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Funding for Technology Classes? 81

SelfTaught asks; "My school district recently built a brand new football stadium and athletics field-house, both with state of the art electronics; yet when asked about implementing a computer science class district officials reply with, 'This is a property poor school district.' Apparently property poor school districts have 20 foot plasma scoreboards and multi-million dollar athletic training facilities. As a pubescent high school student, I'm not very happy with the way my district spends the money my parents pay for my education. How can I encourage my district to provide more technology classes? If I can't get technology education in school, then what would be the best way to teach myself?"
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Funding for Technology Classes?

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  • Unsightly truth (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 23, 2006 @07:57PM (#16171115)
    Unfortunately, sports brings in far more money for schools and universities than academics.
  • by jaredmauch ( 633928 ) <jared@puck.nether.net> on Saturday September 23, 2006 @08:08PM (#16171189) Homepage
    This is nothing new nor shocking. People will donate money to all sorts of causes that they consider valuable. For people here, it may be open source projects. For other slices of society it may be sports. The sad state of this situation is that people will donate millions of dollars for projects like improving stadiums but finding a similar donation to a library or technology funds are not as easy to come by.

    It's easy to see that your team is winning by having the best technology and edging out another school with every advantage that you can get. Investing in the students themselves is always a complicated situation and the results tend to be poor.

    What you should do is go to the public comment period of your next school board meeting and ask if matching funds were put into classroom improvement for each dollar spent on improvement of the sports program, and are they willing to stipulate some sort of matching dollars ratio for classroom improvement in the future. Don't expect 1:1, but if you even had 5:1 (sports:classroom) I suspect the improvement would be significant. There's also a sustainability aspect. If I write a check for $1m to my local school for a new stadium, they may already have the budget for maintence of it set aside. The operation expenses, training, etc.. for a new computer lab is not insignificant, think about the power consumption of all the lightbulbs in a classroom compared to 25 computers with 400w power supplies, a few laser printers, etc.. The electric bill may surprise you.

    But honestly, this is an excercise in your civic duties (you can even get extra credit if you're taking a government class), attend the meetings, as booring as they may seem, you may be able to create some impact. You may be able to convince those that do attend the meetings and vote for your local school board that these things have value to them as well and see things change, perhaps not while you're still there but for others.

"Say yur prayers, yuh flea-pickin' varmint!" -- Yosemite Sam