As the SLC continues to review applications to make sure they comply with program rules, the corporation has identified four main areas where supporting documentation may be necessary:
1. Eligible services. To verify that services you’ve listed on your Form 471 are eligible for discounts, you may be asked to provide:
• copies of all contracts and written communication with service providers
• copies of RFPs and RFQs
• copies of work orders issued to, or invoices submitted by, service providers
• explanation and documentation making clear that similar services are distinct, so the SLC knows you aren’t billing them twice for the same service
2. Mixed eligible and ineligible services, or services shared between eligible and ineligible entities. If you’re bundling eligible and ineligible services, you may be asked to provide documentation showing the separation of costs, such as your Form 471 Pre-Discount Cost Calculation Option Grid.
3. Discount percentage. If the SLC is unable to verify your discount percentage, you may be asked to provide proof such as:
• your most recent documentation meeting federal or state reporting requirements about participation of your students in the national school lunch program
• data from Aid to Families with Dependent Children or tuition scholarship programs, or proof of participation in other income-assistance programs
4. Adequacy of supporting resources. The SLC will want to see that you’ve secured access to the computers, training, software, maintenance, and electrical connections necessary to make effective use of discounted services. You may be asked to provide:
• a copy of your technology plan
• a copy of your approved 1998 budget(s)
• copies of contracts or receipts for purchases
Once the SLC has reviewed all applications, you’ll receive a funding commitment letter identifying the SLC’s approval or disapproval of discounts on a line-item basis. You’ll then need to submit your Form 486 to the SLC within five (5) days for services that are already being rendered.
A draft copy of Form 486 is being reviewed by the FCC. When approved, the form will be available online at the SLC web site and also will be mailed out with your funding commitment letter.
Form 486 will ask you to certify that you have an approved technology plan. It will ask you to name the agency that approved the plan. If your technology plan hasn’t been approved by your state education agency or another SLC-certified institution, you should get it approved now.
If you applied for a discount on a service you’ve already paid for in full, you’ll have to submit a special Applicant Invoice to the SLC in order to be reimbursed. The SLC will review it and approve it for payment through your service provider in the form of a check or credit. A draft of the Applicant Invoice will be available on the SLC’s web site in the next few weeks.
Once you’ve submitted your Form 486, vendors can begin invoicing the SLC for your discounts. Vendors may submit invoices on paper or electronically. A draft of the Service Provider Invoice also will be available on the SLC’s web site shortly.
If you disagree with the SLC’s decision not to approve a service, you’re entitled to an appeal. You’ll have to write a letter to the SLC stating your objection. Include any supporting materials that may help your case, such as the documentation listed above.
Send all letters of appeal to: Debra Kriete, General Counsel, Schools and Libraries Corp., P.O. Box 34351, Washington, D.C. 20043-4351.