- What is ERAC?
- Who belongs to ERAC?
- How does ERAC operate?
- How much do districts realize in savings?
- As a member of ERAC, is my district required to make all of our digital, software and learning resource purchases through ERAC?
- How does ERAC determine which software to make available for schools and districts to purchase?
- What is the role of an ERAC District Contact?
- How do I find out the name of my district's contact person with ERAC?
- Are independent schools able to join ERAC?
What is ERAC?
ERAC is a consortium of BC public school districts and independent schools that work together cooperatively. The goal is to ensure that BC K-12 schools have access to appropriate learning resources at the best possible price. ERAC also provides the training and support required to maximize the benefits of the membership.
Who belongs to ERAC?
All BC public and independent schools qualify to be members. There are currently 58 public school districts enjoying full membership and over 115 independent schools enjoying associate membership.
How does ERAC operate?
ERAC is operated by school districts, which set the organizations priorities and directions. It is overseen by an Executive Committee, comprised of senior school-district administrators and one (non-voting) Ministry of Education representative. The chair of the Executive Committee is a Superintendent. The day to day operations are led by an Executive Director. The consortium's Learning Resource Advisory Committee also provides direction for ERAC's work.
How much do districts realize in savings?
The savings in each district depend on the volume of that district's purchases. Collectively, during the 2009-2010 school year, ERAC member districts
saved over $8 million in their digital, software and learning resource purchases. Perhaps more importantly, as members of ERAC, school districts also
realize process savings related to their software, digital and learning resource acquisitions. In terms of software purchases, ERAC works with its members
to determine software needs. Software is evaluated and appropriate agreements made, establishing maximized savings for the district. This work results in
lower costs for the actual software and saves districts many hours of staff time that they would have spent evaluating software and contacting various
ERAC also issues regular reports on timely topics. Topics include Computer Aided Drafting and Design, video streaming, open source software and wireless security. This helps in saving districts the time involved with researching and creating similar reports.
As a member of ERAC, is my district required to make all of our digital, software and learning resource purchases through ERAC?
No. Districts and schools make the final decision in what opportunities they will participate. Some
ERAC resources are offered to all public school districts at no additional cost of membership.
In making their purchases through ERAC, districts and schools save on staff time because ERAC does the evaluation of software and establishes the agreements with suppliers and distributors.
How does ERAC determine which software to make available for schools and districts to purchase?
Throughout the year, ERAC works closely with member districts, assessing and evaluating members' software needs and priorities. ERAC works on a number of agreements concurrently, bringing educational, utility and productivity software to members at discounted prices. ERAC's Learning Resource Advisory Committee also assess member needs and establishes districts' software priorities through regular communication with school districts. This is done by working with teacher specialist associations and by running member surveys. When software needs are established, ERAC negotiates discounts and licensing agreements with suppliers. This saves a tremendous amount of district staff time since individual member districts no longer have to spend time comparing and evaluating software and negotiating prices. As a consortium, ERAC has strong purchasing power to negotiate substantial discounts for all districts.
What is the role of an ERAC District Contact?
Every ERAC member school district or independent school assigns representatives to serve as its software, learning resource and professional learning contacts. Usually individual contacts are assigned, however, in some districts, all three roles are filled by one person. District Contacts receive regular news updates from ERAC and in turn, they share the information throughout their school district. District Contacts also receive news on ERAC's new software agreements and other special reports and are expected to communicate to others in the district.
How do I find out the name of my district's contact person with ERAC?
For a full list of district contacts, please refer to the District Contacts page. In most cases, your district contact should be able to answer any of your questions about ERAC or direct you to the correct ERAC person. If not, contact Barb Hyde at 604-713-5920 and she will connect you with the right person. Or send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are independent schools able to join ERAC?
Yes. Independent schools that receive funding from the Ministry of Education (group one and two schools) are eligible to become associate members of the consortium. An annual fee is charged between $600-$1,000, depending upon the size of the school. For more information or to apply for membership, call ERAC at 604-713-5920 or e-mail email@example.com. Schools interested in applying will receive a membership application package.
If you have any other questions that are not answered here, please contact ERAC Executive Assistant Barb Hyde at 604-713-5920.