Even at a time when a record number of school districts are challenging Texas’ school finance system, school districts are still finding ways to waste taxpayer money. New Braunfels ISD’s push to spend tax dollars on new iPads for students is just the latest example.
The latest costly proposal by New Braunfels ISD Superintendent Randy Moczygemba would buy all ninth graders at New Braunfels High School iPads in hopes of eliminating the use of paper textbooks altogether. How much is this pilot program going to cost? Right around $320,000.
While Moczygemba’s plan might seem like a good way to advance the technology that students use on a daily basis, it also has a sharp downside. Since not all textbook companies have made the technological jump to iPad, the plan is built on the hope that “eventually all high school textbooks would be electronic.”
In other words, Moczygemba will spend $320,000 to get his pet project up and running, incur the additional cost of new iPads for each incoming ninth grade class, all while spending money on paper textbooks until electronic versions become available.
Since Mr. Moczygemba is so eager to put this plan into action, one would think that NBISD has a big stack of cash sitting in their coffers just begging to be spent. Not exactly.
While Moczygemba will likely tell you that the district has already set aside the initial $320,000 for technology upgrades, he would be remiss not to mention the district’s budget woes.
Just last April, NBISD was faced with nearly an $8 million funding gap. As part of the solution to making up the shortfall, the district told 127 teachers to resign or be terminated – instead of cutting outside the classroom to improve their 40% instructional spending rate.
Maybe Superintendent Moczygemba thinks iPads are the solution to NBISD’s financial issues, but taxpayers know better – there is no app for that.