Florida School Officials Scrap Plan Give Away $350,000 Worth of Free iPods

For those who are suspicious of the massive stimulus payments to states, they need look no further than the Polk County school district where officials announced that they would give away $350,000 of free iPod Nanos. After media coverage, the school has backed down from its not-so-stimulating plan.

While the original story said that it was stimulus money, the district now says it was coming from a fund for special needs children. A correction was issued for the original newspaper reports. However, that does not improve it much for critics who view this as a huge waste of money at a time when school budgets are being cut and states are selling off public lands and buildings. It would seem a pretty hard sell for school officials to ask for more money given such give-a-way programs.

The district announced that it would be giving the devices to reward parents of children with disabilities who filled out a 10-minute online survey. Do you really need to give away iPods to get parents to fill out a survey to help their special needs children? That is pretty depressing in itself.

Assistant Polk County School Board Superintendent Nancy Woolcock said that they have been told that “the money has to be used directly for the students and not to the parents.” I hope that does not mean the iPods will now go directly to the children. Of course, it could be worse, they could be using stimulus money for tennis courts.

For the full story, click here.

24 thoughts on “Florida School Officials Scrap Plan Give Away $350,000 Worth of Free iPods”

  1. As the parent of a son with special needs ( Aspergers Syndrome ) I think this is an absolutely wonderful idea!
    After years of fighting the local school board and the ministry of education, not to mention thousands of dollars in OT testing, I was able to ensure that the most up tp date educational technology is now available to my son. While my son is very able to read, the nature of his diagnosis causes him to have a very low attention span for the written word. His memory is absolutely amazing in terms of sound however. While the Board of Ed paid out close to 10 K for the laptop, accesories and software that he uses at school and at home, they probably saved more than $100 000 over the remainder of his publicly funded education. This is now the only ” accomodation ” that he requires, while from gr’s 1 – gr 7 he had a full time and later a half time EA. The EA accomodation for scribing , oral testing, and encouragement of on-task behaviour, not to mention the added reports necessary by educators would have continued through HS without the technology that he was granted.
    Not only have these resources saved the government money in the short term, but because he is now able to participate fully in his education his chances for post secondary education success and gainful employment throughout his lifetime has significantly increased.

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