$5 million


Governor Mike Beebe and the Arkansas General Assembly have approved a $5 million (see new video) matching-grant program to help districts improve Internet connectivity. The bill to establish a Broadband Facilities Matching Grant Program will be funded with a one-time transfer from the state General Improvement Fund to the Department of Education Public School Fund. These funds will be leveraged at the district level for up to an additional $20 million in new E-Rate funding for local loop/WAN connectivity (the last mile).

To qualify for this potential new funding each district must file an E-Rate application by March 26, 2014.

For more information on $5 million, please contact Becky Rains, E-Rate State Coordinator, at 501-682-4003.

Connectivity Support

The Technology Resources Unit provides guidance, professional staff development and serves as the Arkansas E-Rate State Coordinators.

The Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, commonly known as “E-Rate,” is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and provides discounts to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. It is one of four support programs funded through a Universal Service fee charged to companies that provide interstate and/or international telecommunications services.

The Schools and Libraries Program supports connectivity – the conduit or pipeline for communications using telecommunications services and/or the Internet. Funding is requested under five categories of service: Telecommunications Services, Telecommunications, Internet Access, Internal Connections and Basic Maintenance of Internal Connections. Discounts for support depend on the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the population served and range from 20% to 90% of the costs of eligible services. Eligible schools, school districts and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.


For more information, please contact:

Wilma Toombs, E-Rate Program Advisor
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 402-A
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-371-1944
Fax: 501-682-5010

Alphabetical List of Topics

Common Core