In a report indicative of many schools across the country, educators in Santa Clarita, CA, are concerned that decreased state and federal funding for technology will compromise future technology programs, reports the LA DailyNews.
Despite the fact that computer technology is becoming more ubiquitous in the workplace and firms requiring specialized IT and engineering skills aren't able to hire enough qualified workers, public schools are being stripped of their funding for technology. Technology funds are being cut in both the No Child Left Behind Act and Enhancing Education Through Technology grants, which fund low-income students.
"It's an ongoing cost just to maintain these programs," said Alexis Yannich, principal of Wiley Canyon Elementary in Santa Clarita. "If we want to buy anything new, we have to go out and look for funds," Yannich said.
It is up to Superintendent Marc Winger to make sure that the grant money received helps all the schools get the same technology and software in the socioeconomically diverse district.
"The reduction is very visible for us," Winger said. "If this goes away, we would have parent associations and foundations raising funds for technology at our higher socioeconomic (schools) but not at the lower socioeconomic level. These compensatory funds level the playing field."
These funds have to go toward computers, software and training for a large number of teachers.
"It was helpful when we had more money," said Terry Deloria, the Hart district's director of special programs. "When you have more than 900 teachers, $8,000 doesn't go very far. ... That's about $9 a teacher."