It’s no secret that K-12 public schools in California are seeing declining state funding. One estimate shows that the state now spends $500 – $1,000 less per student than it did in 2007 – 2008. The budget shortfalls are making the schools more judicious when they implement new IT technologies for students. Merced County Office of Education (MCOE) in California is one such organization that was recently involved in rolling out a wired/wireless solution.
MCOE works with more than 20 school districts serving more than 60,000 students. The schools needed more bandwidth to support the growing use of mandatory online testing of students. The teachers were also increasing their use of online resources including videos, presentations, and websites.
“The need for technology upgrades is there, but the financial flexibility is often not, because the basic infrastructure is lacking,” says Dr. Steven E. Gomes, superintendent of MCOE. “Many of the smaller rural schools were not wired for Internet connectivity, so we needed a solution that could reliably bring wired and wireless access to schools throughout the county without major investments in physical infrastructure.”