A Report from The Union Leader says that New Hampshire schools and libraries are missing out on more than $2 million a year in federal funds due to overwhelming paper work.
\"There is a tremendous amount of paperwork, and it changes\" annually, said Theresa Pare, a librarian with the New Hampshire State Library. The program is now in its fourth year, and none of the paperwork is the same as previous years, she said.
\"The application process has been horrendous,\" agreed Judy Fillion, a director with the state Department of Education.
But the payoffs can be great, Bouvier said. Manchester received about $300,000 in the program, she said.
\"New Hampshire pays a great deal of money into this fund, and we need to get some of it back,\" Pare said.
Everyone with a phone pays into the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, or \"e-rate.\" The program reimburses school district and libraries for costs associated with connecting to the Internet, giving discounts of up to 90 percent. The amount of money available is determined by the number of pupils in the federal school milk program.
Rochester Superintendent Raymond Yeagley said in a telephone interview that the school district unsuccessfully applied for funding two years ago.
\"We put a whole lot of hours into applying and got nothing,\" he said. About 100 man-hours were spent on the application by highly qualified technicians whose time is valuable.
Yeagley wasn’t sure why Rochester didn’t get any money. \"I don’t recall what the explanations were,\" he said. \"It wasn’t much.\"