the FCC’s FAQs to get more information about the program and current application window.
Record Retention and Invoicing Reminders

Inventory Records

Be sure to check out the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for all requirements and details on keeping inventory records of purchases and services in the event of an audit. Please review the following reminders about records retention:

  • Need to document students and school staff served at each location.
  • Retain information for 10 years from the last date of service or delivery of equipment.
  • Must also document missing, lost, or damaged equipment.

If you would like an inventory log to use, email Ana Ketch or please download the inventory log.

Invoicing

For nearly all applicants, the deadline to submit invoices to USAC is Aug 29, 2023.

  • The requests for reimbursement must be submitted within 60 days from the date of the funding commitment decision letter. This includes a revised funding commitment decision letter approving a post-commitment change or a successful appeal of previously denied or reduced funding, or a service delivery date; whichever is later.
  • The FCC released an Order, directing USAC to use June 30, 2023, as the service delivery date for all requests for equipment, other non-recurring services, and recurring services submitted during the first and second Emergency Connectivity Fund Program application filing windows. This effectively made August 29, 2023, the invoice deadline for applicants, with a limited exception for those who have RFCDLs dated after June 30, 2023.

In order to receive payment, districts must have a valid SAM.gov account.

Vendor invoice detail must match ECF FCC Forms 471/472/474.

  • USAC requires that proof of delivery be provided with all requests for reimbursement for equipment. This can be provided by uploading the packing slips for the equipment or proof of delivery of shipments. Make sure that all supporting documentation has the date of delivery listed.
  • If there has been a change to the items ordered or the vendor providing the items, you must complete a Post Commitment Change Request with USAC prior to submitting the invoice.

If you need assistance with invoice submission or have questions, please contact Susan Tenkhoff

ECF Payment Request Resources

ECF Frequently Asked Questions

What is an unmet need?

The FCC intends ECF to be an emergency connectivity program to meet unmet needs, not an optimal one-on-one connectivity program. There will be other state-funded grant opportunities (HB 1365) for one-on-one programs to continue to close the homework gap.

Is there assistance available?

OSPI’s State E-Rate Coordinator, Susan Tenkhoff, is working in partnership with Educational Service Districts (ESDs) and the Procurement and Strategic Planning Lead, to assist districts to facilitate the ECF application process.

What support will be provided?

Support will include assistance with strategic planning, providing resources to support data collection, and assisting with creating and submitting ECF applications.

What happens after the application is completed?

After the application is completed, support will include guidance on purchases to ensure alignment with agreements and funding requirements, collaboration with ESD staff in the successful delivery of goods and services in accordance with ECF rules, reimbursement requests, and training.

Can't find what you're looking for? Review a full list of Emergency Connectivity Fund Support Frequently Asked Questions!

Statewide Support Next Steps

The Educational Technology team at OSPI will:

  • Continue to support districts with ECF application questions, and assist with the post-application procurement process and paperwork requirements.
  • Collaborate with the ESD team and other state agencies to implement House Bill (HB) 1365 Digital Equity & Inclusion Grants
    • Identify districts with unmet one-on-one device needs, who were unable to apply for ECF funds.
    • Identify districts that requested above the eligible ECF expenses and have demonstrated support needs.
  • Collaborate with the ESD team to provide assistance with data collection and support districts with implementation and planning.

The Educational Service Districts (ESDs) and the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD) will:

  • Provide guidance and leadership to the ESD team and collaborate with the OSPI. (AESD)
  • Directly support districts with professional development and assist with procurement needs. (Educational Technology Coordinators)
  • Leverage DES contracts to maximize savings for technology purchases. (ESD Procurement Team)

Statewide Procurement Support

Statewide Procurement support is a collaboration between OSPI, the Association of Educational Service Districts (AESD), and the nine Educational Service Districts (ESDs) across Washington state. To learn more about technology procurement and support available for your district watch the Procurement Support webinar and review the Procurement Support presentation.

For additional questions regarding ECF please contact Susan Tenkhoff or Ana Ketch.

E-rate

E-rate is a tiered system of reimbursement, for which OSPI applies on behalf of all K-12 schools connected to the K-20 network. In addition, districts and libraries also apply for the E-rate discount to lower the cost of telecom and network data services.