No new technology approved for the schools

School technology may take a big hit this year. The Southborough schools originally requested $205K for capital technology projects like replacing desktops and network equipment. It was an amount that Director of Technology Jean Tower said would keep them “barely treading water.”

But the Board of Selectmen and Advisory Committee have since slashed the schools’ tech budget by more than two-thirds to $65K. So does that mean they’re drowning?

The $65K will go toward the third and final year of an equipment lease. That means there are no funds for purchasing new equipment or upgrading infrastructure.

In a letter to the school committee, Tower expressed concern about the effects of cutting technology she called vital. “We need to prepare students for their future, not our past.”

“People who aren’t in education tend to think of it as just computers, but it is much more than that,” said committee member Susan Dargan.

But committee member Paul Gaffney suggested the cuts were appropriate. He said that while it’s not the prefered outcome, “we should get our heads around no spending in this area for two years. We can’t not heat the building, but we can live with old technology.”

Superintendent Charles Gobron said the selectmen and Advisory Committee have “left the door open” for more discussion on school technology.

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