Figuring out what numbers to use to calculate your Category Two budget can be unclear in certain situations. Today we’ll go through some of the common questions about how to determine inputs like student counts and library square footage.
A school’s student count is…
The number of full-time students who regularly attend your school is relatively straightforward to count. If you need to make a minor adjustment to your student count, update your EPC profile when you file your FCC Form 471.
Category Two budgets are designed to provide funding for the greatest number of students who could use the technology at any one time of the school day. To count the number of students you should include in your Category Two budget calculation, add the number of full-time students plus the highest number of part-time students who are present at once, a number we call the “peak part time students.”
Counting part-time students
Schools can count part-time students only when they regularly increase the maximum number of students at the same time of day. For example, a school that has 100 part-time students in the morning and different set of 100 part-time students in the afternoon should report 200 as the number of part-time students, and 100 as the number of “peak part-time” students. You should add clear and official documentation (like a state report) to your application that shows how you counted the part-time students.
Do not count students in after-school activities or virtual students
Students attending after-school activities or events cannot be included in student counts. Neither can “virtual students” – students who are not on the school premises.
New school construction
If the school hasn’t opened yet, you can estimate the student count. Then, mark the checkbox in EPC to indicate that your student count is an estimate.
USAC recommends being conservative, because if a new school spends its entire Category Two budget in the first year, it will need to repay any funding it receives in excess of the actual enrollment.
A library’s total square footage is…
A library’s square footage is the total square footage of its interior space.
The total square footage includes anything within the walls of a library, including staff areas, stacks, storage areas, and restrooms.
The total square footage does not include parking lots, outdoor café or Wi-Fi areas, or anything outside the walls of the library.
What about bookmobiles and kiosks? This echoes back to the same principle we covered last week for library discount calculations, that is, as long as your State Library Agency classifies bookmobiles and kiosks as library branches, they’ll get their own Category Two budget, which will likely be the minimum Category Two budget of $9,200. And again, adding a bookmobile and/or kiosk as a branch on your E-rate application requires you to obtain a “library system” entity number, then add both the library building and the bookmobile/kiosk as branches of the system.
If the State Library Agency does not consider bookmobiles and/or kiosks as library branches, they are considered an “annex” of the library for the E-rate Program and do not get their own Category Two budget.
Library locale code
We covered this briefly in the last post, but this is a very common point of confusion so we’ll explain it here again.
The “Locale Code” comes from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The E-rate Program uses it to identify the population density of the library’s location.
If you don’t know what your IMLS locale code is, look it up by visiting the IMLS Public Library Survey page and downloading the latest results. To access the most recent file, click on the FY2013 XLS link, which is a ZIP file, then choose “Puout13a” to view the file with library branch details. Locate your library in the results, and look at its classification under the “locale” column. If your library is newly-constructed or not included in the list, contact the IMLS or your State Library and ask for your locale code.
A library’s locale code is part of its “Organization Profile” in EPC, not the funding application. To update a locale code, follow these steps:
- Log into the E-rate Productivity Center (EPC)
- On the left menu, select “Related Actions”
- Alternatively, you can select “Manage Organizations” from the top menu
- Select the library whose locale code you’d like to update
- Press the “Manage Organization” button to enable editing
- Scroll down to the “Library Information” section and update the “Locale Code” field
- Not working? It might be because…
- Editing is not enabled. If you can see the locale code but can’t update it, look for a “Manage Organization” button.
- Only full- or partial-rights EPC users can update the library’s profile, including the locale code. If you have view-only rights, ask a full- or partial- rights user to update it for you.
Here is where you’ll add the IMLS locale code in the library’s EPC profile:
In the next post, we’ll cover how to re-calculate your budget if there’s a major change from one year to the next, like a change in the student population.
Editor’s note: If you submitted FCC Form 470 on the same day we wrote about it on the blog (March 3), then at this point you’ll be in the 28-day waiting period. During the 28-day period, we’re covering general information about program rules and topics that are important to know about. We’ll begin posting about FCC Form 471, the funding request form, starting the week of April 4.