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Letter: District 518 decision on iPads explained

The world of public entities exists to serve the communities or boundaries that are defined over the past number of years. While these entities work hard to provide quality services, there are many rules, regulations and laws that govern the oper...

The world of public entities exists to serve the communities or boundaries that are defined over the past number of years. While these entities work hard to provide quality services, there are many rules, regulations and laws that govern the operations of these entities.

One item that has been the discussion recently in the District 518 community is the declaration of surplus property (900 iPads) by the school board during the July regular meeting. To help make sure it is clear in the work of government entities, the surplus property means that it is no longer used or usable and generally a life-cycle plan has been developed for what may be called consumable products. An example would be that school vans for pupil transportation can only be used for 10 years and at that point would be declared surplus unless another use can be determined.

In the case of the iPads, they were scheduled to be replaced in another year, but due to software updates (Apple would no longer support these iPads) and other barriers, it created the situation where the district needs to replace them a year earlier.

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I can remember the time when computers of all types would be utilized for 10 years, and now they are lucky to make the life cycle of three to four years due to continual utilization and changes in things like software. So, in this case, the 900 ipads were no longer a good learning tool; like a textbook that needs updating. So, in declaring these surplus, the district is able to sell them to the public or a private entity while getting rid of a product that has lived its useful life in the district.

Again, these 900 iPads were in use last year, primarily at the Middle School in which students and

teachers experienced frustrations due to software updates not working well within the iPads. The new equipment will help provide a stronger learning opportunity as a learning tool for students and support the education of these students by the teachers. I am very sure most of the middle school teachers would be happy to share their thoughts about the need for new devices.

Please feel free to ask us questions about this topic or others that will help present a clear picture for the residents of our district. Thank you for your support of education in District 518.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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