Florida Schools get $80M from Microsoft antitrust case

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by bousozoku, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #1
    The Orlando Sentinel published this article today:

    TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's most impoverished schools will get more than $80 million to buy computers, software and other services as part of the settlement of antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft Corp., Education Commissioner John Winn said today.

    As part of the 2003 settlement, Microsoft agreed to donate half of any unclaimed benefits to Florida schools in which at least half the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

    The qualifying schools will get vouchers that can be used to receive reimbursements for purchases of any manufacturer's computers running any operating system and software used with those products.

    "These funds give Florida a unique opportunity to bolster and expand technology use for students," said Winn, who made the announcement at Tallahassee's Griffin Middle School.

    State education officials estimate 1,790 schools with more than 1.1 million students will be eligible. Half the money must be used for software and the other half for hardware and other services including curriculum development, training and supplemental services for school administrators.

    Microsoft was accused in class-action lawsuits of violating Florida antitrust laws through anticompetitive practices that increased the prices of its products purchased from Nov. 16, 1995, through Dec. 31, 2002.

    Those products included licenses for Microsoft's MS-DOS, Windows, Word, Excel and Office software.

    Microsoft denied the allegations but agreed to settle for a maximum of $202 million. Florida consumers and businesses received vouchers to purchase computer hardware and software regardless of brand if they had purchased Microsoft items covered by the agreement. Those vouchers were worth $5 or $12 depending on the license purchased.
     
  2. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #2
    Wouldn't it be great if Florida used the money they got from M$ to buy some Macs from Apple. :D :)
     
  3. zephead macrumors 68000

    zephead

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    Well it seems only logical, are they really gonna give back some of the money to MS (whom they just won an antitrust suit against) by buying computers with Windows on them? I wouldn't.
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #4

    Yes, it would seem logical not to give any of that money back to the "Evil Empire", but someone is bound to want to buy a few Dells. :rolleyes: :)
     
  5. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    #5
    A nice gesture and PR move, but seems awfully short-sighted to me.

    How long before the hardware and software is out of date? And what will the impoverished districts then do to replace the hardware/software?

    Don't get me wrong. This is a wonderful thing for these districts for the next five years -- maybe a bit longer. But if none of this money goes into a fund to maintain/improve this standard of technology in each district, it's a flimsy band-aid.

    I also wonder where technology ranks on the "needs list" of each district, and whether teachers would want to have a spanking new computer lab in a room that, for all we know, may be stuck with falling/leaking ceiling tiles, unbalanced chairs, unsturdy tables, half-functional air conditioning, etc. That's presumptuous, but from my own experience ...
     
  6. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    On the t.v. news item, they showed a room full of eMacs and I was incredibly surprised to see them. Most of the people in this area rush to Dell or Gateway for "real computers." Some NFL player bought a round of Dell machines for a school near where he used to live. Then again, he doesn't have a degree. ;)

    I hope that they use the money wisely to get something useful. I'd hate to see it wasted on administrators.
     
  7. rockandrule macrumors 6502

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    #7
    HAHAHAHAHA, this is Florida you're talking about. I don't even want to get started on the misuse of educational money in the state of Florida. Hopefully we don't get another Bushy voted into office as governor.

    *Crosses fingers, but knows that it's going to be a crony elected*
     
  8. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    I know but the fools who voted Jeb Bush into office still think that he's done a good job. He could have done worse, however.

    The current candidates don't look particularly smart, but Gallagher looks like he's straight out of the Pat Robertson school of thought. He'd probably close down DisneyWorld.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #9
    God, yeah, the state of the public primary and secondary education system in Florida, from what I've seen, is embarassing.... Ugh ugh ugh. What a place this is....And how I miss Michigan....
     
  10. ejb190 macrumors 65816

    ejb190

    #10
    On the bright side...

    ...at least it is earmarked for education. I mean this money could have gone into the general fund and been spent on roads, law enforcement, or a new desk for some political type.

    At least get some kind of computers in the kids hands. I totally agree with everyone else here. But I am coming from the "it could be worse" line of thinking.

    And I hope they take advantage of the training provision mentioned. The best equipped school in the world doesn't mean anything if the teachers don't know how and when (and when not) to use the technology...
     
  11. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #11
    I've lived in Florida most of my life and yes the educational system has always ranked near the bottom. The worst part is the poor quality and poor attitude has started to seep into the colleges as well. When I went to FSU our Digital Art lab consisted of photoshop on 10 old Centris. This was of course well after the G3 had come out. Running a filter was like...well like watching paint peel. Before the Centris we only had 1 computer until somebody's parent who was a lawyer gave the department hell.

    Florida is still a great place to raise kids, but not if you expect them to know their 3 r's. :rolleyes:
     
  12. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #12

    Yep and gallagher is backed by rep Dennis Baxley who's courting the NRA by pushing more pro-gun legislation than there are guns. Well...maybe not that much there are quite a few gun owners in this state.:D But still he is pushing awfully hard...Something like 6mil gun owners in our state and he still doesn't feel safe. I wonder why...

    I'm not voting for gallagher I can tell you that much...
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    I haven't had the chance to see FSU's campus. My impression of UF so far is that it is a weird mix of mediocre community college and top-notch international competitor. I've been nothing short of impressed with the Shands system as a teaching hospital. But then when I venture outside, it's hit or miss. There are certainly other parts of this institution that are top notch. And then there are some that just scream, "are you kidding me?" But then the number of public (or private) universities that are good at everything they do can be counted on one hand... and UF can at least say it's outstanding at some things. Is the same true for FSU?
     
  14. nitynate macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    :rolleyes:


    Oh boy!
    More dells.




    (I am a pinellas county high school student)
     
  15. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #15
    It's impressive that he helped implement the current state of Floriduh's schools. That should tell people not to vote for him. I think they've spent more money on construction than instruction.

    Just be glad you're not in the middle of nowhere. I'm surprised some schools in Floriduh have luxuries such as books.
     
  16. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #16
    Absolutely true. Many universities have their darling departments that get the lionshare of the funding. If you are not in one of those priviledged departments your funding and classes will be the first to be cut. Many of Florida's state universities are competing heavily for research dollars and looking to bump themselves up in school rankings. They are trying to focus on specific areas while dealing with really large student populations.

    My brother went to UF and there are definately advantages. They have one of the biggest career fairs in the south, many top notch recruiters go there and also U Miami. Politically many people have had ties to UF, so its helped the university and many careers. Many politicians used to belong to Blue Key at UF.
     
  17. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    #17
    Construction is a worry for me. In many places they've allowed developers to go crazy and plow everything under. The urban sprawl is getting quite ugly while destroying the natural and scenic beauty of many places. :mad:

    My sister graduated about 2 years ago from a brand new high school where some faculty were running Apple Performa 575s because there was no money. One wonders with all the new home construction where do all the property taxes go? Oh, and lets not get started on how the Lotto was gonna be this big boost for florida education.:rolleyes: Grrrr....

    <rant off>
     

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