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E-Rate Program Taking Heat
Abuse could jeapordize school funding
by cybrog6 01:36PM Friday Jun 18 2004
Financed via your money and designed to help bring internet connectivity to the classroom, the FCC managed E-rate program is taking considerable heat for mismanagement and perhaps even fraud, reports CNN and the Christian Science Monitor. School officials in Puerto Rico spent $101 million and managed to wire only nine schools, while accusations are flying regarding price-rigging and other assorted instances of waste and fraud. Of 122 audits done over the past year, about a third revealed substantial violations, according to the inspector general of the Federal Communications Commission.

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n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

USF

They don't call it the Universal Slush Fund for nothing. With that much money floating around without any oversight I am surprised they haven't found even more abuse yet.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: USF

On this issue, I can say in all Fairness.... "I told you so."

Right from the beginning, this program BEGGED to be bottomless moneypit and rife with fraud... and lo and behold.....

I mean, imagine if someone offered you a deal like this:

"We need you to administer and manage our program. You are not allowed to make any profit, however, we will cover all your costs. Just let us know if you need a bigger budget to cover your costs.... just bill us, we'll cover your expenses."

I'd take a job like that in a heartbeat. Because, they pay all my costs... and I decide what my costs are.
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)

technick
Premium
join:2000-12-16
Wheat Ridge, CO
kudos:1

This can be expected

This can be expected when they are dealing with your money. They have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
systems2000
What? You Say It's Fixed. Hah

join:2001-11-29
Cyberspace

Nothing New


I've been trying to point out the flaws of this program to the local legislators and school officials ever since this program started. All it did was destroy the relationships between the schools and their local technology experts and deliver less of an oppertunities for the schools to have a choice in the solutions and pricing that could be delivered.

If this was such a good deal for the technology issues for schools, then what about toilet paper, roofing issues, heating and A/C, plumbing, construction, etc.
--
Personal Theme Song:RUSH - Mystic Rythms from Power Windows.
Queasy

join:2004-01-20
Lawrenceville, GA

1 edit

I posted this in the morning news bit but...

Fraud in a government funded operation? NEVER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently did a series on the fraud going on in the metro Atlanta government schools and the E-Rate program. There was basically millionds of dollars worth of equipment that was purchased well above the going market rate and were never installed in the schools. They just sat in warehouses.

There is no oversight and no accountability with the program so, with it being other people's money, of course there was going to be fraud.

What ultimately kills me though is that the Atlanta City Government School system spends $13K+ per student and has the WORST educational system in Georgia. Third graders recently took a test to see if they are ready to pass on to the next grade and 20% of Atlanta government school kids failed. School systems surrounding the Atlanta school system all had failure rates of less than 9%. Which just goes to show that money is not going to solve the education problem in government schools.

Seandhi
Seeing From a New Level
Premium
join:2003-04-19
Humble, TX

Re: I posted this in the morning news bit but...

I believe I saw a similar story for a school district here in Houston.

tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5

I'm not crying about it

I've come to expect it, even miss it when it's not their.

Must be great to never run out of money.

loserhead
3 Billion Chinese People Can Be Wrong

join:2004-01-01
Ellijay, GA

Re: I'm not crying about it

must be great for people EXPECT you to screw em over and never do a thing about it.

tomkb
Premium
join:2000-11-15
Tampa, FL
kudos:5

Re: I'm not crying about it

I don't get it?

jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3

Vote them out

Take part in your next election and vote them out of office.
CrazyJr

join:2003-02-27
Oakland, CA

Re: Vote them out

said by jjoshua:
Take part in your next election and vote them out of office.

Don't want to sound negative, but the next set of weasles could be voted into office. They'll do, or say, anything to get elected.

woody7
Premium
join:2000-10-13
Torrance, CA

Hmmmmm..................

Utah with one of the lowest per capita in spending per student has some of the highest grades......accountability for spending and education is an oxy moron....I know there is a article in the LA times about the problem with schools in CA going bankrupt......they whine and then get a bond passed and still waste.....end of rant
--
BlooMe
Queasy

join:2004-01-20
Lawrenceville, GA

Re: Hmmmmm..................

Yep, a big problem with the E-Rate/USF program is that nobody really knows how to integrate technology into the classroom. It seems like most of the time the thinking is, "throw a computer in the classroom and our elementary/middle/high school will become smarter." The only thing I remember doing on the computer in elementary school was playing 'Oregon Trail'.

There is a Christian private school here in Atlanta that has done an excellent job of integrating technology into the classroom (without the benefit of the E-rate program and at less cost per student than Atlanta city schools I might add). Teachers are given tablet PCs with the ability to project what is on the tablet on to a screen for all the class to see. This gives the teacher the freedom to walk around the class and interact with the students while also accessing information, putting notes up on the screeen, etc. The teachers are still coming up with ways to best use the technology but all seem very excited about it.
hedyd4u
Premium
join:2003-12-16
Schenectady, NY

Oversight ???

Oversight committee in government terms is a bunch of people who spend money too make sure the original money is being spent. Seeing that accountability today is like a mirage who is watching the oversight committee to make sure they are overseeing. The government is full of armchair quaterbacks wanting to tell us how to fix the problem with more money and that the ones before wasted the money and so on and so on and so on till no one remembers the original waste.
remusrm

join:2003-04-07
Beverly Hills, CA

i work with them...

I work for LAUSD and I do seem some of this money and all I can say in my department is used ok. But the people that originally got the equipment are bunch of idiots. They wired fiber to classroom and did not isolate the ports and get broken all the time. We got some Milan media converters and hubs/switches and they fry after a few months use. They need constant replacement. Heck, until this Jan, we got new ones and this ones are better. Also the IBM 6341 KDU are bunch of shit, caps blow off every 2 weeks or so, and they still replaced it with bad ones until recently when IBM finally got the picture. THE END.
stridr69

join:2003-05-19
San Luis Obispo, CA

1 edit

Puerto Rico

Why in God's green earth are we spending ANY money in Puerto Rico??? Last time I checked, it wasn't a state.

So typical, let tax your Glutious Maximus, then spend it..without wondering what's happening with the money being collected.

And my tax $'s going to Puerto Rico REALLY pisses me off.

Can't wait for November-some folks in D.C. will be at the E.D.D.
STARKISTUNA

join:2004-05-15
San Juan, PR

TAXES IN PR

Hey Im From Puerto Rico , and We pay taxes too , you know, its not your money only they stole...

Look Up definition Of commonwealth.