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posted: 4/29/2014 1:01 AM

Batavia schools sold a bill of goods?

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The Batavia School Board is proposing adding Google Chromebooks to the middle and senior high students for their 21st Century Learning Plan. The school board is also planning adding elementary students to the program in the future.

Chromebooks is a separate operating system from Windows or Mac operating systems. It requires another laptop computer. The school district will require all parents to purchase the Chromebooks computer for an additional fee, payable at registration. Why would any parent want to invest in another computer for their children, even at a discount?

The school board must not know that Google Chrome is a free download for any operating system. The cost for the Google Chromebooks, just this year, is almost a million dollars. The laptops will be obsolete after two years, so another million dollars will be required to replenish the old lap tops, just for Google Chromebooks.

Where is the school district getting the money other than from the Batavia taxpayer? Is the school board planning on reducing spending from other programs or projects or eliminating staff positions from teachers to administrators to pay for Chromes?

The Batavia School Board appears to have been sold an unaffordable program by none other than a Harold Hill type from "The Music Man." The district staff is planning some type of public input before they present their recommendations in May.

But until they figure out how to pay for the Google Chromebooks without adding to our already overtaxed property taxes, this entire project should go the way of the peddlers from "The Music Man" -- on a train and out of town.

Jack McCabe


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