• State Officials Tell Schools to Use Vouchers For Microsoft Computers


    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – State officials have urged school districts — including the LAUSD and others in the Southland — to use $66 million in vouchers to buy technology before they expire next year.

    The warning issued Friday pertains to funding remaining from an antitrust settlement with Microsoft Corp., the Los Angeles Times reported. One set of vouchers must be redeemed by April; the other has a deadline in September.

    Most of the available dollars, $212 million, have been claimed, but substantial resources remain, including more than $10 million for the Los Angeles Unified School District, according to the state’s most recent update on unused funds, The Times reported.

    The money does not have to be used to buy Microsoft products. School districts have to use their own dollars up front, a potential challenge during periods of tight budgets, then apply for reimbursement, according to The Times.

    Some districts have exhausted their share. Compton Unified has spent all of its $1.7 million and Glendale Unified its entire $951,000, The Times reported.

    In the LAUSD, Roosevelt High in Boyle Heights has received the most funding from the vouchers, about $281,000, according to state records cited by The Times.

    The vouchers originate from a $1.1 billion antitrust settlement approved in 2004. Two-thirds of the funds unclaimed by California businesses and consumers were designated for California public schools, especially for those that serve low-income students.

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