REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 3, 2006 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it has begun distribution of $55.2 million in vouchers to Minnesota public schools as part of a 2004 settlement agreement reached in a class action lawsuit that alleged Microsoft violated Minnesota’s antitrust laws.
The vouchers, which will be distributed to schools where a substantial percentage of students come from low-income households, can be redeemed after the purchase of a broad variety of computer hardware and software, including both Microsoft® and non-Microsoft products.
Under the settlement, Microsoft is funding an additional $64 million in vouchers claimed by class members, who can redeem those vouchers for cash after the purchase of eligible hardware and software, which again includes both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products.
In total, 468 Minnesota school districts are expected to receive vouchers. The mailing of the school vouchers began Friday, Jan. 27, 2006. Vouchers have already been mailed to 421 participating school districts. The districts will distribute these benefits to the individual eligible schools.
With extensive input from the Minnesota Department of Education, eligible schools have been defined as any public or charter school with at least one student who is eligible for reduced-fee or free meals under the National School Lunch Program. The amount of the vouchers schools receive will be determined by the number and percentage of students attending who are eligible. The more eligible students at a school, the higher the voucher award. This underscores the settlement’s aim to direct the majority of benefits to the neediest public schools.
“We are pleased to reach this stage in carrying out the court-approved settlement in this case, and are glad to be making vouchers worth more than $55 million available to Minnesota schools,” said Tom Burt, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft. “These vouchers will go far in helping Minnesota schools and schoolchildren benefit from technology.”
Microsoft’s obligations under this Settlement Agreement are undertaken in addition to its existing corporate charitable giving, and do not displace any of that giving.
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