Improved systems and procedures lead to end of e-Rate compliance agreement with feds

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The Dallas Independent School District, with improved systems and procedures, has been released from the compliance agreement with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that had temporarily barred the district from e-Rate, or formally the Schools and Libraries, program, dollars.

In force since July 2009, the agreement had prevented the district from accessing discounts and subsidies on computers, internet connections and other means to access the internet or communicate. Dallas ISD was temporarily removed from the e-Rate program following a 2005 incident in which former administrators were found guilty of misuse of funds.

The agreement had called for Dallas ISD to make a series of changes to systems and procedures ensure its compliance. Those changes satisfied the agreement, leading the FCC to free more than $18.3 million in fiscal year 2013-2014 and more than $17.9 million last fiscal year to support classroom technology.

Jim Terry, Dallas ISD chief financial officer, thanked Rhonda Scholwinski, retiring director of the district‘s e-Rate program, for laying the groundwork for this result as well as all the other staff members that worked diligently toward this goal. The work, he said, remains vital.

“After enduring this difficult period, we are determined to do what is right and necessary so that we can provide our students with the technology needed to support increased achievement,” Terry said. “This is a win-win for our schools. Not only will we be able to continue to have first-class technology, but we can now deploy monies that may have been used to solely support our technology needs and deploy them to supporting student achievement in other areas.”

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