SCS discusses possibly giving all students a laptop
SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Every Shelby County School student could have a new laptop within the next five years, according to a new plan released by the district.
In the presentation from the Shelby County Schools Chief Academic Officer, the district went over ways to create equity across the district.
"They want to begin next year with seven to eight schools and scale up each year," said Keith Williams with the Memphis and Shelby County Education Association. "They don't know price or if it'll be laptops or iPads, nor do they know if we have the bandwidth to do this."
Williams said it could give students better chances with state testing. Normally, children with computers at home are more comfortable taking those tests.
"The state does tests that way so it will help them in that respect—the manipulation of a computer and having information at home and at school," Williams said.
Chad Moore, whose son attends Kingsbury Middle School, supported the idea.
“If they can bring them home, it'll help out with their own line of work, getting them to do homework," Moore said.
But the idea also prompts many questions, including security.
"It becomes an expensive feat because it's going to be much more expensive than books," Williams said.
Officials said the district spends about $6 million per year on books.
Parents also worried about digital security risks.
“Would people be able to get in kids’ accounts, hack them, take their work or something like that?" Moore said.
A mom of an SCS student said she supports the idea and would watch how her children used them.
“It'd be a lot easier instead of using our phones," she said.
She said that's because they do not have internet at home, and she hopes the district is also thinking of issues like that.
District officials said this is just the beginning of the discussion. The board has it on the agenda to discuss Tuesday night, and WREG will update as we learn more about the plans.