The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

May 21, 2013

Budget cuts won't slow down school tech

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

DANVILLE — A cut of approximately $30,000 to the school district’s technology budget shouldn’t do much to slow down Danville, according to their network administrations director.

“We have a year-to-year refresh cycle for our technology, and we’re going to continue with that, we’re just going to reduce the amount,” said Jeff Ryan.

The school district is divided into six sections by Ryan’s department, and every year one of those sections receives new computer technology. This puts the whole district on a six-year refresh cycle for technology, said Ryan. “It’s roughly 200 to 250 units we refresh on a yearly cycle.”

This year, Liberty Valley Intermediate School is due to receive new equipment. While the reduced budget means the new laptops and desktops computers purchased may have reduced RAM or processing power, “there should be no real impact on the education or teaching ability involved,” said Ryan. “Bottom line, it won’t affect things by much.”

The amount attributed for technology in the budget’s current form is $585,131. Roughly $120,000 of that is set aside to start up the new Danville cyber school program, said Ryan. The cyber program was approved by the school board at its meeting last week.

Of the remaining amount, about $238,000 will be spent on 210 new computer units for Liberty Valley and new carts to transport laptop units. Also included in that amount is about $40,000 for network hardware costs, said Ryan.

Other technology costs spent by the district include renewing support services for existing hardware, paying subscription costs, such as for the district’s emergency phone notification system, and renewals on curriculum software used by educators to teach their students.

Last year’s technology budget was $477,356.50, said Ryan.

Across the district, there are about 2,000 computers used for both teaching and administrative purposes and 40 servers, said Ryan. “It’s a pretty big infrastructure…There is miles and miles of cable in these buildings.”

About 95 percent of the district’s technology work is performed in-house, added Ryan.

The Danville school board approved a proposed version of the final budget for the 2013-2014 school year at its May 14 meeting. The total cost of the budget is $33.994 million dollars, with a deficit of $207,790. The proposed budget will also raise real estate taxes by $43.70 on properties with a median assessed value of $104,400.

 

 

Email questions or comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.