The Houston school board has authorized its attorney to try to negotiate a settlement with the agency that oversees federal e-Rate funding, reports the Houston Chronicle. The board’s move came after a closed-door meeting last week, and Houston Independent School District officials have refused to explain why settlement talks are needed. But millions of dollars of federal funding is being withheld from some of HISD’s technology vendors, district spokesman Norm Uhl said Dec. 15. "The district is continuing discussions with the federal government about ways to get the funding restored," Uhl said. "The government is making a thorough review of certain contracts involved in the e-Rate matter and HISD’s contracting process, during which time funding has been suspended." Federal investigators have been looking into HISD’s technology program for at least two years, but little information has been released. HISD’s general counsel acknowledged in a statement last year that the district had received two federal subpoenas regarding e-Rate funding, and government investigators had interviewed HISD employees about the district’s contracts with e-Rate vendors…

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