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Texas District Under Investigation for E-rate Violations

The Associated Press (AP) and KRGV in Texas report that Donna Independent School District is under investigation for potential fraud related to the E-rate Program.  Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission officials have been on site to visit with representatives of the district.

The investigation revolves around contracts made by the district with Integrity Communications based out of Corpus Christi, Texas.  According to the AP story, the Texas Education Agency has "accused Donna schools of breaking purchasing laws by awarding $6.6 million in no-bid contracts to a Corpus Christi firm."

An analysis of Donna ISD's E-rate funding requests show that the district has done business with Integrity Communications as far back as Funding Year 2002–two years earlier than reported by the Associated Press.  In 2002, the district was awarded $2.97 Million in E-rate discounts, $2.59 Million of which has been disbursed.

In Funding Year 2006, the district's requests are pending, except for one which has been "denied as a result of a Cost Effectiveness Review, which has determined that your request for Network Equipment has not been justified as cost effective as required by FCC rules," according to information provided by USAC.

The district is located in far South Texas has a district-wide E-rate discount rate of 90%. For Funding Year 2007, the district's Block 4 Discount Calculation Worksheets featured 19 eligible locations with a total of 13,496 students.

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