QPS 36 cent special education tax increase proposal could bring - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

QPS 36 cent special education tax increase proposal could bring in new technology

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

The Quincy Public School board is considering asking voters to approve a 36 cent tax increase for the district's special education fund.

If passed, the new tax rate would be at 40 cents.

The revenue generated would free up $2.9 million for the district, that's currently being taken out of the Education fund.

It's extra money that QPS officials say they would use toward technology.

While some tri-state students are using iPad's in the classroom.

Ellington Elementary students are still using outdated computers to get their work done.

Principal Anne Cashman says revenue generated from the tax increase would allow the district to get new technology they need to catch up to other schools.

"Our students currently don't have a lot of opportunities that students out in the counties have or in smaller districts because we have not had the funding," said Cashman.

Cashman says the lack of technology proves to be even more of a problem for less fortunate students.

"Students can often do less at school than they can do in their homes and so this particularly impacts our disadvantage students, families that don't have Internet access or the newest technology in their homes," said Cashman.

QPS business manager Joel Murphy says they would solve that problem by purchasing new laptops and tablets for the entire district, while also updating the wi-fi network.

"It does give us the opportunity to then also do what they call bring your own device [or] B.Y.O.D. where a teacher or a student has a laptop or something like that they could bring it in," said Murphy.

But Murphy says there is another, bigger reason why QPS needs to update their technology.

"With the change over to the common core, there are new tests that are coming out in 2014, and that test is online," said Murphy.

Murphy also says the district plans to use the new technology to start phasing out text books, which would save the district even more money.

If the board approves the tax proposal by December 7th, it would appear on the February ballot.

 

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