Friday, January 17, 2014

Dean, Metro Schools Agree on Plan to Use $6M of Capital Funds for Tech Purchase

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 3:56 PM

It looks as if Metro Schools will get some computers after all.

Mayor Karl Dean announced in a release Friday afternoon that his administration has filed a bill with the Metro Council that would allow the use of city capital funds to purchase $6 million of technology for Metro Schools. The Metro school board voted in the fall to use $14.8 million from its reserve fund to buy new technology, teacher training and other items. At the time, Dean said that use of those funds would be fiscally irresponsible. Since then, Councilman Bo Mitchell had been pushing a bill of his own to allow Metro Schools to use $13.1 million from reserves.

The plan announced today comes "after discussions between the city and Metro Schools," the mayor's office says, in which "both agreed a $6 million capital plan would allow Metro Schools to purchase computers and computer carts for students to prepare for Common Core and take the new tests."

Metro Schools will use "existing resources in its operating budget to cover teacher training."

“Education has been and remains my top priority, and as a supporter of the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and the testing that accompanies them, I am dedicated to ensuring that our students have the tools they need to succeed,” Dean says in a statement accompanying the release. “Using city capital funds will also allow Metro Schools’ reserve fund to remain at its current healthy level, which is critical in the event that an unforeseen financial emergency should occur. I appreciate the collaborative effort that Metro Schools has made to reach this agreement and help ensure that we are providing our students with the resources they need while still exercising fiscal restraint.”

Jesse Register, director of Metro Schools, says the plan will allow the district to "fully implement our technology plan by the time school starts next year."

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