Wake school leaders hope to make technology a priority
Posted March 13, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — Outfitting every Wake County student with a computer has been the talk of the district for years.
But the money hasn’t been there – yet.
Wake school board members hope to make technology a priority.
“We have a significant backlog to make up,” school board member Bill Fletcher said.
While there are some computers in Wake schools, many are outdated. And there’s never enough.
“The technology we have is inadequate,” Fletcher said. “The idea has got to be to have it in our operating budgets as much as we would air conditioning replacements.”
It could cost the district up to $25 million to provide every student with a computer. School leaders would also have to create a plan for how they would be used in the classroom.
“It is kind of the wild, wild west with technology in K-12 education,” said David Neter, chief business officer for Wake County schools.
And the latest in computing is always changing.
“Five years ago, tablets didn’t exist,” said Jim Martin, Wake school board member. “What’s going to happen five years from now? Where is the long term staying power?”
Many of the district's key decision makers say the schools need to catch up. Some state lawmakers want students to eventually take state tests on computers.
But the technology overhaul is not included in next year’s district budget.
Fletcher thinks it can happen.
“If the community decides technology in the classroom is important, then the funding will show up,” he said.