Education Telecommunications Council


March 21, 2003





The March 21, 2003, meeting of the Education Telecommunication Councils was held at Iowa Public Television and via the Iowa Communications Network with the following members present:  Al Bode, ISEA; Jim Bodensteiner, Board of Regents; Paul Bowers, IAICU; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Greg Davis, IASB; Ed Gambs, SAI; Susan Olesen for Mary Gannon, IASB; John Hartung, IAICU; Ellen Kabat Lensch, IACCT; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; Kathryn O’Shaughnessy, ISEA; Pam Pfitzenmaier, IPTV; Kay Runge, DE/Pub Libraries; John O’Connell for Gail Sullivan, DE; Mary Travillian, AEA Boards; and Robert Vittengl, AEA Boards.  Robert Barak was absent.  Mick Starcevich has resigned and there is now a vacancy on the ETC to be filled by SAI.


The following visitors were also present at roll call:  Kathy Guilgot, RTC 1; Bruce McKee, RTC 2; Theresa Zeigler, RTC 3; Kathy Otis, backup scheduler for Region 3; Colette Scott, RTC 4; Julie Thomas, RTC 6; Roger Rezabek, RTC 7; John Haack, RTC 10; Pat Thieben, RTC 11; Pam Southworth, RTC 13, Linda Abel, RTC 15; Rebecca Hannum, Region 16; Kay Bolton, Tami Fujinaka, and Phil Groner, ICN; Judy Jones, State Library; and Kathy Borlin and Deb Fiscus, IPTV.


II.                  ISSUES AND UPDATES

II.A.     Legislative Update

Tami Fujinaka provided the members with an update on legislative events. Tami stated that the ICN has requested, and the Governor has recommended, $500,000 for video subsidization which is included in the Justice system bill that went through the budget subcommittee on Thursday and will be moving through the Senate approps committee. 


The ICN has two requests and the governor recommended the same in this legislative session—one is for debt service, $13.9 million; the other is for the Part 3 leases, which is for $2.7 million.  Those are both tentatively included in the infrastructure fund bill.  The debt service money comes from the tobacco securitization dollars and the dollars for the Part 3 leases comes from the infrastructure fund. 

The other bill that is being watched carefully is the Dept. of Administrative Services bill, which has language included that changes the way that the ICN Executive Director is appointed.  It states that the ITTC will appoint the executive director in consultation with the executive director of DAS, still subject to Senate confirmation.  The DAS bill passed the House floor 93-0 and will be going to the Senate Oversight committee next week.


HF 12 (the Adesta bill) was a bill that would allow the ICN to own Part 3 sites if the sites were given to them.  Adesta is in bankruptcy and offered the dark fiber sites to the schools connected via Adesta fiber.  Of the 67 affected sites, only 6 were able to take on the responsibility of owning and maintaining the fiber.  Adesta then offered the remaining sites to the ICN for a lump sum payment equal to one year’s lease and Adesta would transfer the ownership of the dark fiber to the State.  The bill do not go through either House or Senate subcommittee and can be considered dead this session.  The deadline is June 30, 2003, for the ICN to find a resolution.  They are currently working on a lease agreement with Adesta.


Pam Pfitzenmaier stated that RTC funding which is included in the Education  Appropriations bill has status quo funding—the same amount as last year.  An RTC study group was organized to help determine the funding disbursement which will include Kathy Borlin, Kathryn O’Shaughnessy, and Merv Cronbaugh.


Mary Gannon previously sent an e-mail concerning SF 404, a bill that restricts municipal utilities from offering telecommunication services to their communities.  Mary suggested that the ETC take it under advisement and keep track of it through the legislative session as it is something that could affect their institutions individually. 


SF 383 is a bill that was sponsored by Sen. Kreiman and has passed out of the Senate Education Committee.  The bill in its initial form would allow school districts who fail to provide a licensed teacher for a course, after making every reasonable effort, to enter into a contract with an accredited post-secondary institution in the state of Iowa for delivery of a course via the Internet.  It does provide for a special kind of license for teaching online.  Discussion followed.  It was assumed that SF 383 will be amended before passage in the Senate.


II.B. Cancellation Policy

Pam Pfitzenmaier reminded members of the ITTC decision in January to modify the cancellation policy—the language is very similar to what the ETC suggested except that the ITTC struck “48 hours” and changed it to “24 hours” and included some clarification language.


II.C. 2004 ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines

Kay Runge moved to accept the 2004 ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines as submitted.  John Hartung seconded.  Following a lengthy discussion, Pam Pfitzenmaier made a friendly amendment to change the Summer 2004 deadline of January 2 to January 9, and January 9 to January 16.  The friendly amendment was approved by Kay and John. 


The members voted to accept the 2004 ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines as amended.  A voice vote was taken—all in favor.  Motion passed.


II.D.   No Transmit Policy

Pam Pfitzenmaier will work with Kay Bolton and ICN staff to finalize the wording of the guidelines or “how to use” the no-transmit option in the ICN scheduling and will forward those guidelines to the video schedulers and RTC coordinators.


II.E.   2003 Joint ETC/RTC/Schedulers/TIE Meeting

Pam Pfitzenmaier and Deb Fiscus worked together to poll the RTC members, ICN schedulers, and TIE members to determine if a joint meeting was desired by those groups this year.  There were 78 responses from a possible 393 RTC members and schedulers.  No responses were received from the TIE group.  Of those 78 responses received, 36 were yes, 42 were no.  Eleven of the 36 yes responses were from the DM area; and 15 of the 36 yes responses suggested holding it via the ICN.


After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that there will not be a joint meeting sponsored by the ETC, but the option is available for the groups to meet on their own at the IPTV facilities if they choose to do so on June 25.  The ETC will hold its regular quarterly meeting that day.  Paul Bowers suggested that possibly the ETC and RTC coordinators could meet in a round table discussion on June 25 either before or after the regular ETC meeting.


II.F.   E-Rate

Pam Pfitzenmaier stated that some news items have come through that a bill has been proposed in Congress by Rep. Tancredo of Colorado to eliminate E-rate funding for schools and libraries.  Pam and Judy Jones of the State Library have expressed some concern but don’t think that the bill will go very far.


II.G.   AEA Digital Content

Mary Travillian reported that a group of staff from AEAs along with representatives from Iowa Public Television, ICN, Dept. of Info. Technology, State Library and Dept. of Education have met to discuss how to pool resources, expertise, and purchasing, to collaboratively and efficiently deliver digital content in K-12 education.  This group has only met once and has plans to meet again


II.H.   Iowa Virtual Academy

Pam Pfitzenmaier updated members on the IVA.  It is unlikely that there will be any funding this year, but Pam expressed hope that some authorizing language will be established.  There have been several information sessions set up via the ICN as well as advisory groups from ISEA, IASB, SAI, and guidance counselors. Recently the Community College presidents’ group established an advisory committee for IVA work.  There is an active group of high school educators who have been reviewing online courses that are available from other places.  Another group has been working on developing a rubric to determine what these courses should contain for Iowa students. 


II.I.   RTC Vacancies (added agenda item)

The RTC membership lists have been updated and the vacancy information has been forwarded to the appointing agency contact people with a request to fill those positions as soon as possible.  It has been noted that some of those vacancies have been open for a year or more.


II.J.   Other Items from the Floor

Kay Runge had an opportunity at a Rotary meeting to hear a speech by the president of Alliant Energy in Cedar Rapids and chair of the Iowa Business Council.  Kay suggested that ETC members look into opportunities for using the ICN for economic development.


Phil Groner of the ICN gave an update—1.  The ICN network upgrade project is continuing as they are replacing all the codecs in the classrooms around the state.  Rings 1 and 5 of the classroom sites have been completed.  This spring and early summer, rings 4, 3, and 2 on the eastern side of the state will be completed.  2.  The ICN has issued and is in the process of an RFP for Internet service.  One of the three current ISP contracts (AT&T) is coming up for renewal.  An update will be forthcoming at the June meeting to inform the group if they have switched or maintained their current ISP.  3.  Internet2—The ICN is currently undertaking an Internet2 pilot project in conjunction with ISU that includes the Department of Ed., Iowa Public Television, the ICN, and AEAs.  The discussion has been centered on applications--what and how to use I-2, what schools around the country are using I-2 for. 


Roger Rezabek informed members of the IDLA/IACT/IEMA Joint Conference to be held at the Five Sullivan Brothers Center in Waterloo on April 3 and 4, 2003.


Paul Bowers informed members that the ETC future meeting dates will be formulated and distributed by the next meeting.  Suggestions made were:  1. Do not hold meetings on Mondays;  2.  Plan to hold meetings quarterly at least three weeks prior to an ITTC meeting;  3.  Plan to hold the winter meeting on Friday during the legislative session.


Julie Thomas asked if anything had changed concerning the K-12 video rates for those who do not qualify for E-rate.  Pam suggested she send a letter to the commission asking that the issue be looked into.  Pam does not think that the commission is aware of the problem.



The March 21, 2003, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 11:05 a.m.  The next meeting of the ETC is scheduled for June 25, 2003, at Iowa Public Television.