News Column

MCCSC to consider loan for tablets

August 12, 2014

By Mary Keck, Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind.



Aug. 12--The MCCSC board will vote tonight on taking out a $218,800 loan to purchase more electronic tablets and reach the goal of having one device for each student at the start of the 2015-16 school year. The loan will chip away at the $2,415,500 total cost to get all of MCCSC's high school students outfitted with 3,500 devices that they will be able use at school and then take home next year.

Just before the first work session on the 2015 budget for Monroe County Community School Corp. tonight, the board of trustees will hold a special session to consider the $218,800 loan from the Indiana State Board of Education that will cover a portion of the price for the electronic tablets, such as iPads and Google Chromebooks, for high school students.

MCCSC has a total of 9,000 iPads and has spent $4,731,941 to purchase them so far.

According to Tim Thrasher, director of business operations, the loan with a 1 percent interest rate from the state is a chance to take advantage of a low-cost, low-interest loan to help fund the district's technology goal of getting an iPad or similar device into the hands of every student.

"It's an opportunity to get some money that will have a very small impact on the tax rate and enable us to spread the repayment over the useful life of the devices," Thrasher said. If the board votes in favor of taking out the loan for tablets, it will take three years to pay it off.

Because of the $2.4 million cost to provide a tablet for every high school student, MCCSC is approaching payment from several different directions. Thus far, the one-to-one initiative has been funded through MCCSC's capital projects, textbook rental and technology funds, along with tax-exempt general obligation bonds.

Thrasher will also present the school board with information including drafts of expenditures for the 2015 budget. A budget hearing will take place in September, and the budget will be advertised in the upcoming weeks.

The MCCSC school board's special session will start at 5:45 p.m., and the work session on the 2015 budget will follow. The meeting will be held at the Administration Center, 315 E. North Drive. View the agenda at www.mccsc.edu.

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(c)2014 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)

Visit the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) at www.heraldtimesonline.com

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Source: Herald-Times (Bloomington, IN)


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