The funding commitment wave released this week by the Schools and Libraries Division included $50 million in new funding commitments, but also nearly $590 million worth of rejected funding commitments.
Dallas Independent School District received approval for $3.2 million in commitments, but was rejected for $117.6 million. Fort Worth I.S.D. received approval for $1.2 million in commitments, but was rejected for $87.3 million. The Atlanta Public Schools had $70 million in commitments rejected, and so far has had no funding approved for the current year. The Cleveland schools were approved for $2.2 million, but rejected for $63.5 million. All together, 11 school districts accounted for $566 million worth of rejected commitments, including some internal connections requests for schools with discount rates below 80 percent.
On the vendor side of the ledger, IBM was notified that $470.2 million worth of funding commitments in its name had been rejected. Other vendors that were notified that at least $10 million worth of commitments had been rejected in the latest wave were Ameritech Advanced Data Services, Inc. ($27.9 million), BellSouth Communications Systems ($16.7 million) Multimedia Communications Services Corporation ($16.3 million), and Atlanta Datacom Inc. ($11.9 million). Thirteen other vendors had at least $1 million in funding requests rejected.
Among the reasons cited by the Schools and Libraries Division for some of the largest rejections were "Documentation provided demonstrates that price was not the primary factor in selecting this service provider's proposal. Conflicting info provided about contracts." In another case, the SLD rejected two funding requests, totaling $36 million, on the basis that "Services for which funding sought not defined when vendor selected; price of services not a factor in vendor selection per Customer Agreement; price of services set after vendor selection."
The Ysleta Independent School District in Texas and IBM have already filed separate appeals to the Federal Communications Commission of the SLD's decision in December to reject $18 million worth of funding requests for that school district.