Board discusses need for laptops

By Ben Robinson, Courier Staff

COUNTY — Monday night as members of the Pickens County School Board’s policy committee discussed  upcoming policies for forming the budget, they hit a snag while discussing computers.

“We’re going to struggle with our student laptops,” superintendent Dr. Kelly Pew said.

Pew said some help would come if Gov. Nikki Haley’s budget is approved in the statehouse.

“But that won’t be enough,” Pew said. “And we will need something before then. We will need them right this minute.”

Pew admitted it will be difficult for the board to fund the district’s computer needs.

“We really need them next year,” Pew said.

The district has about 1,900 computers that are due to be replaced after seven years of use. The district has about 9,000 computers total.

“When you talk about having 9,000 computers, we’ve got 16,500 kids,” Pew said. “The bring your own device program has helped, but for students to take certain standardized tests, school-owned laptops must be used.

“We’ve got a technology plan, but we don’t have the money mechanism to put it in action,” Pew said.

The committee wanted to set a plan for proper maintenance of the district’s facilities.

“We’ve got to find some way to lengthen the service of what we’ve already bought,” board member Jim Shelton said.