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Feds taking a look at DCSS E-Rate funding

ALBANY -- The Dougherty County School System has delivered documentation to the Universal Services Administrative Company (USAC) concerning E-Rate grants provided to the system.

The E-Rate program provides discounts to help schools and libraries obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access. Under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission, USAC discounts for support depending on a district's poverty level.

Discounts can range between 20 percent and 90 percent and are determined by a district's free and reduced-cost meal (FRM) numbers.

Because of the recent indictments of Dougherty School Board member Velvet Riggins and Morningside Principal Gloria Baker, questions were raised as to the accuracy of the system's FRM numbers and the effectiveness of the system's internal controls to ensure compliance.

Since funding year 1999, Dougherty's public school system has received more than $22 million in E-Rate program funding. The system's 2012-13 funding request is currently pending.

On May 31, USAC sent a letter to Superintendent Joshua Murfree seeking documentation supporting the FRM numbers used to calculate funding from 2009 to 2011.

The system responded to the USAC request on June 20.

"Yes, we have received information from Dougherty County and we are currently reviewing the documentation," USAC Media Director Erik Iversen said Thursday. "The review will take some time as we are trying to be as thorough as possible.

"Keep in mind this exchange of information is quite typical since we deal with districts all over the country."

Comments

Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

More "FREE" money from the Guvverment. It's FREE, right? So who cares how we blow it?

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dingleberry 2 years ago

Came right out of your pocket, Sis. Read my post much later near the bottom.

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waltspecht 2 years ago

More superficial evidance that the Free Lunch Program cheating was encouraged in DCSS long before Murfree showed up. I can remember some folks stating that you should sign up for it because it would help the school obtain funding, and it would never be checked. That was in the early eighties. I think, or it might have been later, but not by much.

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Citizen1 2 years ago

Thank you for admitting there was trouble here before Dr Murfree!

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whattheheck 2 years ago

The CRCT problem and the free lunch problem problems may go back before Culbreth. No one, including the BOE, really get to see the "guts and gizzard" of the system in operation. The CRCT cheating opened the dam to some scrutiny and it is feeding on itself, The lunch issue has been documented in other states, search the internet.

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dingleberry 2 years ago

If you want a better understanding of why the free and reduced lunch program is so important, read my later post on the subject. It has a surprise for you to ponder.

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chinaberry25 2 years ago

How much free monies are rolling into the system? Good Lord, where has it all gone? They even get a 1 cent e-splosh and about $10,000 per child from GA DOE. They need a complete audit done by the DOE of Georgia. Give them enough rope and they will head to the gallows.

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Sister_Ruby 2 years ago

Where has the money gone? Don't you see all them new Mercedes and BMWs rolling all over town all day long?? And let's not forget the Lexus and Infinitis.

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whattheheck 2 years ago

If you want to see what money is used for, go to open.georgia.gov and search away. Can only look at 2 years data but it will open your eyes-- and possibly turn your stomach. You can see every system in the whole state. Look at the audit reports on the State Auditor's site and pick up the revenues, a more difficult matter.

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RedEric 2 years ago

I don't doubt that there is massive fraud with FRM nationwide and that it is not just an Albany problem. Welfare of all forms encourages and rewards fraud. Welfare is training a whole generation to be liars and thieves to be disrespectful and even contemptuous of rules and authority. Welfare is not charity. Charity involves direct interaction between the giver and recipient and helps the giver at least as much as the recipient. Welfare takes money involuntarily from the giver and hands it off to some anonymous person or group. How can you think this is NOT going to create animosity? Never mind the stories, true or not, about recipients living better than givers. It is like welfare was designed to create divisions and battle lines...........and hidden agendas.

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hotdog 2 years ago

Keep in mind this exchange of information is quite typical since we deal with districts all over the country.....Waltspecht Paul Robinson was a very corrupt and racist superintendent...Dr. Murfree.....get your ship tightened up

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FlunkyMonkey 2 years ago

Murfree has had enough time to clean up any messes that were "there before him". It is now HIS problem created by HIS people on HIS watch. Passing the buck now is looks like he is inept (which he is) and incompetent (which he is).

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dingleberry 2 years ago

Now let's have a little quiz. Does anyone know where these funds being commented on actually come from? Anybody? Well this is money from the Universal Service Fee that is on your phone bill each month. Surprise, surprise as Gomer Pyle used to say. Every month all land lines and cells kick into this fund which is really a tax called a fee. Now aren't you glad to know that fraud in the school lunch program is put to good use to get DCSS more money? Since Title I and E-Rate monies are tied to these free and reduced lunches, can you better understand why no one wants to review the program locally and cull out the cheaters?

This USF is also the source of money for the "Obama phone", the free cell that is so much in evidence these days. Although Obama gets the credit, or the blame as the case may be with the phone, the program funds predated his election but were not in vogue until afterwards.

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