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Website Hosting and the Federal E-rate Program

Blackboard Engage offers many products and services for K-12 school districts and their learning communities. However, only the Edline website hosting service is eligible for federal funding discounts through the E-rate program. Edline Web Hosting from Blackboard Engage is 95% eligible for E-rate funding (before calculation of the non-discounted portion). The following provides highlights of what E-rate will, and will not, fund for K-12 websites.

The E-rate program funds and provides discounts for K-12 school websites and library websites, including:

  • Website administration tools to create and maintain your website
  • Interactive communication features on your website such as blogs and discussion boards
  • Webmail
  • Other features on your website that facilitate real-time interactive communications
  • Instant messaging and chat

Please note that not all content, services, systems, and features that can be used with a website are eligible for E-rate funding. For example, the following are ineligible:

  • Costs for content created by third-party vendors
  • Costs for vendor design services
  • Charges for distance learning or video conferencing utilities such as web meetings
  • Charges for student information systems, grade management systems and similar products

If you choose Edline as your website hosting provider, the following Edline products and services can be purchased separately and used in conjunction with your website, but they are not eligible for E-rate funding:

  • QuickStart Custom Graphic Design Services
  • Interactive Classroom (quiz tools, interactive assignments, etc.)
  • Award-Winning Gradebooks
  • Forms & Surveys
  • LiveLink

This brief overview of federal E-rate funding for website hosting is not comprehensive. The lists above of eligible and ineligible website hosting services, products and features are by no means exhaustive. Schools and school districts choosing to apply for E-rate funding for website hosting must select a service provider after conducting a fair and open competitive bidding process, in compliance with state and local procurement guidelines and federal regulations. For a complete description of eligible and ineligible website hosting services, and to learn more about the E-rate program, the application process, and the rules and regulations, please visit the USAC website.


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