THE E-RATE PROGRAM
The Atlanta Independent School System, known as Atlanta Public Schools (APS) is a public, nonprofit educational, governmental entity, separate and apart from the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia. APS exists under the authority of a district charter as authorized by state law and is managed by Superintendent Meria Joel Carstarphen with a nine member Board of Education known as the Atlanta Board of Education. It is the responsibility of the Atlanta Board of Education to establish policies and procedures which guide the school district in making decisions relative to programs, projects, staff, contracts, the procurement of goods and services, the acquisition of property and the protection of district assets, budget allocations and information technology. APS has a total school population of approximately 48,000 students and has more than 100 schools and administrative sites. Approximately eighty-four (84) percent of the school district student population lives at or below the national poverty standards.
The Atlanta Board of Education is ultimately committed to student success and the success of the schools in the district. To that end, an annual plan has been developed to identify targets for improvement at the school and system level. These targets include improvement in student achievement, attendance and other outcomes as determined by the Superintendent. These targets also include ways the District can bridge gaps between classroom instruction and technology. Consequently, the APS Information Technology Department (ITD) shares in the responsibility of making the district more accountable for focusing talents and resources to ensure that APS students are exposed to quality technology. An understanding of technology helps to prepare district students for their futures making them more successful in school and life. To fulfill this mission, the Superintendent and the Atlanta Board of Education develops information technology policy and how it is used pursuant to government specific funding and/or reimbursement resources such as those prescribed by Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
On May 8, 1997, the FCC released a Report and Order on Universal Service pursuant to Section 254(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, known as the Snowe-Rockefeller-Exon-Kerrey amendment. The amendment prescribed access to telecommunications services for educational purposes at discounted rates. From this amendment, E-Rate was born under the School and Libraries Universal Service Support System which provided discounts to assist schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications services and Internet access.
The ITD of APS embraces the FCC regulations via the procurement and management of E-Rate services and technologies which include but are not limited to digital transmission services such as asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), broadband over power lines (BPL), digital subscriber line (DSL), integrated services network (ISDN, BRI, PRI), satellite service, switched multimegabit data (SMDS), wireless, trunk lines, permanent virtual circuit and telephone service, routers, switches, private branch exchange and access points.
APS recognizes and understands that the E-Rate Program is governed by rules, regulations and policies. The Board of Education, staff and faculty are committed to the fulfillment of program regulatory requirements and compliance standards. The primary focus of the APS E-Rate Program is administrative, operational and fiscal consistency with the intent of Congress through strict adherence to federal legislation and program guidelines which addresses the following:
A. Availability and Access
For additional information on the USAC E-Rate polices and procedures, please visit their website at http://www.usac.org/sl/.