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Budgeting: Cutting People, Adding Computers

02_101206_neubecker_BooksFAV It's not easy to explain why you're cutting some staff positions and buying technology at the same time, but that's what a lot of districts are already doing.  In this case, the cuts are coming to the low-level bus attendants Detroit public schools use to help SPED kids get to and from school ( DPS to lay off school bus attendants who help special needs kids).  The additions are laptops for students and for all Detroit teachers -- using $49M in federal stimulus funding (40,000 kids to get laptops from stimulus funds).  It may be a smart move, but it's not an easy one to explain, and Detroit's not alone in having to explain this kind of thing.  

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It takes people to train people how to use computers. We've spent lavishly on technology, and advanced technological systems. But where in our budgets are the line items for both the the professional and the clerical support they require? dollars to donuts, Detroit also will take this overrlloked cost out of the hides of people in the classroom, and then blame them for not using those computers.

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