The Technology Initiative Was Paid for With Local Funding

Hoover City Schools distributed digital hardware to all Hoover students at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Students in grades 9-12 received an iPad. Middle school students, grades 6-8, received ChromeBooks, and elementary school students in grades 3-5 received Nooks. Chargers are provided, but cases must be purchased by families.

Families are given the opportunity to purchase insurance for their child’s device. Cost of insurance is $50 for Chromebooks, $25 for Nooks, and $50 for iPads. In addition to the insurance, there is a deductible that must be paid if the device is lost or damaged.

Without insurance, the replacement cost is: iPads, $500; Chromebooks, $300; Nooks, $125.

Administrators are getting a lot of attention from across the country for the Engaged Learning Initiative.

When the Board of Education announced the decision to eliminate school buses, many claimed the devices were paid for with federal funds or grants. At the September 10, 2013, budget hearing, a parent asked Superintendent Andy Craig what funds were used to pay for the ELI.

All of these devices were paid for with local funds. No subsidies nor grant money was used. Personnel costs are paid for with local funds, too.

Total cost over the past two years? $10 million. If Hoover City Schools were in such dire financial straits, why did the Board of Education approve these expenditures?