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There is a growing trend among school districts to supply every student with an iPad or similar tablet device “for educational purposes”

There have been recent articles in the Waconia Patriot (250 student iPads and 270 staff iPads available at WHS), Farmington Schools (7330 devices – one for every student – nearly $1million), Barnesville has provided an iPad to every student in the district K-12 (900 students), though only 4th graders and up will be able to take them home on nights and weekends.

“Thanks to a federally-funded grant for magnet schools, every student at Heritage Middle School in West Saint Paul, Minnesota, now has an iPad 2 (685 this year, 730 next year).”

Chanhassen Schools have outfitted 25 busses with mobile wifi so that kids can have internet access on the way to and from school.  93% of Watertown-Mayer parents say they see their kids playing games on their tablets, while 83% see their kids doing homework.

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And this is a nationwide trend according to AP.

My question is this – why are we taxing people how don’t want/cant afford an iPad to give one to a kid in our schools.  It is bad enough that Minnesota spends Billions on a bloated education system, but to indiscriminately provide iPads for kids whose parents can afford them and to those who can’t seems reckless and wasteful.

To me it seems a better approach would be to develop a scholarship program for kids who can’t afford their own iPad and let parents who can afford them purchase their own. Much like we did with those super-fancy graphing calculators back in my day.  Beyond that, who determines the success or failure of this program? This feels eerily like the “free lunch” program and I wont be surprised to see future Federal programs based on what % of kids have iPads.

Those of us who don’t own or can’t afford an iPad (or even a smartphone) of their own might be pretty ticked off to find that their hard-earned property-tax dollars are going to get somebody else’s kid an iPad – but then, no one bothered to ask us.  What’s next, free cars for HS Juniors?

Making a teenager earn money to purchase their own iPad doesn’t seem to occur to anyone – you know – personal responsibility?

 

It certainly doesn’t make me want to suck money away from roads and bridges that I actually use in order to pay the school shift so they can buy more “free” iPads….Message to local school districts: next time you want a A levy increase to build a new educational palace, you can stick it in your iPad budget.

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