Feds to help schools in communication costs

Posted on Dec 30 1998

The Public School System is targetting fiscal savings in communication expenses by embracing the so-called E-rate, which the federal government is offering, said acting Fiscal and Budget Officer William Matson.

Up to $100,000 in savings are expected to be realized from fiscal 2000.

“This is not a grant but rather the federal government will help the schools with their communication expenses for phones and internet,” Matson said.

The federal E-rate program amounts to a subsidy to communication costs at PSS, with the exception of its central office. PSS and the federal government will split the bill.

Sharing arrangements range from 50-50 to 10-90, depending on the income level of the state.

Based on initial discussions with the lieutenant governor’s office, the federal government is likely to agree to pick up 80 percent of the tab for PSS.

But Matson said the savings are not enough to ease the budget crunch at PSS, noting that the E-rate program is to take effect on 2000 yet.

He said though, “This is good news because if we get 80 percent then we would get closer to $95,000 that we would not have to pay.”

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