Texas State Match Fund FAQ

  1. What is the Texas State Match fund?
  2. What services are eligible for the Texas State Match?
  3. How does the state match program work?  
  4. Who is eligible for the Texas State Matching funds?
  5. What is the period of availability for the Texas State Matching funds?
  6. How do I apply for Texas State Match?
  7. If my district filed a special construction project in E-rate FY16, can I get state matching funds for that project?
  8. Is this funding available to LEAs that already have fiber?
  9. How and when will TEA disburse funds?
  10. Will $25 million be sufficient for upgrading all LEAs?
  11. Will TEA prioritize school district type or need when awarding state matching funds?
  12. Can I still get state matching funds if I didn’t indicate on my FY 17 Form 471 that I wanted to request state matching funds for my special construction project?
  13. What if I still have questions about the Texas State Match program or don’t know how to get started?

What is the Texas State Match fund?
The state match program is an E-rate program authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Rules adopted by the FCC in the Second E-rate Modernization Order provide additional Category 1 funding to match appropriated state funding for “special construction” costs to connect schools and libraries to high-speed broadband services. The 85th Texas State Legislature created the Texas State Match fund by appropriating $25 million for Texas to participate in the program.

What services are eligible for the Texas State Match?

Per FCC rules, state matching funds are for eligible Category 1 special construction costs only. ​ These costs are the design, engineering, project management and construction costs related to the building of  broadband infrastructure necessary for the E-rate applicant to receive the level of broadband service requested on the applicant’s FCC Form 470.  

How does the state match program work?
The FCC state matching program reduces the local funding share for E-rate eligible Category 1 fiber projects by providing a dollar-for-dollar match to the Texas funding.  Therefore, if Texas provides $25,000,000, the FCC will provide $25,000,000.

For Example, an LEA is pursuing a $100,000 special construction fiber project and is eligible for an 80% E-rate discount. E-rate funding.  E-rate will contribute $80,000 and the local share for the LEA is $20,000.  The Texas State Matching fund will contribute 10% of the project or $10,000.  The E-rate program will match the 10% and contribute $10,000 towards the local share. The LEA local share is reduced to $0. E-rate will pay 90% ($90K), the State will pay 10% ($10K), thus the state matching program will save the LEA $20,000.

Who is eligible for the Texas State Matching funds?
Local education agencies (LEAs) and Education Service Center (ESC) Consortiums that participate in the federal E-rate program who have an eligible E-rate special construction project.

What is the period of availability for the Texas State Matching funds?
The Texas State Matching funds are available until August 31, 2019, therefore funds are available for the E-rate funding years 17 and 18.

How do I apply for Texas State Match?
See the application process and required forms.

If my district filed a special construction project in E-rate FY16, can I get state matching funds for that project?
No, the Texas State Match program is not retroactive.

Is this funding available to LEAs that already have fiber?
State matching funds are only available to offset special construction costs; these funds cannot be used for monthly recurring charges for existing services.

How and when will TEA disburse funds?
TEA will review the LEA submitted CCI.B form and once approved, funds will be disbursed within 30 days to the LEA, who is then responsible to pay the provider.

Will $25 million be sufficient for upgrading all LEAs?
$25M is the estimate based on information available prior to the legislative session, however the exact amount of special construction projects that E-rate applicants may request is unknown.

Will TEA prioritize school district type or need when awarding state matching funds?
Although it is not anticipated that prioritization will be required, if there are more requests than funds available, the Commissioner of Education may choose to prioritize requests.

Can I still get state matching funds if I didn’t indicate on my FY 17 Form 471 that I wanted to request state matching funds for my special construction project?
Yes, you have not already received a funding commitment letter from the FCC. You will need to file a RAL and let USAC/PIA know that you wish to use state matching funds. You will also need to complete and email Form CCI.A to ClassroomConnectivity@tea.texas.gov to initiate the process.

What if I still have questions about the Texas State Match program or don’t know how to get started?
Email ClassroomConnectivity@tea.texas.gov and a member of the TEA Classroom Connectivity Initiative team will respond within 2 business days.