education budget designates technology upgrade funds -->
Sept. 13--The Hartselle Board of Education discussed a $31.8 million budget at Thursday's budget hearing for Hartselle City Schools' fiscal 2014.
For the first time, the budget included specified funds for to the system's technology department.
Tim Southerland, director of technology, said prior to this year, no one had asked him to create a budget for his department.
"Before, I had to go before the board and request money whenever something quit working," he said.
The budget allocated $280,000 toward a technology replacement fund. Southerland said $130,000 of the $280,000 will allow him to replace 250 to 300 outdated computers per year. Some teachers use 10-year-old computers, he said. The oldest ones will be the first replaced.
The remaining $150,000 will be placed in technology reserves to go toward replacing the system's network infrastructure.
A part of specified items Superintendent Vic Wilson requested be included in the budget is $7,500 for each school to spend on technology software. In the near future, Wilson said, he intends to equip each teacher with an iPad to give teachers the opportunity to transform learning, and the money given to each school may be spent to purchase software for their devices.
"We've made some great strides in technology," Wilson said. "We're looking at the goals of individual schools and aligning it with the goals of the district."
Wilson also requested $2,000 be given to each school's library for enhancements. Wilson said he spoke with the librarian at each school and they mostly agreed that the funds would be used to purchase e-books.
The system is projected to begin fiscal 2014 on Oct. 1 with $8.3 million in its general reserve, enough for 4.4 months of operation. By the end of fiscal 2014, the system expects to have $7.3 million in reserve.
Briana Harris can be contacted at 256-340-2440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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