E-rate

E-Rate Under Investigation

03/28/2013
Associate Editor

In February 2013, The Jewish Week’s series of articles on E-rate revealed that in New York State this federal program, designed to make technology accessible to the nation’s schools, disproportionately benefits fervently Orthodox schools.
In 2011, E-rate approved more than $30 million for services provided to Jewish schools in New York State; the overwhelming majority of that money went to haredi schools in Brooklyn and Rockland County that do not give pupils access to the Internet.

Jewish schools received 22 percent of the state’s E-rate funds, even though they enroll only 4 percent of the state’s K-12 students. Most of those funds were channeled through telecom and technology companies that appear to serve an exclusively Orthodox clientele.

Orthodox School Tied To Pre-K Funds Fraud

Millions said to be diverted to Queens girls’ yeshiva from leading special-ed service provider.

03/19/2013
Associate Editor

A Queens-based special-education services provider illegally diverted millions of taxpayer dollars to a Far Rockaway Orthodox girls’ school and several other Jewish institutions, according to New York State auditors.

A Queens school has come under scrutiny from the State Education Department and District Attorney.

E-rate Program Dogged By Concerns About Oversight

Government regulators see ‘non-compliance’ among some Jewish schools but no fraud charges.

02/27/2013

Nine years ago, Thomas Cline traveled from Washington, D.C., to Brooklyn to tour seven buildings occupied by the United Talmudical Academy.

Despite auditors’ recommendations that UTA return over $900,000, the FCC granted its appeal in 2008. Photo via Google

How Do Haredi Schools Get All That E-rate Money?

Service providers haul in millions, but some don’t even have websites.

02/27/2013

From the outside, Computer Corner does not look like a technology business handling million-dollar technology contracts.

Computer Corner has no sign and no website. Michael Datikash

Listen To E-rate Investigation Author On Rockland Radio

02/25/2013

On Friday, Feb. 22, Julie Wiener, the co-author of The Jewish Week's E-rate series, answered questions from host Richard Gandon and a variety of listeners who called in.

E-rate Program Dogged By Concerns

Government regulators see ‘non-compliance’ among some Jewish schools but no fraud charges.

02/22/2013

Editor's Note: This is the third in a three-part series. For the other articles go here and here.

Nine years ago, Thomas Cline traveled from Washington, D.C., to Brooklyn to tour seven buildings occupied by the United Talmudical Academy.

The fervently Orthodox community rallied against the Internet this past summer. Getty Images

Logging On To Federal Funds

02/20/2013
Editorial

Our lead story this week is Part I (the second and third parts can be found on our website) of a three-part exploration of how a relatively small number of haredi yeshivas in New York have received tens of millions of dollars in federal funds designated for Internet and other telecommunication technology.

How Do Haredi Schools Get All That Money?

Service providers haul in millions in tech funds for schools and libraries, but some don’t even have websites.

02/19/2013

Editor's Note: This is second in a three-part series. The first article is here, and the third is here.

From the outside, Computer Corner does not look like a technology business handling million-dollar technology contracts.

Computer Corner in Williamsburg is one of the largest E-rate service providers to haredi schools. Michael Datikash

What Schools Should Spend On Telecom

02/17/2013
Associate Editor

Technology and telecom expenses are notoriously confusing, and it can be difficult to gauge how much is reasonable for schools to spend. Not helping matters, most people The Jewish Week interviewed who have been involved in E-rate, were reluctant to offer even ballpark figures for tech expenses.

The Origins Of E-rate And How It Works

02/17/2013
Associate Editor

E-rate was created under President Bill Clinton, part of the sweeping Telecommunications Act of 1996. That legislation established the Universal Service Fund, a pool of money collected through a fee on long-distance phone service and then used to “help communities across the country secure access to affordable telecommunications services,” according to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) website. The idea was to prevent low-income communities and nonprofit educational institutions from being left behind in the Internet revolution.

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