A six-year-old program that provides laptops to middle school students in Stillwater has been beneficial to students but may have to be abandoned because of the cost. The Stillwater school board meets tonight to consider next year’s technology budget.
Superintendent Keith Ryskoski says potential budget cuts of $4 million to $5 million in 2010-2011 make it hard to continue the program, says the Stillwater Gazette.
Because of those cuts “… we are not in a position to make a long-term commitment to ongoing technology purchases,” he wrote in a memo distributed district-wide.
When it began, the laptop program attracted nationwide attention as an innovative use of technology in the schools.
“I confess that it is difficult for me personally to make a recommendation to dismantle a program that I believe has made a significant impact on student learning. Expanding student access to technology is an effort I have passionately supported over the years,” Ryskoski said in the memo.
The district budget currently calls for about $1 million in technology spending, and Ryskoski said he will recommend replacing some outdated computers, investing in teacher training and supporting wireless devices students are bringing to school.