Poor school district considers turning down $43,000 PC grant because it’s for Macs

“Some Foster High School teachers are balking at the idea that the school board could refuse to let them accept $43,000 worth of new computers the school was recently awarded through a grant program,” reports Nora Doyle for The King County Journal.

Doyle continues, “Earlier this year, teacher Jeff Heiman applied for a grant from a nonprofit organization offering 30 new Macintosh computers and six laser printers to a school in an economically challenged community. The Tukwila School District, with a high number of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, fits the bill.”

“Heiman thought he had found an answer. When he found out in May that Foster won the grant, the math teacher was elated. The extra computers would give the students he’ll teach next year daily access to a computer, which they need, he said,” reports Doyle.

“But according to the school technology plan created in 2000, Tukwila schools will move toward using only personal computers, not the Macintosh, for financial reasons, Superintendent Michael Silver said. The district has a six-person technology department staffed with people expert in PCs, Silver added. Having only PCs allows the district to better maintain, repair and replace computers in a cost-effective way, he said,” Doyle reports.

“It’s silly to turn down the offer of free Macs when the school district has to provide technical support for the Macs already at the high school, said Heiman, who said he didn’t know about the Mac rule in the technology plan when he applied for the grant,” Doyle writes. “‘My job as a teacher is to do everything I can to improve the education of kids. In my professional judgment, we need these computers,’ he said. The superintendent said the district should stick to its plan. ‘At this point … going with one platform for a small school district seems most prudent,’ Silver said. The matter will be discussed at tonight’s school board meeting, when Heiman said he and other teachers will ask the board for a one-time exception to the technology-plan rule prohibiting new Macs.”

“‘In a time of serious budget crunches in the schools, for them to turn down a gift of $43,000 just seems asinine … Policy is a nice idea, but reality is that they’re going to have Macs and they might as well take the free ones when they can get them,’ he said. A school board decision on the new computers is not expected at tonight’s meeting,” Doyle reports.

“A caveat of the technology plan allows teachers to keep their Macs at their desks instead of getting a PC if they wish. In addition, the library and a graphics classroom can keep their Macs,” Doyle reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While we realize that Tukwila is an economically-challenged School District and might have a hard time attracting the very best and brightest, but that does not grant license for their six-person technology department and Superintendent Michael Silver to be complete fools. Perhaps Superintendent Michael Silver would like to hear your reasoned thoughts regarding this matter? His email address is: silverm@tukwila.wednet.edu. We already sent him this link: http://macvspc.info/

42 Comments

  1. The students quailify for “free and reduced lunch,” but not for free Macs? The world has gone MAD! This friggin’ Windows-world-standard idiocy is so shortsighted and so doomed to failure – and these are people charged with the eductaion of these kids? Can I have a ticket to a rational world, please?

  2. I would hate to be in that school district when they tell the public that taxes are going up so that they can purchase pc’s, after refusing to accept FREE Mac’s. These administrators missed the class on “common scense”. I hope the school board is composed of individuals who don’t have their heads in the sand.

  3. My school distict has the same policy, written at around the same time. Unfortunately, for Apple, When our former Governer mandated that all Apple computers be removed from classrooms many school Tech Coordinators took that to mean Macs as well so Apple lost alot of school districts in Ohio. I wrote a grant for computers in my music classroom and was not allowed to submit it because I was asking for iMacs.

  4. Another example of Windriods with MSCE paper training. At least the IT department has an excuse, they know nothing but one solution. They should be fired and let the math teacher do their work in his spare time. Even the school secretary could administer an OSX network.

    Now as for the myopic administrator, Mr. Silver, I wonder what his excuse is? Hopefully the board metting will address this travesty and set these idiots straight.

  5. I wrote the following:

    Dear Superintendent,
    According to http://www.macdailynews.com/comments.php?id=P1211_0_1_0
    you are considering making your school system all PC based
    and denying teachers a grant for Macs because of this decision.
    This is a poorly based decision based on lack of information on
    why PCs are cheaper. They require more maintenance, require
    more vigilence against viruses and security breaches, as well as higher
    risks at lost data, and require replacing much more frequently than Macs.
    These two websites help show why this decision to go all PC is
    a faulty one, and many Mac users think you should reconsider Macs.

    http://www.macvspc.info/
    http://138.202.192.14/~trembath/smon/index.html

  6. “Okay, sent Superintendent Silver this link:
    And this one:
    And this one, too:
    And, finally, this one:”

    Why? These links don’t seem to have any bearing on the situation. You don’t think the superintendent knows that other schools have Macs?

  7. Because he seems so ignorant that maybe he is NOT aware of the successes other school districts are having since he implemented the disasterous decision to bar new Mac purchases in 2000.

  8. Does anyone else think it’s strange that this institution of education doesn’t want Macs because then their IT department would have to LEARN how to use them?

  9. How much time would it take to learn how to add the Macs to a PeeCee network anyway? About a day at most? Give me a break. If they’d have switched to Mac-only, they could have fired the 6 doofuses and hired a competent 1 or 2-man band to handle the whole thing. Fools!

    Those that can, do. Those that can’t, go into education.

  10. It seems to me that you are hardly an IT guy if you have no basic understanding of macs/unix and how they apply to your network. I think the computers should go to a different school if they can’t appreciate there good forune. I have a few schools in mind that would be estatic to have that kind of money in macs. Whom I feel sorry for are those damn kids, seems like the school isn’t take the time to THINK about the kids!!!

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