Baltimore County Public Schools is moving forward with a five-year, $150 million program to put tablets or laptops in every student’s hands, a seemingly daunting task for a school system with more than 110,000 students.
According to county schools superintendent Dallas Dance, the program will begin in the fall with some elementary schools.
Baltimore County is reviewing bids from a number of companies for laptops or tablets that come with keyboards, which will be delivered in August to first- through third-graders in 10 elementary schools. On March 11, administrators plan to take a proposed contract to the school board, which could vote on it that night.
To pay for the new technology, Dance is applying a method used in Houston’s public schools, where he was previously assistant superintendent:
Baltimore County will try to reallocate money from existing funds to pay for its technology purchases … Dance is cutting per-pupil funding to elementary schools by 13 percent and to middle and high schools by 5 percent next year to begin paying for the rollout.