Charter schools, Domestic, Elementary / Primary / Junior, High school / Secondary 2, Institutions, Landscape, Legislation, Policy, Public education, Required, Students - Written by on Monday, October 17, 2011 7:00 - 0 Comments

Funding Game: How Will Idaho Schools Spend Their Tech Money?

By Philerooski via Flickr under Creative Commons

Each state in the U.S. controls a great deal of funding to education technology at the K-12 levels. We want to take a look at a few states and how this process works from a policy and a practical point of view.

To help improve classroom technology, the Idaho State Senate approved funding through 2017 in a separate appropriation to schools in the state. Amounts to each district vary with funding projections showing differences of 700% of funding in some cases between districts. Each public school district and charter school will receive $32 per student. The number of students is determined by the average daily attendance rate. Half of this school year’s funding was distributed on Oct. 4 and is based on last year’s attendance rate. The remainder will come in the spring and will be based on this year’s attendance rate. Plans for how the money will be spent also seems to vary. Some districts aim to hold off spending until they fully study their options. Others are targeting expenditures to bring a current technology plan to fruition.

Here are some statements by district superintendents on how they will spend the money (taken from Julie Wootton’s piece in

Minidoka County School District Superintendent Scott Rogers is unsure of how his district will spend the $122K they expect to receive this year, the “Teaching With Technology Committee” will make this determination:

“One thing we know is that we don’t just want to go out and buy computers,” he said, since their lifespan is short.

“The important thing is that we don’t run out and spend it,” he said. “We need to study, integrate and sustain it.”

Meanwhile the Twin Falls District has established a plan for their expected $240K:

For the Twin Falls School District, one goal is to have a projector and interactive whiteboard in every classroom.

Superintendent Wiley Dobbs said the district has a three-part technology plan — hardware, blended learning and online learning — and that will determine how the state technology funding is used.

“We have a very strong and collaborative district plan and we’re going to utilize the funding to advance that plan,” he said.

And Superintendent Kathleen Noh of the Kimberly School District will also yield planning to a technology committee for the     $45.5K they expect to receive this year:

One possibility, she said, is buying equipment so more teachers can film their lectures and create podcasts students can access online.







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