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The following is an excerpt of E-rate related news recently published by ajc.com. If you have already subscribed to ajc.com, you may access the full article here. If you are not currently a member, you will be directed to fill out a short registration form in order to view the article. Registration is free.
Published on: 07/23/04
Reform, don't kill, E-rate, official urges
WASHINGTON Congress should tighten the rules for the waste-riddled E-rate program, which sends technology subsidies to schools and libraries, rather than end the program, a school official told Congress on Thursday.

The testimony by Arlene Ackerman, San Francisco's school superintendent, carries weight because her suspicions about requests for nearly $50 million in federal E-rate funds triggered city and federal investigations.

"The program certainly needs to be reformed," Ackerman said. "But it's a good program, and where some see the glass half-empty, I see it as half-full."

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who presided at the hearing, responded, "We want to make sure the glass doesn't have a hole drilled into the bottom" by cheats and crooks.

The House subcommittee exploring the San Francisco scandal will turn its attention now to other school districts across the country, including Atlanta's. The panel asked Atlanta Public Schools and its vendors to produce documents regarding $60 million in E-rate grants after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Atlanta routinely paid too much for E-rate equipment and spent millions on gear it didn't need.

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