Board Moves Forward with Tablet Computers

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JACKSON COUNTY-- Jackson School District Officials are working to put tablet computers in students hands this fall. Tuesday night, Jackson County School Board Members voted to move forward with a lease agreement to get the tablets.

If the agreement isn't approved next month, the process may take some time.

Jackson County School Board members tentatively voted Tuesday night in-favor of a motion to enter into a lease agreement to get tablet computers for all k-through-third graders.

Before they take a final vote next month, they need some answers.

"To be able to go out for this lease, we needed to know what we were looking at and what the cost factors would be, what the interest rate would be for all of the devices," board member Charlotte Gardner said.

They say the devices are necessary for students to keep up with constantly changing technologies.

"We're really wanting our student achievement to soar, and to be able to do this it gives them more individualized instructions to help them accomplish and be all that they can be," Gardner said.

Buying them would cost about $1 million. They believe leasing is the better option.

"After three years, we're doing a dollar buyouts, so we can either buy the devices and use them for other purposes, or we just send them back to the company and get new devices the next year," Supervisor of Federal Programs Michael Kilts said.

Vice Chairman Gardner hopes to have the leasing agreement approved next month. If the agreement fails next month, it may be January before the tablets are available.

Middle schoolers would be next to receive the tablets in 2015, high schoolers in 2016. The board is hoping to have the devices ready for students by October 1st.

The state is requiring all school students have personal computers by 2017.