To improve student’s academic achievement by increasing the capacity of States, local educational agencies, schools and local communities to: (1) provide all students with access to a well-rounded education; (2) improve school conditions for student learning; and (3) improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy for all students.

This is one of a number of Department programs that provides funds that could be used to support broadband access. The allowability of costs is always situation and program specific. For that reason, if you decide to use funds under one of these programs for costs related to device or mobile hotspot access, you must be sure that the use of the funds is, under the specific circumstances of the expenditure and the program authority selected, reasonable and necessary for the purposes of that program, and does not violate other program requirements, such as supplement not supplant, if it applies to program. We also note that, while funds under one of these programs can be used on broadband access, the programs’ purpose is not primarily focused on that issue.

The use of SSAE Program funds for broadband infrastructure must be consistent with the definition of “minor remodeling” in 34 CFR Part 77. That definition of minor remodeling means “minor alterations in a previously completed building. The term also includes the extension of utility lines, such as water and electricity, from points beyond the confines of the space in which the minor remodeling is undertaken but within the confines of the previously completed building. The term does not include building construction, structural alterations to buildings, building maintenance, or repairs.”

A Special Rule in the SSAE program states that no more than 15 percent of funds for activities to support the effective use of technology may be used “for purchasing technology infrastructure as described in subsection (a)(2)(B), which includes technology infrastructure purchased for the activities under subsection (a)(4)(A).” To clarify, LEAs or consortiums of LEAs may not spend more than 15 percent of funding in this content area on devices, equipment, software applications, platforms, digital instructional resources and/or other one-time IT purchases. (ESEA section 4109(b)).

Expenditures for construction are prohibited under this program.

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