Thirteen Ed Online Home
Know Your E-Rate
Educational Discounts
Community Outreach
Creative Technology Financing
Once you know what you want to do, you're faced with the harsh reality of the costs and resources associated with implementing your technology plan. Follow the suggestions below for free and discounted services and hardware.

Because of widespread interest in Internet use in education, many federal, state, and local government agencies have created grant opportunities for school districts hungry for technology. The U.S. Dept. of Education and the National Science Foundation are two of the more active funding agencies for technology in K-12 schools. Contact your Board of Education for information on state and local programs.

E-rate is a federally mandated telecommunications discount for schools seeking access to the Internet. E-rate was designed to provide virtually every K-12 school, public or private, with affordable Internet access. Using the twin guideposts of subsidized school lunches (to determine a school's rate of poverty) and the cost of phone service in a given area, discounts range from 20 to 90 percent, and are applicable to all commercially available telecommunications services, Internet access, and internal connections.
For information on how to apply for your E-Rate discount, go to the School and Library Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company.

Most hardware and software vendors maintain Web sites; Frequently hardware and software vendors offer special discounted prices to schools and teachers and most of these sites maintain Web sites. Once you have identified the kind of products you want, visit vendor sites to find out more about their products and discount policies. Some vendors to consider:

Gateway 2000

Ask the manufacturer about discounts for schools. Some companies handle educational sales themselves, others will refer you to a dealer.

Several organizations offer free services to schools. The American School Directory (ASD) provides every K-12 school in the United States with its own Web site, and gives every teacher and student their own Web page and e-mail address.

NetDays are a grass-roots volunteer effort to wire schools so that computers can then be networked and connected to the Internet. The goal behind NetDays is to match technically skilled volunteers with schools that need help getting online. Labor, materials, and support are provided by companies, unions, parents, teachers, students, and school employees. Many communities design NetDays as a way for schools to get to know local hardware, software, and telecommunications vendors, and negotiate favorable deals for their goods and services.

In a February 1997 radio address, President Clinton challenged communities to hold NetDays in all 50 states.

The NetDay Web site has the latest information on NetDay activities.

Explore fundraising opportunities in your neighborhood. Start by getting the word out to parents and community organizations. Call your local computer store and ask about discounts, donations, or in-kind contributions. Develop a relationship with a university, see if you can get an Internet access account -- most provide free access to college students, and may provide access to nearby K-12 schools.

A few organizations have developed innovative ways for schools to acquire hardware and software. The following are just a few examples of creative financing opportunities that your school can tap into to get the equipment you need.

The IBM Global Financing offers a lease-to-own pricing scheme that includes insurance, maintenance, and hardware upgrades for a monthly fee. Called the Equity Lease program, after 12 months you can use the equity accrued through your lease payments to purchase a portion of the computers you already have and add additional newer equipment for about the same lease payment.

The A+America Free Technology For Schools Program turns everyday purchases by parents and other members in the community into dollars for educational technology in your school. Any k-12 school in the U.S. is eligible to participate. A+ America is comprised of over 80 corporate sponsors who have agreed to donate a percentage of their sales to schools through a variety of gift certificates, receipt redemption, and subscription service programs. Participating A+America partners like Sprint will automatically donate a percentage of each residential long distance monthly bill to your school for each person who registers their account to your school. A+ also offers free seminars on raising funds for your schools.

U.S. Dept. of Education
The DOE Web Site contains information about all its current grant opportunities, including application forms that you can download to your computer!

The Foundation Center
The Foundation Center is a clearinghouse of public and private grant information. It has four main offices, one each in New York, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and San Francisco, and more than 100 Cooperating Collections that provide materials and services useful to grant seekers.

E-Rate Information

The FCC, LearnNet
The FCC's own page on the E-Rate discount to schools and libraries.

More Funding Ideas
American School Directory
Free access to the Internet with advertising.

Tech Corps is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping schools get the technical resources, training, and funding that they need.

All the information you need about NetDays across the country.

Consortium for School Networking
Lots of links for educators on how to get funded and get wired!

A+ America

IBM Global Financing

Internet Primer