With E-Rate Funding Underway, What’s Next?

With last week’s first wave of E-rate funding, totaling over $607 million in Priority 1 services for more than 14,600 applications, school districts are reminded to file Form 486—available under the “Apply Online” section of the Schools and Libraries Program’s (SLD) website—after they receive a funding commitment decision letter (FCDL).

If a school or district is requesting discounted bills from a service provider, it must submit the Form 486 before discounted billing can begin. All of the information needed to complete Form 486 is available on the FCDLs or Form 471s.

3 Functions of Form 486

  1. Informs the SLD that it is authorized to pay invoices;
  2. Informs the SLD that a technology plan has been approved and indicates the name of the SLD-certified approver (for Priority 2 applicants only); and
  3. Informs the SLD that a school or library is CIPA compliant.

The deadline to submit Form 486 is 120 days from when the FCDL was sent, or October 28, 2014, whichever is later.

If the Form 486 only includes requests for Priority 1 funding, a school or district is not required to certify that it has an approved technology plan, and should select “Other” in the tech plan approver drop down box, then type “NONE” in the text box when it appears.

Before filing Form 486, schools should also be certain that their internet safety policies have been updated to reflect the new Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) language.

Lastly, in addition to needing an Entity Number, FRN and SPIN, here are some additional tips when filing Form 486.

  • Be sure to print the Form 486 number and security code when it appears on screen. These numbers will be needed later to access and print a copy of the submitted form.
  • Check Item 6A if Form 486 is filed before July 31, 2014.
  • Skip Item 6B if school or district is CIPA compliant.
  • Item 7, Column F: Service start date should generally be July 1, 2014.
  • Item 11A: Schools, districts or libraries (not consortiums) that are CIPA compliant should only check 11A on this page (skip the rest). Items 11D, 11E, 11F and 11G are for consortium applicants only.
  • To print a copy of a submitted Form 486, go back to the “apply online” area, and click on “display.” The 486 number and security code will be needed to access the submitted form.