District to seek funds for technical upgrades

Farrell could have 90 percent of the project's cost covered by the fund.
FARRELL, Pa. -- The Farrell Area School District is hoping to tap a national telecommunications education fund to help pay for telephone and computer system improvements in the district.
The school board voted Monday to have the district's technical director seek e-rate funding for the project.
George Pedas, the technical director, said e-rate funding comes from a national educational fund for school and library telecommunications projects.
The fund was created by telecommunication companies at the direction of the Federal Communications Commission, he said.
Eligibility: The money is designed to help defray the cost of telecommunication projects, and an individual district's eligibility is determined by its percentage of low-income students taking advantage of the national free school lunch program, Pedas said.
In Farrell's case, the district can get 90 percent of its project costs covered, he said.
That's what happened when the district put in all-new telephone and computer systems three years ago. It picked up $1.2 million from the e-rate fund, Pedas said.
The new project is a lot smaller.
Cost: The total cost is only about $50,000 and would involve putting a new telephone system in the John Hetra Child Development Center on Memorial Drive, which was excluded from the earlier telephone project.
Some upgrading of the computer system will also be part of the project, Pedas said.
The application will go to a special schools and libraries committee set up to oversee the fund, he said.

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