*Edited - see above post about edits made. Images also added.
Today is the first day of school, here in Lexington - whose school board voted for remote learning, in Fayette County, until re-review in October - only they just now discovered yesterday that thousands of students don't have the Chromebook laptops required for remote learning - and it made local news (see video clip below).
Now, what did I say in THIS post last from March 11th, literally entitled "So, This Might Be a Problem," Ladies and Gentlemen?
(Check the portion in yellow, near the bottom of the post, which has not been touched since, except I added asterisks and bolded it, just now. )
I said that my husband, Mark, said last March that Fayette County didn't have the laptops we needed, nor the technology support, like Jefferson County does, because FCPS's Technology Department chose to spent their budgeted money on other things, so we're already late to the party, and that somebody needed to get on that now for the Fall, just in case - and then the School Board approved the funding for more/new Chromebooks at the beginning of May.
So we've had almost 6 months - including all summer, with no students or teachers around to request the Technology Department's support with service orders - to order new Chromebooks.
Thus, we do not have any of the new laptops that were supposedly ordered - meaning 9,000 students do not have the Chromebooks they need for remote learning for the first day of school today.
Thus, non-teaching staff members, including principals and other admin staff, as well as parents and private citizens are now having to privately donate Chromebooks to students - despite already having paid their school taxes ...
And this, Ladies and Gentlemen, would be one of the many reasons why my husband, Mark, left the Department of Technology in July, and took a position with the Data Team instead :)
Contrary to the excuses given in the video above - while it is true that there has been a general "backorder" of laptops for the general American population since April - this has NOT been the experience of ordering Chromebooks for FCPS departments and staff overall.
For staff orders, there have been delays by about 4 to 6 weeks, at most - not 4 to 6 months.
That is because as a large-institution contract, schools get first dibs, and all of the vendors make sure their orders are automatically expedited.
I can't tell you how I know that for a fact - or what the real reason is that these Chromebooks aren't here - but I can tell you that I DO know this is true for a fact ;)
Also, though there have have been increased arguments over budget approvals, none of them were about providing or repairing Chromebooks necessary for remote learning for the children.
As of right now, the school's budget has not been cut, or even touched, by either state or local government, despite COVID - so we cannot blame budget cuts or government bureaucracy for this one, either.
That is because Fayette County's Public School tax structure is a little different; or more accurately, very old school.
Although they receive funding from state and local government, they're not dependent on it - Fayette County's school funding still largely comes from school taxes and property taxes, the old-school way.
Thus, the school's budget has, at least at present, not changed - it has remained exactly the same.
Also, the school taxes and property taxes, at least at present, have not increased.
The only difference thus far is the school's emergency funds have come into play.
Speaking of excuses, Bob - did you seriously just say ...
"More important than the technology is the relationships that students build with their teachers and each other - we can't let technology isolate us from each othe.?"
Wait ... but aren't you the CIO/Director of Technology at Fayette County Public Schools? lol
This statement reveals where Bob stands on COVID and politically - clearly supporting in-person learning over remote learning.
Well, Bob - regardless of what you think/want - this IS the job - and this is the reality during COVID, and what our school board voted on and told you to do - and yet it's not done.
The school board - which, mind you, is comprised of members of the community who are elected by We The People of Fayette County.
They polled their constituents after watching new cases rise and remain in the 800s (with 7-10 deaths per day) in July, and then voted unanimously in early August for a hybrid program - meaning 100% at-home/remote learning until at least October, when the COVID situation will be reviewed again.
In fact, they just proved they made the right decision - because Lexington Catholic High School started in-person classes, but had to shut down 2 days ago after an outbreak, and just switched to online due to outbreak - 7 STUDENTS and 1 staff member tested positive.
That's been the same story from schools all over the South, where schools have unfortunately chosen to have in-person classes, minimizing COVID at Trump's encouragement.
At one point, he even demanded them to open or he'd withhold funding.
Also, Trump falsely stated on Fox and Friends that children were "almost immune" to either getting, or carrying/spreading, the coronovirus, and was thus suspended from Twitter until he removed the video.
Welp, Lexington Catholic just proved that's not the case - children are starting to catch it - and it's been suspected they've carried it/spread it for a long time already.
But talk to teachers - you'd find out they'd love to be in class with their students, right now, instead of trying to juggle being a parent and spouse to their own kids and families with trying to teach classes, too - but not until it's safe.
But alllllllrighty, Bob :)
Now - I could say more about what we all know the real reasons are, that these things didn't get done, and it's not "back-ordering" problems, budget problems, or government bureaucracy problems.
However, I'm still trying to remember the kindness this man at least initially showed us, right after Mark's stroke, and bite my tongue - despite the fact that for the past year or so, he's made that increasingly difficult, both professionally and personally.
But even if he hadn't - it's not 'all about us' anyway.
It's not all about Bob.
It's not all about Trump or Republicans.
In fact, just as the FCPS logo says, "It's About the Kids"
So, watching news clip, just sipping my tea, like ...
... but from what I understand, FCPS is none to happy about that unauthorized press interview he gave, nor his excuses given ;)