The June 11, 2001, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council was held at Iowa Public Television. The following members were present: Robert Barak, Board of Regents; Al Bode, ISEA; James Bodensteiner, Board of Regents; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Paul Bowers for Kathy Decker, IAICU; Mary Gannon, IASB; Ron Ellis for John Hartung, IAICU; Gary Hayden, AEA Boards; Connie Maxson, SAI; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, ISEA; Pam Pfitzenmaier, IPTV; Kay Runge, DE/Libraries; Gail Sullivan, DE, and Mary Travillian, AEA Boards. Dean Borg, IASB; Gene Gardner, IACCT; and Mick Starcevich, SAI, were absent.
The following visitors were also present: John O'Connell, Dept. of Ed.; Mike Bacino, Tami Fujinaka, ICN; Kathy Guilgot, RTC 1; Bruce McKee, RTC 2; Colette Scott, RTC 4; Marlene McComas and Lois Irwin, RTC 5; Richard Ploeger and Julie Thomas, RTC 6; Kent Johnson and Roger Rezabek, RTC 7; Georgia Clayton, Ellen Kabat Lensch, and Nancy McIntire, RTC 9; John Haack and Wendell Maakestad, RTC 10; Pat Thieben, RTC 11; Eddie Dunn, RTC 12; Linda Abel, Richard Mason, and Darlas Shockley, RTC 15; Tina Hodges and Debbie Fiscus, IPTV.
II.A. Response to ITTC Proposal for Increase in ICN Video Rates Effective September 1, 2001
Members discussed the proposed ITTC video rate increases. The increases proposed are beyond the 5% increase effective July 1, 2001. Due to the fact that the 2001 session of the Iowa General Assembly appropriated significantly fewer funds for the video subsidization for FY 02, the ITTC is seeking to make up the revenue shortfall through a per hour fee increase. They have proposed three different rate options and seek input from users regarding these proposals. The ITTC is scheduled to meet on July 12 to take action on the proposed increase.
ETC members discussed how video rate increases might affect educational users. In particular rural Iowa users and educational institutions with budget cuts of their own were of particular concern. While members voiced support and understanding of the difficult position that the ITTC is in, they also reflected that a rate increase may not result in a net revenue increase for the ICN. One member expressed an opinion that even with proposed rate increases, ICN video rates are still very affordable. Others felt that rate increases might be easily absorbed by some users but not for those who had fixed telecommunications budgets. They would simply spend the same amount of dollars overall. There was discussion with ICN staff present at the meeting that through proactive participation of K-12s and AEAs in the e-rate program, there would be an overall benefit to all educational video users of the ICN.
Following a lengthy discussion, Paul Bowers suggested that a small group of the ETC draft a response to the ITTC concerning the video rate structure options under consideration.
Paul Bowers moved that the ETC establish a sub-committee of 3 people to draft a response to the ITTC about the proposed September 1, 2001, video rate increase. This response will be submitted by July 12, 2001, to the ITTC and will be approved electronically by the ETC as a whole. Seconded by Robert Barak.
Ayes--14, Nays--1, Not voting--0; Absent--3. Motion passed.
Volunteers for the committee are Pam Pfitzenmaier, Gary Hayden, and Paul Bowers.
Related to the issue of video rates, Paul Bowers suggested that while the ETC could not necessarily directly control video rates, perhaps members could look at ways to reduce any negative impacts of the room use charges. Paul further mentioned that he didn't necessarily propose that the ability to charge room use fees be eliminated, but that options to reduce the impact be examined.
Members expressed varying opinions about the advisability of reopening discussion about the $12.50 per hour room use fee. Some mentioned that if there are true out-of-pocket expenses for sites (especially K-12 during evenings and Saturdays), that the $12.50 per hour site fee was necessary. Others thought that the current negotiations between educational users (especially higher ed and K-12s) to request a waiver of fees was a satisfactory working relationship. Others were concerned that by posting the intention to charge $12.50 per hour, many K-12 ICN sites were being bypassed by higher ed for sites that did not intend to charge, thereby discouraging some sites from having higher ed classes offered in their communities.
Paul Bowers moved that the ETC revisit and examine the issue of the $12.50 room use fees and study the impact to sites if modifications in the fee structures were made. Connie Maxson seconded. Following a discussion, Gary Hayden moved the motion. Connie Maxson seconded.
Ayes-13, Nays-1, Not voting-0, Absent-4. Motion passed.
Further discussion followed about whether ICN sites that state they will charge $12.50 fee are, in fact, invoicing room users.
Al Bode moved that an ETC sub-committee produce a brief survey of 3-4 questions concerning the $12.50 room use fee to gather feedback from RTC Chairs/Coordinators, and K-12 superintendents about the possible impact of eliminating or reducing the $12.50 per hour ICN room use fee.
Gary Hayden moved the motion by acclamation. Connie Maxson seconded. All in favor.
Those who volunteered for the sub-committee for motions 2 and 3 are Paul Bowers, Kathy Guilgot, Connie Maxson, Mary Gannon, and Merv Cronbaugh.
II.B. Recommendation From ETC to ITTC of Video Rates for the July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003, Time Period
Following a lengthy discussion it was decided that a special meeting of the ETC will be scheduled after the July 12th ITTC meeting where a proposal will be drafted concerning video rates for the 2002-2003 time period. Paul Bowers suggested that staff from the ICN be invited to participate in the special ETC meeting also.
II.C. RTC Funding for FY 2002
1. Allocation of Funding Distribution
Al Bode held a meeting on June 8, 2001, via the ICN video with RTC coordinators to discuss RTC funding options. Regions 1, 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15 were represented at this meeting, as well as Kathy Borlin of IPTV, who answered questions regarding the 3 proposed funding options available. Emails regarding preferences were also received from RTCs. Those RTCs represented at the ETC meeting who had not responded or participated in the June 8 meeting also agreed with Plan 3. The consensus of the RTCs was to go with the Plan 3 funding option. (funding option 3 represents an across-the-board decrease of 5.498% from funding levels in FY 2001).
Merv Cronbaugh moved that the ETC recommend RTC Funding Formula 3 for FY02. Mary Gannon seconded. The vote was unanimous and motion was approved.
The recommended RTC funding formula will need approval by the Iowa Public Television Board. Once approval is obtained, Kathy Borlin of IPTV will distribute funding application materials to RTC Coordinators/Chairs.
2. RTC Duties/Responsibilities/Application
Pam Pfitzenmaier suggested that the same RTC funding application process and form be used for FY 02. Duties for RTCs were not changed in the 2001 session of the legislature and will not be altered on the application form. Gary Hayden suggested that the due date for the plans be discussed. Pam stated that the plans absolutely must be submitted before the legislative session begins. The due date for FY 2001 applications was August 1, 2000. After some discussion, it was agreed that the due date be moved to September 15.
Roger Rezabek asked that dates of IPTV Board meetings be included with the application so the applications can be submitted accordingly for approval. It was agreed that those dates be added to the application form. Assuming IPTV Board approval of the funding plan and the continued use of the application form, the application materials will be sent out to the RTCs by the end of June. As in the past, the ETC asked for 4 volunteers to be reviewers of the applications. Those volunteers are: David Montgomery, Kathryn O'Shaughnessy and Mary Gannon. It was suggested that John Hartung and/or Kathy Decker be asked to either volunteer or recruit a colleague to serve as a reviewer.
Roger Rezabek requested that the application materials include a list of all Part 1, 2, and 3 sites in each region to verify the numbers used in the funding formula. Verification will be completed prior to distribution of application materials.
II.D. Election of ETC Chair-Elect for the June 2002 through June 2003 Term
Pam Pfitzenmaier submitted Bob Barak's name as chair-elect. Although Bob had to leave the ETC meeting early, he had agreed to allow his name to be brought forward.
Pam Pfitzenmaier moved that Bob Barak be elected as ETC Chair-Elect for the July 02-June 03 term. Gary Hayden seconded. All in favor. Motion passed unanimously.
Mary Gannon reminded members of the transition of Executive Committee membership to include the immediate past ETC chair (Al Bode), the current ETC chair (Mary Travillian) and the chair-elect (Bob Barak) as well as representation from other educational sectors. Pam will work with Mary T. to revise the Executive Committee membership.
III.A. RTC Online Reporting
Pam Pfitzenmaier provided an overview of this discussion. Working with recommendations from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau to streamline all the RTC reports and working with the AEA Media Directors, ICN regional schedulers, TIE members, and RTC coordinators on an agreed upon data collection process, a revised RTC annual report format was presented by Kathy Borlin. It is in draft stage at this time but plans are to have it finalized by the reporting period this summer. The deadline to submit RTC progress reports is currently August 31. Kathy outlined that the data on ICN video classroom support will be provided by IPTV engineering staff through data generated via the "trouble ticket" reports. After some discussion with RTC Coordinators present at the meeting, it was agreed that the data on scheduling activity in each region would be provided through cooperation with ICN scheduling staff (archived VOSS data). The AEA Media Directors and their staff will provide information on support for Internet and other data uses. Each RTC Coordinator will provide information about other support activities provided through the RTC.
III.B. E-Rate-Including Internet Filtering
Pam Pfitzenmaier opened the discussion with the question--How to file for e-rate discounts for ICN video sessions that have K-12 students involved and are sponsored by community colleges, either through PSEO or the courses with 28-E agreements with K-12s.
The "billed entity" for e-rate (the school/library/agency receiving a bill) has to be AEAs, K-12s, or public libraries. The community college could not get the video bill for those sessions and directly receive e-rate discounts because higher education courses serving only higher ed students are not eligible for e-rate. According to preliminary advice from the School and Library Division, e-rate discounts can be obtained for ICN sessions that involve K-12 students and/or educators. Sites with only higher ed students and/or educators cannot receive discounts. It was suggested that a special ICN account code be used when scheduling this type of class (serving K-12 audiences).
It was agreed that in early August, an ICN video session be held with community college and university personnel who conduct ICN courses involving K-12s (both for K-12 students and K-12 educators taking higher ed classes). Details about e-rate requirements, how to set up the billing accounts, and how to document eligible sites will be discussed and agreed upon in August.
The Year 5 e-rate funding application process will probably start in October of this year for discount services scheduled to begin next July.
Kay Runge provided information about e-rate filtering as required through Federal legislation as part of the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Kay informed members that the American Library Association (ALA) has filed legal action regarding CIPA. The case is scheduled to be heard in Philadelphia. ALA is asking for local decision making regarding Internet filtering in their suit.
III.C FY 2002 Budget Implications for ETC Member Organizations
A general discussion was held concerning the budget cuts for FY 2002 and the impact on educational institutions. Al Bode stated that budget cutbacks in the School Improvement/Technology fund will have a major impact on K-12 technology plans.
Connie Maxson questioned why public school tech funds were cut by two-thirds but non-public schools were not cut. Mary Gannon responded that non-public school funds were included in the RIF fund and public school funds were part of the General fund. The General fund was cut but the RIF fund was not. Lobbyists attempted to have public school tech funds shifted from the General fund to the RIF fund with no luck.
Community colleges were cut significantly and plan to raise tuition.
III.D. Additional Items From Members and Guests
John O'Connell from the Dept. of Education informed members that the State of Iowa received $1.8 million from federal funds to use toward AP course offerings. A Request for Proposals was developed to solicit proposals from educational institutions and other vendors. The purpose of the RFP is to contract with a vendor(s) to provide high school students in the state of Iowa with Advanced Placement on-line courses. The objectives are (a). To increase the number of AP course offerings; (b). To increase the number of students taking AP courses; (c). To increase the number of teachers qualified to teach AP; (d). To increase the number of districts offering AP courses; (e). To increase the number of high school students taking and passing the AP exam. Based on the response to the RFP, the DE has selected one joint proposal from two vendors: Apex Learning and the Belin Institute at the University of Iowa. The Iowa DE is in the process of negotiating the implementation of this program with the vendors. Because the funding is only for one year and that is too short a timeline given the scope of the project, the DE is going to ask the U.S. Department of Education for a one-year extension to allow Apex and the Belin Institute adequate time for implementation.
The June 11, 2001, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 1:40pm. The next meeting of the ETC will be on September 20, 2001, in the Board Room at Iowa Public Television.