Purchase to put laptops in hands of all teachers
All teachers in the De Soto school district will have laptop with the start of school in August as a result of the decision Monday to purchase 500 new computers.
The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education voted 5 to 2 Monday night to approve the purchase of 500 new laptops for a total of $743,600 after a 48-month lease.
The laptops cost $1,375.39 each, or $687,645 total. However, the interest on the lease will force the district to pay more than the cost of a one-time payment. The laptops will be purchased with capital outlay funds.
District technology director Jeff Mildner and director of learning services Bret Church addressed the board on why laptops for all would provide more equity and consistency in the district.
Up until now, only about half of the teachers in the district had laptops, while others had desktop computers, he said.
Prepared information by Mildner and Church stated the current difference in teacher equipment directly affects students.
"This translates to students being taught differently depending on which building they attend," the statement said. "Equity across the district is hampered by the inconsistent teacher-technology in the hands of teachers."
Board member Sandra Thierer said she couldn't find a reason not to support supplying the laptops to teachers.
"I can't say, 'You should have a laptop and you shouldn't,'" she said while pointing to different teachers in the room.
Board members Randy Johnson and Bill Waye voted against the proposal because they wanted more time to look at other options. However, Waye insisted he did support new laptops for teachers.
A student laptop computer upgrade plan also was presented, but board members asked for more information on other options available to them and did not make any purchasing decisions.