Technology spending not finished

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— Items left off a budget ap----proved by the Education Fund Board this week are not going away, a Fund Board member said.

At its meeting Wednesday night, the Fund Board gave final approval to 2006-07 funding requests from two of its commissions -- Educational Excellence and Technology. Although the total request submitted by the Technology Commission was about $200,000 less than what the commission submitted for initial approval in February, Fund Board member Norm Weaver said money for all the initial items still will be sought.

"Those items that we didn't bring forward at this past meeting will come up at a future time," said Weaver, chairman of the Technology Commission. "Those are still on our radar screen."

Technology requests including $30,000 for school libraries; $40,000 for student information systems; $27,500 each for tech maintenance and staff training; $10,000 for video production and online databases; and $20,000 for data analysis of student performance, were left off the budget approved Wednesday.

Weaver said it is common practice for the Technology Commission to spread out its funding during the summer after first requesting money for items that are "time critical."

One time-critical item app--roved Wednesday was $362,040 for technology staff, including a replacement for technology director Cathleen Nardi, who is resigning after 11 years. The Fund Board also approved $230,000 for as many as 200 new computers that will begin the district's multi-year shift to a primarily PC computer environment. District schools currently use Macs and PCs, many of which are outdated.

Nardi said Steamboat Spr--ings Middle School will get the bulk of the new computers this year because the school has relatively new computers that can be shifted to the district's elementary schools and provide a smoother transition cycle.

Items approved Wednesday total more than $650,000 and will be offered as a gifts to the Steamboat Springs School Board, which likely will decide whether to accept the gifts at its April 17 meeting.

Weaver said the remaining technology items will be brought to the Fund Board for final approval "possibly next month or sometime between now and the fall, when the money will be needed."

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