Xerox does a lot of things these days apart from making copiers: Traffic cameras, airline call centers, parking meters, health care exchanges and digitizing government records.
Mississippi has awarded a massive contract to Xerox to come up with such a system. The idea is to make sure parents getting government vouchers for daycare are actually using the service and not wasting tax dollars. Louisiana is the only other state that scans parents’ fingers.
Aside from shaming poor people, this is problematic on so many levels. Daycares can’t predict when parents won’t drop off their children, so they have to maintain certain staffing levels. Some parents might be scared by finger scans and not utilize daycare. Providers have to man the machine at all times to make sure it’s being used properly. Xerox is installing the scans free of charge, but daycares are responsible for any damage. If a parent forgets to swipe her finger, the daycare might not get paid.
In a state that has more than 8,000 children on a waiting list for daycare, you’d think this money could have been used more wisely.
Links of the Day:
– This whole “open enrollment” idea for poor city students is a wonderful idea, if only suburban districts would welcome them with open arms.
– University of Albany students are accused of forcing fraternity pledges to lie face down in water, beating them with rubber hoses and making them beg for mercy.
– The supermarket wars in Massachusetts heat up, with Wegmans in the fray.
– Real New York Times headline: Finally, a Place in Brazil Where Dogs Can Go for Discreet Sex.