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Microsoft Voucher Settlement
By Barbara Bray September 20, 2006 -- 08:48 AM
In 2004, Microsoft agreed to a settlement with consumers and businesses in 14 states to resolve a class action suit that alleged it overcharged for its products. Now that the initial phase of the settlement is complete, some of the money that went unclaimed is available for schools in a "cy pres" fund. Every state is going to handle this money differently, and will have different criteria for how schools can claim it. The results of the Microsoft voucher settlements are currently in negotiation in many states.
California $1 Billion +
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467 school districts and charter schools will receive vouchers, varying in dollar amounts from several hundred dollars to $6.3 million. The voucher amount available to each district or charter school is based upon its percentage of the state’s total free and reduced price lunch eligible students. Vouchers can be redeemed for more than 1,500 eligible products from numerous companies from now until January 27, 2012.
(from an August 17, 2006 press release) Commissioner John L. Winn today announced that eligible Florida public schools will receive more than $80 million in technology funding from Microsoft as a result of a 2003 class action lawsuit settlement. Funds will be distributed in the form of vouchers school districts may use to receive reimbursement for purchases of any manufacturer’s desktop, laptop or tablet computers running any operating system, or software used with those computer products.
Schools will be able to use these vouchers to receive reimbursement for the purchase of a wide range of computer equipment, software and training from any manufacturer. To qualify, a school must have at least half of its students during the 2004-2005 school year eligible for free and reduced price lunch.
The Department of Education (DOE) estimates that 1,790 schools, serving more than 1.1 million students in Florida, will be eligible. During the coming months, the DOE will provide guidance and technical assistance, including the development of a website for school districts to determine eligibility and identify items appropriate for voucher use. In addition to new technology items, vouchers may also be used for related professional development services such as curriculum development, training and supplemental services for school administrators. Half of the funds may be used for software and the other half for hardware and other services.