A policy panel for New York City's Department of Education has backed a controversial $120 million contract with a Verizon subsidiary to provide phone and Internet services at city schools for two years.
The contract was approved 8-to-4 at a meeting Wednesday by the Panel of Educational Policy. It came despite protests over the company's possible role in federal theft charges against a Department of Education consultant.
In April, the consultant was accused of using contractors for Verizon to steal $3.6 million over six years. Verizon has not been implicated in the theft.
The contract for Verizon subsidiaryTelesector Resources Group essentially legitimizes a service that has been provided since Jan. 1.
Hundreds of workers now on strike against Verizon protested the meeting.