Mabton schools seeking to secure additional E-Rate funding for technology services

MABTON – The Mabton School District has for a few years been paying for technology services and upgrades to its systems using E-Rate funding provided by the FCC.

Technology Director Sergio Razo said the funding is available to schools and libraries. Each year, the Mabton School District must submit an application for the funding.

The application process, he said, requires a technology plan and the procurement of services from vendors.

Last night (Monday) the Mabton School Board approved contracts with three vendors, including Ednetics, Media Cast and Digital Solutions.

The FCC has set aside $2.25 billion to assist schools and libraries with technology costs for the 2014 fiscal year. Last year $1.99 billion was committed for those purposes, said Razo.

Using E-Rate dollars, Razo said, the school district receives extreme discounts. For instance, the district would pay nearly $700 monthly for its 9-1-1, emergency, fire alarm and VoIP failover services from CenturyLink without the federal funding. With the federal funding, the district has saved nearly $200 each month. That service will be provided by Ednetics with the newly approved contract, which will reduce the monthly bill to $54 after the E-Rate discount.

The district saves more than $27,000 on its learning and digital media systems because of the federal funding.

With approval of the new contracts last night, which will save the district additional money, the school district can move forward with the application for E-Rate funding, said Razo.

He said the application will go through a review process and once the district is approved, services can be received. The district will be reimbursed for costs associated with its technology programs.


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