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Letter: An unaffordable program

Published: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 11:45 p.m. CST

To the Editor:

The Batavia School Board is proposing adding Google Chromebooks for the middle and senior high students for its 21st Century Learning Plan. The school board is also planning on adding elementary students to the program in the future.

Chromebooks have a separate operating system from Windows or Mac operating systems. They are a specific type of laptop computer. The school district will require parents to purchase the Chromebook computer for an additional fee, payable at registration. Why would any parent want to invest in another computer for their children, even at a discount?

The school board must not know that Google Chrome is a free download for any operating system. The cost for the Google Chromebooks, just this year, is almost a million dollars. The laptops will be obsolete after two years, so another million dollars will be required to replenish the old laptops, just for Google Chromebooks.

Where is the school district getting the money, other than from the Batavia taxpayer? Is the school board planning on reducing spending from other programs or projects or eliminating staff positions from teachers to administrators to pay for Chromebooks?

The Batavia School Board appears to have been sold an unaffordable program by none other than Harold Hill from “The Music Man” musical. The district staff will present some of their recommendations in May. But until they figure out how to pay for the Google Chromebooks without adding to our already overtaxed property taxes, this entire project should go the way of the peddlers from “The Music Man,” on a train and out of town.

Jack McCabe

Batavia

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