by Tammy Sakry
Some of the new board members are having problems downloading the St. Francis School District 15 documents they need to make their decisions and they want the board to consider purchasing either iPads or Netbooks for them.
It would easier for the board if everyone was on the same technology level, said Boardmember Matt Rustad at the Feb. 13 meeting.
It would improve communication and eliminate miscommunication, he said.
With two children in college, Boardmember Janet Glover said she is working on a dinosaur of a computer.
The last computer upgrade was done on her child’s computer for college, she said.
“I can’t afford a new one. And I don’t always have Internet,” Glover said.
While she has a computer, Boardmember Suzanne Erkel said she cannot open many of the district documents or the videos.
Her computer caught a bad virus and now she has the very basics, she said.
An iPad would be something that would come in handy during teacher interviews, Erkel said.
To purchase an iPad or Netbook for each of the seven board members would cost between $2,733 to $4,956, which does not include accessories, like cases, or the data plan, said Superintendent Ed Saxton.
The board would have figure out how to pay for them as there are no technology funds in the board budget, he said.
When board members run for this part-time position, there is an expectation they would have to acclimate to the district’s processes, including having the compatible technology, according to Human Resources Director David Lindberg.
The district could look into purchasing the equipment and doing payroll deductions, which would ease taxpayers’ minds about the district fronting for a piece of technology for board members, Lindberg said.
Boardmember Amy Kelly said she has no interest in purchasing iPads or Netbooks for the board.
“I am surprised Mr. Rustad asked for this when he ran on cutting (expenses),” she said.
“I would rather see seven more iPads in the classrooms. I am not interested in spending money on iPads (to be used) for two (board) meetings a month.”
Although the board did not vote to purchase iPads, it did request on a 4-3 vote to see the board budget, which organizational dues it pays and a printed estimate for the purchase of iPads and Netbooks. Boardmembers David Anderson, Harry Grams and Kelly voted no.
Tammy Sakry is at email@example.com