I am leading with this graphic to show in graphs and in numbers how the Grosse Pointe Public School System could move forward – immediately – to massively improve the technology in the district.

In my last post I argued that the absolutely necessary technology investments total about $8.5 million. District officials argued against just one of the funding source I had suggested.

Fine. I’ll show how to do this without that.

The graphic and numbers above use ONLY the General Fund. This assumes none of these necessities could leverage the $2.5 million annual Sinking Fund, but I suspect there is a good argument that Wi-Fi (basically building wiring) could be. This would lighten the annual incremental technology investment by maybe $250,000 per year.

Not listed is the Computer Lab room redesign, a projected $1.5 million expense that could probably be funded from the Sinking Fund, but there is no dependence on that to execute this plan. In fact by using portable student computing devices (combined with ubiquitous Wi-Fi), we eliminate dependence on Computer labs.

The 3,000 student computing devices would give us a ratio of 2.8 to 1, far higher than most districts and well beyond the 11 to 1 minimally recommended by the state of Michigan to satisfy student testing requirements.

Even better, this strategy would enable the district to manage technology spending WITHIN the healthy confines of the General Fund and based on our already third highest in the state millage rate. Every plan currently debated by the school board would create a permanent dependence on bond. In this model there would be no such need.

The community’s activism around technology should be a simple call to the district to use its healthy General Fund position to do what it should have always done – to support the district’s operational budget needs.

If the district still wants to go to the voters to raise a bond to buy $4 million worth of printers and 600 security cameras, they can certainly do so. But the technology investments the community advocates really want can be funded right now in the General Fund.