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Garden City High School students to get iPads

Published on -4/3/2012, 3:21 PM

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GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) -- Garden City High School students will move into a new high school in the fall armed with some of the latest technology, after the school district's board of education voted Monday to buy individual iPads for each student.

The initiative will cost the district an estimated $872,000, which is about $170,000 less than originally estimated because the students will get the iPad2, rather than the latest version, The Garden City Telegram reported (http://bit.ly/HObMF5 ).

The funding comes from a $92.5 million bond issue for the new high school, which came in under budget, leaving about $1.4 million in bond monies.

Board member Gloria Hopkins said she believes providing the best tools in education will help students develop careers and compete globally.

"We owe it to our country to educate our students to the best of our ability," she said before the vote.

Kathleen Whitley, the district's financial officer, said the project will cost the district about $400,000 each year as part of maintaining the iPads.

Johna McClelland, a junior, took part in a pilot program in the high school during the past school year. She said she uses her iPad to communicate with teachers, particularly when she's gone for activities. The iPad enables her to keep up on assignments while on the road or at home, she said.

"IPads break communication barriers between teachers and students," she said.

Several teachers also spoke in favor of the initiative, saying that it changes the way students learn, retain and present information.

But Julie Allred, a parent, said taxpayers should not have to pay for a luxury for students. She said parents who want their children to have the devices should pay for them.

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