ORS 759.445¹
Connecting Oregon Communities Fund
  • School Technology Account
  • Public Access Account

(1) There is established in the State Treasury, separate and distinct from the General Fund, the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund. Moneys in the fund shall consist of amounts deposited in the fund under ORS 759.405 (Election of regulation under ORS 759.405 and 759.410) and any other moneys deposited by a telecommunications carrier that elects to be subject to ORS 759.405 (Election of regulation under ORS 759.405 and 759.410) and 759.410 (Intent of ORS 759.410), including amounts deposited pursuant to a performance assurance plan implemented by a telecommunications carrier in connection with an application under 47 U.S.C. 271, as in effect on January 1, 2002. Interest earned on moneys in the fund shall accrue to the fund. Moneys in the fund may be invested as provided in ORS 293.701 (Definitions for ORS 293.701 to 293.820) to 293.820 (Separate accounts for each local government). Moneys in the fund shall be used to provide access to advanced telecommunications technology in elementary schools and high schools, colleges and universities, community colleges, public television corporations, rural health care providers, public libraries and other eligible persons.

(2) Two dedicated accounts shall be established within the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund for purposes of supporting education and public access to advanced telecommunications services. The first $25 million of the moneys deposited in the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund in both 2000 and 2001 shall be appropriated to the School Technology Account established under subsection (3) of this section. Except as provided in subsection (8) of this section, any additional moneys available in the fund shall be appropriated to the Public Access Account established under subsection (4) of this section.

(3) There is established the School Technology Account within the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund. The purpose of the School Technology Account is to improve access to advanced telecommunications services for students attending public school in kindergarten through grade 12. Moneys in the account shall be expended as provided in section 34, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999.

(4)(a) There is established the Public Access Account within the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund. The purpose of the Public Access Account is to improve access to advanced telecommunications services for community colleges, universities, public libraries and rural health care providers.

(b) If funding has not been provided from other sources, the first $3 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Department of Higher Education for the purpose of funding the Oregon Wide Area Network project to provide and expand Internet access for the Oregon University System. The Department of Higher Education shall complete an audit of bandwidth utilization and report to the Joint Legislative Committee on Information Management and Technology during the Seventy-first Legislative Assembly in the manner provided in ORS 192.245 (Form of report to legislature).

(c) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraph (b) of this subsection, the next $1 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Department of Higher Education for Oregon State University for the purpose of providing virtual access to persons with disabilities.

(d) Following the transfer of funds as described in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection, the next $2 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development for distribution to community colleges for the purpose of developing connectivity and distance education programs.

(e) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (d) of this subsection, the next $4 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Department of Higher Education for video transport and network management services for the Oregon University System.

(f) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (e) of this subsection, the next $5.5 million available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Oregon Public Broadcasting Corporation for the purpose of digitizing the state television network, using the Oregon Enterprise Network when possible.

(g) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (f) of this subsection, the next $500,000 available in the Public Access Account shall be transferred to the Southern Oregon Public Television Corporation for the purpose of digitizing the state television network, using the Oregon Enterprise Network when possible.

(h) Following the transfer of funds described in paragraphs (b) to (g) of this subsection, a state institution of higher education, including the Oregon Health and Science University, may apply for one-time matching funds up to $1 million from the Public Access Account to endow a telecommunications chair for the purpose of increasing research and development of advanced telecommunications services applications. Only one chair may be endowed under this paragraph.

(5)(a) The Oregon Economic and Community Development Commission shall approve expenditure of any remaining moneys in the Public Access Account consistent with this section and ORS 759.430 (Approval of projects funded by carrier's Telecommunications Infrastructure Account).

(b) Community colleges, state institutions of higher education, public libraries, public television corporations and rural health care providers may apply to the Oregon Economic and Community Development Commission for funding from the Public Access Account under this subsection.

(c) Funds received from the account shall be used for the purchase of advanced telecommunications services, equipment or recurring costs of telecommunications connectivity. Priority shall be given to collaborative projects that improve access to advanced telecommunications services.

(d) Funds available in the Public Access Account under this subsection are continuously appropriated to the Economic and Community Development Department for the purposes described in this subsection.

(6) Public libraries and rural health care providers must apply for federal universal service support in order to be eligible for a grant from the Public Access Account.

(7) The video transport and network management services purchased with funds made available under this section shall be purchased through the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.

(8) Any moneys deposited in the Connecting Oregon Communities Fund under subsection (1) of this section pursuant to a performance assurance plan implemented by a telecommunications carrier in connection with an application under 47 U.S.C. 271, as in effect on January 1, 2002, shall be placed in the School Technology Account to be expended as provided in section 34, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999. [1999 c.1093 §33; 2001 c.966 §7]

Note: Sections 34 and 37, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999, provide:

Sec. 34. (1) In addition to and not in lieu of any other transfer or appropriation, for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2000, there is transferred to the Department of Education from the School Technology Account the sum of $9,600 for each eligible school facility as defined in section 35 (1), chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999, which shall be expended for the purpose of providing a local area network and associated equipment to public school facilities pursuant to section 35, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999.

(2) In addition to and not in lieu of any other transfer or appropriation, there is transferred to the Department of Education from the School Technology Account, to be distributed to the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts for the Oregon Public Education Network, for:

(a) The recurring costs of Internet bandwidth:

(A) $500,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2000; and

(B) $1 million for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2001.

(b) The purchase of telecommunications equipment:

(A) $250,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2000; and

(B) $250,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2001.

(c) The purpose of an online film and video server pilot project to digitize and electronically distribute video content, $250,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2000.

(3) In addition to and not in lieu of any other transfer or appropriation, for the calendar years beginning January 1, 2000, and January 1, 2001, there is transferred to the Department of Education from the School Technology Account the sum of $5,400 for each eligible school facility as defined in section 36 (1), chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999, for the purpose of distribution to school districts and education service districts pursuant to section 36, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999, for the recurring costs of telecommunications connectivity.

(4)(a) In addition to and not in lieu of any other transfer or appropriation, there is transferred to the Department of Education from the School Technology Account for the purpose of purchasing a two-way interactive distance education system for each public high school and education service district:

(A) $3,050,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2000; and

(B) $3,050,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2001.

(b) The Department of Education, in consultation with the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, shall develop an implementation plan for this subsection. The implementation plan shall include an implementation timeline and requirements for each public high school and education service district that receives a two-way interactive distance education system under this subsection. The Department of Education shall ensure that a distance education system purchased by the Department of Education meets State of Oregon information technology standards, is consistent with any related interactive video strategy of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services and is procured through a competitively bid or negotiated state contract. The Department of Education shall reimburse the Oregon Department of Administrative Services from funds made available under this subsection for costs incurred by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services in developing the implementation plan.

(5)(a) In addition to and not in lieu of any other transfer or appropriation, there is transferred to the Department of Education from the School Technology Account for the purpose of paying the recurring costs of telecommunications connectivity and video services associated with the two-way interactive distance education systems purchased with funds transferred under this section:

(A) $550,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2000; and

(B) $550,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2001.

(b) Any telecommunications or video services purchased by the Department of Education with funds transferred under this subsection shall be purchased from the Oregon Department of Administrative Services as long as such services are available through the Oregon Department of Administrative Services at a comparable level and comparable cost as can be obtained elsewhere. Purchase of services and technology from the Oregon Department of Administrative Services shall be through the Oregon Enterprise Network provided the Oregon Enterprise Network can provide the services and technology at a cost equal to or less than the price for the same or similar services and technology from other contracts or programs of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. The Department of Education shall ensure that telecommunications and video services purchased by the Department of Education meet State of Oregon information technology standards, are consistent with any related interactive video strategy of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services and are purchased through a competitively bid or negotiated state contract.

(c) Upon request of the North Central, Malheur, Jackson or Northwest Region education service district, the Department of Education may waive the requirements of paragraph (b) of this subsection until such time as the district changes its systems to use the services available through the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, as determined by the implementation plan established under subsection (4)(b) of this section.

(d) Upon request of a school district or education service district, the Oregon Department of Administrative Services may waive the requirements of paragraph (b) of this subsection if a state contract is not available for use by the district.

(6)(a) In addition to and not in lieu of any other transfer or appropriation, there is transferred to the Oregon Department of Administrative Services from the School Technology Account for the purchase of hub equipment necessary to support public school needs for two-way interactive video system bridging and other services:

(A) $700,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2000; and

(B) $700,000 for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2001.

(b) The Oregon Department of Administrative Services shall reduce rates paid by school districts and education service districts to the department for video services by the amount transferred under this subsection.

(7) In addition to and not in lieu of any other transfer or appropriation, there is transferred to the Department of Education any amounts remaining in the account after the transfers described in subsections (1) to (6) of this section are made, which shall be distributed to school districts pursuant to section 37, chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999.

(8) Amounts described in this section shall be transferred each year only when sufficient funds are available in the School Technology Account. [1999 c.1093 §34; 2001 c.966 §8]

Sec. 37. (1) As used in this section:

(a) "ADMw" means the weighted average daily membership of the school district for the prior fiscal year as calculated under ORS 327.013 (State School Fund distribution computations for school districts).

(b) "Statewide ADMw" means the total ADMw of all school districts for the prior fiscal year as calculated under ORS 327.013 (State School Fund distribution computations for school districts).

(2) The Department of Education shall distribute grants from amounts transferred under section 34 (7), chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999, to school districts.

(3) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, a school district’s grant under this section = the school district’s ADMw (the total amount transferred to the department for the grants under section 34 (7), chapter 1093, Oregon Laws 1999 the total statewide ADMw).

(4) A school district’s grant under this section shall not be less than $25,000.

(5) A school district that receives grant funds under this section shall use those funds to support telecommunications connectivity including:

(a) Building wiring and electrical power requirements;

(b) Servers, hubs and routers;

(c) Network design and installation;

(d) Video distance education equipment;

(e) Technology support staff salaries; and

(f) Other costs necessary to support telecommunications connectivity.

(6) A school district may not use grant funds received under this section for payment of debt service on bonds.

(7) The State Board of Education may adopt any rules necessary for the administration of this section. [1999 c.1093 §37; 2001 c.966 §9]

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 759—Telecommunications Utility Regulation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­Archive/­2007ors759.­pdf (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information