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LCS board approves multi-million dollar proposal providing smart devices for every student

Posted at 8:10 PM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 23:28:39-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — At the start of the 2020-2021 school year every Leon County School student will have their own device as part of their educational experience.

The school board says this will help solve the digital divide, approving Leon County Schools superintendent Rocky Hanna $10.5 million proposal.

"This is a historical moment for our school district," Hanna said.

A vote yes from the school board will put remote learning devices in the hands of students come fall.

"Superintendent really is making a bold gesture to provide every child in our district, which is almost 34,000 kids," said Alva Striplin, a member of LCS board.

Striplin says this is a move in the right direction.

"It provides everybody access, but it also provides a constant system and a platform more streamlined throughout the district," Striplin said.

Students will be allowed to take their tech to and from school, and each device will have restrictions so students can only access school work and documents.

This is part of a re-imagining of our school district that we will continue to talk about over the next few weeks. We will host a Facebook Live event on Thursday at noon to talk about more details.
Leon County School Board

Board member Roseanne Wood says she's concerned about internet access.

"It doesn't do any good to have a device if you can access the internet," said Wood.

LCS tech team is working on a solution.

Looking to summer, the board also approved $60,000 to restock school sites where food is distributed, providing 900 cases of meal kits.

As we inch closer to schools reopening, the board discussed plans to do that safely while awaiting direction from the Florida Department of Education.

"We'll nail down a plan that we will hopefully be able to roll out the first week of July," Hanna said.

Remote learning devices will cost the district$ 2.6 million annually over a four-year period.

The district is asking parents to pay a $25 insurance fee for possible damage to those devices.