Why? Put simply… because buying terribly expensive distracting electronics for clumsy, absent-minded, flighty, malicious and devious adolescents is a *stupid* idea. Millions of dollars flushed, not only in direct expenses, but in lost opportunities (you put a laptop in a kids hands, what do you think he’s going to do with it in class? Classwork? Pfah!).
If you, as a school district, want all the kids to have laptops, there’s an effective way to get it done: issue a directive to the parents: “If you want your kid to graduate, make sure that he/she has a functioning laptop or netbook or Ipad or what ever that can run the programs listed on the next page.” That’s it. Thus if the kid breaks the laptop? Not the schools loss. If the kid uses it to download porn, or has outdated security software? Not the schools responsibility. If the kid forgets it, loses it, sells it for crack? Tough titty toenails.
“But what about the poor parents,” you ask? A few simple solutions:
1) Send an official to the petitioning poor families home to talk to them about options. If there is, say, a flat screen TV on the wall… why, right then and there, offer up a direct trade. Beer, smokes, bling: if they got ‘em, they don’t need assistance getting a $300 computer for Junior.
2) Hold a bake sale or something.
3) Does the school have an athletic program? Boom. Right there. There’s the money you need to provide loans to “underprivileged” families to help ‘em buy a laptop at the nearest pawn shop. If not by cutting back on athletic program funding, then by the simple act of charging $10 admission for everyone who wants to see Junior play basketball or football or whatever. Look askance at anyone who claims they need assistance getting a laptop yet is willing to pony up $10 to watch some of the worst sports in the world.