Sunday, July 11, 2004


The national E-rate program, designed to provide kids with up-to-date technology, appears to have a few problems, such as waste, inefficiency, and THEFT. Check this story out from AJC (reg required):
Over the summer of 1999, nearly 200 Georgia schools received some of the hottest high-tech gear on the market, thanks to the national E-rate program.

Each school was given equipment intended to capture video from passing satellites and route the pictures to classroom computers. Teachers might easily display images of African lions circling their prey or South American rain forests a continent away.

A little-known state agency spent about $19 million trying to make the project work. It never did.

State officials awarded the lucrative contract to a company composed of two salesmen, a businessman and a lawyer — not one of whom had the engineering expertise necessary for such a technically sophisticated project.

The company's marketing strategy was to sell the project to the schools that could obtain the fattest government subsidies — some of the poorest schools in Georgia.

Company executives paid themselves six-figure salaries and about $900,000 in bonuses before two of the principals negotiated $1 million buyouts less than a year into the venture.
Crooks! $19 billion down the drain.