The drama regarding the implementation of new computers to our school district was a particularly hot topic this school year. Many students and parents wonder why classrooms keep receiving new Macs and PCs despite the fact that strict fiscal measures have been executed in Half Hollow Hills schools and district employees have been laid off. I spoke with Ms. Anne Marie Marrone Caliendo, the Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Facilities, about this controversial issue.
Ms. Caliendo stated that part of the technology budget, although not all, is funded through State Aid. Computers and other technology components are checked annually in order to determine if they can support the needs of the classrooms. The computers must be compatible with specific softwares such as Infinite Campus Student Management System, Shockwave, and Flash. Through this study, the district must determine what is more economically efficient: to upgrade the computers or replace them altogether.
Money is set aside each year for the sole purpose of making sure that each and every class has the tools for academic success. The Instructional Technology department, though observing budgetary constraints, is starting this years “refresh cycle” by replacing the 2005 PCs and 2006 Macs.
Nonetheless, the limited availability of funding has put immense stress upon students, teachers, families, district employees, and Dix Hills taxpayers. Unfortunately, the quarreling about the district budget will not cease as long as economic turmoil prevails.