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TUSD tech plan on hold
District waits for results of election
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The Turlock Unified School District’s plan to upgrade all teacher computers and network connections in an effort to bring all classrooms to a 21st century standard could be made into a reality if the tax initiative passes this November.

The Multi-Year 21st Century Classroom Technology Project was discussed in greater detail during Tuesday’s board meeting as TUSD Supervisor of Technology and Data Systems Judi Green answered the board’s concerns before moving on with the project.

“If we could get a general idea on what each school spends on technology before we make a decision and decide how we want to move forward with this project,” said Trustee Frank Lima.

If the Multi-Year 21st Century Classroom Technology Project is enacted, the district will spend $4.4 million to replace over 1,000 computers in a three phase, three year period.

TUSD has spent $3.8 million on technology over the past five years.  Categorical funding sources include Title I, Microsoft settlement funds, special grant funds, and other areas to support student achievement.

Other concerns from the trustees included how to address immediate professional development for teachers who have technology in their classroom and do not know how to use it.

Green said as purchases are being made at individual sites, the Professional Development department will work with the site administrators to provide professional development by CTAP6 trainers or the vendors on those technologies. The district has also used in-house teacher/trainers to provide on-going professional development.

The board of trustees will move forward on the project depending on the tax initiative this November.

“There is no doubt that technology is an important tool to facilitate education to our younger generation,” said Lima.  “We want to make sure the technology is applied appropriately to all of our school sites and it will all depend if the tax initiative passes this November.  If the pass initiative fails, our $5.6 million that we have on reserve will have to be used for payroll and academic expenses for our District.  We are all hoping this tax initiative passes so we could put the money to a better use for our students. ”