Ask BCPS and BOE to Scale Back STAT and Support Everything Our Students Need More Fully!
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Over the past four years, Baltimore County Public Schools have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the STAT 1:1 digital initiative (meaning a personal computer for every single student, beginning in first grade!) with many more millions spent on educational technology, including personalized learning software, online curricula, big travel budgets for central administrators to go ed tech conferences, and the replacement of textbooks with e-books.
- So far, there is no convincing evidence that STAT is improving educational outcomes for our kids! The evidence presented to the board is carefully selected to make it seem positive, when in reality, it is much more complicated, and sobering.
- Parents, teachers and even students believe distraction is widespread, and have substantive educational concerns.
- Parents worry that their children are spending too much time with technology for school work – at home and in school!
At the same time, we face overwhelming educational needs for the human side of education due to cuts to pay for STAT or failure to recognize the severity of needs. These are just a few of the many needs facing BCPS (you can tell us your concerns in the comments to our leaders if you decide to sign the petition!)
· Class sizes are too big. Teacher workloads are too high.
· We need more human support personnel in classrooms for children with special educational needs.
· Important personnel like bus drivers and adult assistants (the people in the classroom who assist children with individual needs requiring an adult to assist them) are undervalued and under paid.
· We do not have enough supports for the many children in BCPS who are living in poverty.
· There are pressing needs for behavioral interventions across many county schools.
· All students should have ready access to books and textbooks.
· Crumbling Facilities - and More!
We want BCPS to scale back spending for STAT, and use some of these ed tech resources to support the other pressing needs for our students. Of course, students need to learn to use technology, but overall, BCPS is spending too much money on the technology initiative, and not enough on everything else our students need. The BOE needs to re-configure the budget for 2018-2019, so that less is spent on technology, and more on the people – teachers, bus drivers, support personnel - who work so hard to help Baltimore County's children learn and thrive.
Please support a careful look at what really are the highest priority needs for BCPS students. We don’t pretend to have all the answers about what needs are most pressing. This petition will be delivered with all of your comments and opinions. The main thing is, it is time to slow down and take a step back, and re-evaluate the ed tech initiative and think about all needs. We do not want the BOE to approve the budget as is for school year 2018-2019. We can get out of these multi-million dollar contracts. It is time to focus on everything our students need.
If you choose to leave comments when you sign, please tell the Board of Education, BCPS and our elected officials what are your highest priorities for funding in BCPS that could be better funded if STAT (the 1:1 digital transformation initiative) was more reasonable in scope!
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